The A to Z Challenge asks bloggers to post 26 articles on a themed topic. It’s supposed to be every day except Sundays during the month of April but I did this last year, found it way to busy for the likes of me, and decided to post mine ‘about’ once a month. Yes, it’ll take me a couple of years. Sigh.
My topic, like the last two times I did the conventional approach, will be writing genres.
Fiction that centers around the past and present lives of Indians (Native Americans)
I confess to not knowing a lot about this genre so I relied heavily on these tips from an Ojibway writer over at Absolute Water Cooler.
- “Indian” is a proper term for Native Americans. It’s what they call themselves though “Native American” is fine.
- Don’t worry about ‘how Indian are you?’ Indians don’t. It seems Whites draw a relationship between ‘blood’ and ‘authenticity’ that isn’t relevant to Indians.
- Non-Indian writers go overboard decorating their Indian character with constant reminders of his/her Indianness. Indians don’t do that.
- Indians are not all hunks and sultry maidens.
- From Writing Forums: “Of the Shoshone people I know, some believe in the natural world, some believe in the bottle, some have adapted quite well to the corporate world, among other things, take your pick.”
- Avoid stereotypes.
- Treat these characters carefully because this is a charged subject for many.
- Some believe in traditional gods, some don’t.
- Be careful to use accurate vocabulary:
- Not house but tepee, longhouse, wigwam, hut, etc
- Not hat but headdress
- Not boat but canoe
- Not shoe but moccasin
- Not doctor but medicine man or healer
- Not soldiers but braves or warriors
- Not woman but squaw
- Not men but tribesmen
- Not nation but tribe
- Not country but tribal lands
- Not king or kingdom but chief or chiefdom.
- Not civil war but fighting
- Not technology but tools
- Not town but village, pueblo, population centre, etc.
- From Abagond: Say as little as possible about history, especially the Indian Wars and the period before 1492 and after 1890. They are timeless. The Sioux, for example, are frozen forever in time on their horses hunting bisons and fighting Custer.
- A Sorrow in Our Heart: The Life of Tecumseh--by Allan W. Eckert
- The Last of the Mohicans–by James Fennimore Cooper
- Hope Leslie–by Catharine Maria Sedgwick
- Song of Hiawatha--by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
- The Life, History, and Travels of Kah-ge-ga-gahbowh–by George Copway
- Dances with Wolves–by Michael Blake
- The First North Americans series by Kathleen O’Neal Gear
- The series by Tony Hillerman and his daughter
- The Grizzly Killer series by Lane Warenski
More N Genres:
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice, a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Against All Odds, Summer 2020. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning