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08 May 2011 @ 07:29 pm
More Tough Guide: Helpful Natives!  
The entries here were only part of what I thought up, so here are the rest :)

(re: my lack of responses there; I did read all comments & appreciate them! But sometimes I am going happily along and then boom, I hit a wall, and have no brain at all and posting is haaard. So that's what's happened when I'm responsive for the first few comments and then silent -- it's necessary self-care, and doesn't mean anything beyond "Shweta energy is severely limited". And it may well happen this time too.)

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The Magical Native Mentor (MNM) is a Tour Official, a special type of Mentor who is also akin to the Magical Negro; as such, the MNM will never have any motives of his (or occasionally her) own, and will exist only to ensure that Tourists get the most out of their experience.

MNMs are always wise, almost always old men, and generally Fabulously Dressed; they can be relied on to provide Tour Commentary about how boring the Clothing is in Fantasyland proper. Their Clothing will also help the Tourist identify the flavor of MNM they have: Eastern, African, or Tribal.

- Eastern MNM Wisdom takes the form of Mystic Philosophy; this MNM will encourage the Tourist to find Inner Balance. This Inner Balance will manifest as Martial Arts.
- African MNMs have Earthy Practical Wisdom, and will urge the Tourist to become One with Nature.
- Tribal MNMs Commune with the Spirit World, and will Guide the Tourist on an Animal Spirit Quest.

MNMs never have family or community who need their help, unless these Natives are part of the Tour; they can therefore be expected to serve only the Tourists' interests. They do generally have Secrets, which they will refer to only indirectly (OMTs include inscrutable, oblique) until halfway through the Tour; however, none of these will ever turn out to provide a conflict of interest -- even when Tourists are invading the MNM's native land (c.f. Evil Empire). This is often because they have been Enlightened with Western Notions and seen the Evil in their Homeland.

In addition to being Wise, MNMs are always Quirky; unlike other Mentors, they aren't too proud to provide Comic Relief. This will be Endearing, and give the Tourists motivation when they die (which they will do right before the Climax).

---

Oppressed Native Girl (ONG) lives in the Evil Empire and is either an Exotic Princess or a Heathen Priestess, these being the only job openings for young women in the EE. She has much in common with the Feisty Feminist Heroine; however, being a Native, she can't understand or challenge her own Oppression, or make changes in her own culture; she must be Rescued.

If she is an Exotic Princess she will live in a Harem. If she is a Heathen Priestess she will live in The Temple. In either location, Veils, Chains, and midriff-baring skirt ensembles are popular Clothing. These won't slow her down during her Rescue, but they will jingle.

Once Tourists have Rescued ONG, they will have to Enlighten her with Western Notions; once Enlightened, she will be Grateful enough to Fall In Love with one of them. (Note: if this is part of the Feisty Feminist Tour, ONG is allowed to be Queer as well as Dark).

---

Surprisingly Enlightened Native Prince (SENP) is the Tyrant's Heir. However, he is Clever enough to have learned some Western Notions all by himself. He will therefore help the Tourists once they can convince him they are Pure of Heart.

However, SENP, like all Natives in the EE, is Oppressed and Frightened, and does not believe he can do anything against the Tyrant. Tourists will have to help him find Courage. This will not come about by argument, since Natives need Reasons of the Heart, not just Logic. An Unsanctioned Romantic Liason will solve the problem -- either with the Feisty Feminist Heroine or a Native who is somehow Forbidden. If this relationship is with the FFH, it will just be a Vacation Fling; however, if it is with a Forbidden Fellow Native, it will be True Love.

---

Old Tongue

There is only one of it. Evidently the former inhabitants spoke only the one Language. This seems to make it very potent. -DWJ, The Tough Guide to Fantasyland

The Old Tongue is entirely unrelated to the Common Tongue, The history of colonial violence implied by this doesn't come up, because only Good Countries have an Old Tongue. However, since it must be the Language of Natives who were wiped out, it is Magical. Native things always are.

This Language is believed to survive only in some Highly Magical Scrolls; however, some Places, People, or Philosophical Concepts will turn out to be Old Tongue words that survived. They will also turn out to be Magical. Warning: since Tourists are almost certainly mispronouncing the apostrophes, the effect of speaking these names may be somewhat unpredictable.

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Current Mood: cheerfulloopy
 
 
 
squirrel_monkey: gold pantiessquirrel_monkey on May 9th, 2011 02:45 am (UTC)
YAY
shweta_narayan: mangatarshweta_narayan on May 9th, 2011 02:51 am (UTC)
:)

Though, we'll see how long I go on responses. I sort of forgot to take my nighttime meds while I was writing this, so am verra crashy...
Sovay: Sovay: David Owensovay on May 9th, 2011 02:48 am (UTC)
These won't slow her down during her Rescue, but they will jingle.

*snerk*

MNMs never have family or community who need their help, unless these Natives are part of the Tour; they can therefore be expected to serve only the Tourists' interests.hey do generally have Secrets, which they will refer to only indirectly (OMTs include inscrutable, oblique) until halfway through the Tour; however, none of these will ever turn out to provide a conflict of interest -- even when Tourists are invading the MNM's native land (c.f. Evil Empire).

While I have various arguments with the Temeraire books, one of the things I do like about them is that Tharkay is not this figure.

shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 9th, 2011 02:52 am (UTC)
Very behind on the Temeraire books. But I'm always happy when characters of color turn out to actually have motivations of their own :)
(no subject) - sovay on May 9th, 2011 02:55 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on May 9th, 2011 02:57 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sovay on May 9th, 2011 03:03 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on May 9th, 2011 03:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on May 9th, 2011 04:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Fighting Crime with a Giant Dandelion Since 2013pameladean on May 9th, 2011 04:08 am (UTC)
The capitalization alone in this is just devastating. Every time I hit a capitalized term I burst out laughing.

I'm having trouble shaking free of my own fears of what bad things I've done in my book, especially after cutting it, which cutting kept wanting to remove all secondary characters' own motivations, but this will be a useful checklist to have when I do the next round of revisions.

P.
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 9th, 2011 04:06 pm (UTC)
:D

and oof -- I can sort of see how that goes, given how much you had to cut! But. They have motivations, and you know them, so it should be pretty possible to make sure they're hinted at a bit, right? As opposed to how, with a lot of Natives, it's clear that the notion of actual-motives has never crossed the Management's mind.
(no subject) - pameladean on May 9th, 2011 08:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Samantha Hendersonsamhenderson on May 9th, 2011 04:11 am (UTC)
I so, so, wish you were on a certain panel with me this weekend. Then again, it wouldn't have been good for your health.
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 9th, 2011 04:08 pm (UTC)
OR YOURS! I have the bug of DOOM. It passed from the Nephew & his parents to me (unsurprisingly)but also to elsmi, who seldom gets colds, and my parents, who almost never do; and parents and brother/SIL/nephew all ended up on antibiotics from secondary stuff.

I guess I could have coughed on the problematical people and thus shut them up for a couple weeks...
(Deleted comment)
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 9th, 2011 04:09 pm (UTC)
I'm out of ideas but will take suggestions!

(& offers hugs)
(no subject) - Sean O'Hara on May 20th, 2011 04:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on May 20th, 2011 05:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - Sean O'Hara on May 20th, 2011 06:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - capnflynn on May 26th, 2011 11:47 am (UTC) (Expand)
A. A. McNamaraaamcnamara on May 9th, 2011 03:03 pm (UTC)
I was intending to just skim LJ, but when I got to this post it made me slow down and read it thoroughly. Yay for more Tough Guide!
shweta_narayan: happyshweta_narayan on May 9th, 2011 04:11 pm (UTC)
:)
zwol on May 9th, 2011 03:50 pm (UTC)
I have no real thoughts, but I'm cracking up every other line. *cheers*
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 9th, 2011 04:12 pm (UTC)
*beams*
(Deleted comment)
shweta_narayan: mangatarshweta_narayan on May 20th, 2011 05:08 pm (UTC)
Belatedly: thanks :)
pingback_botpingback_bot on May 10th, 2011 03:32 am (UTC)
May 10, 2011 Links and Plugs
User charlesatan referenced to your post from May 10, 2011 Links and Plugs saying: [...] and More Tough Guide: Helpful Natives! [...]
Vincent Pendergastscriitor on May 11th, 2011 12:29 am (UTC)
I'm glad you posted these. Yes, we see these things in Fantasy all the time. I'm seeing many of them in the book I'm reading *right now*, and it wasn't really jumping out at me like it should, past a vague feeling I was getting, until I read these posts.
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 20th, 2011 05:11 pm (UTC)
Belatedly: Yeah I think a lot of this is just... laying out what we all already know at some level? It's recognition that makes the humor.

(And it took my brain several months of poking at these vague feelings to get to this.)
Ashniashnistrike on May 14th, 2011 04:02 am (UTC)
This Inner Balance will manifest as Martial Arts.

<3

And somehow it's never, say, Tai Chi.
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 20th, 2011 05:08 pm (UTC)
Belatedly: ...I guess when the Evil Empire is Pan-Asian so's the Martial Art? But yeah it's always an interchangeable-kickass-one specifically, isn't it?
Toomas Nipernaadinipernaadiagain on May 23rd, 2011 09:45 am (UTC)
I just recently read something where my native language turned up as something a powerful spell was written in.

I COULD write a story about quaint old magical language that turns out to be ENGLISH and then the young magicians find out about once proud language of people now extinct.

Well, while I MAY get some relief in writing how offended these kids from future will be finding out about the horrors of massacre of the English speakers, the impact would NOT be there for readers. Because what English speaker of today is living with knowledge that they might be if not last, then one of the last generations of speaking their language every day?
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 23rd, 2011 06:23 pm (UTC)
Yes, this exactly.

This is why I hate the SF trope of "in the future, X privilege group is oppressed/extinct!!!" -- be it men, English speakers, white Americans, whatever. Because I worry that the privileged-people reading them are left thinking that their mild what-if thrill is equivalent in some way to the pain of oppression, language loss, being someone else's exotic-squee, erasure, lack of future...
capnflynncapnflynn on May 26th, 2011 11:48 am (UTC)
Here via N.K. Jemisin; I've really enjoyed these posts!