Miscellaneous notes about things that I found interesting/useful from the "Syncretism, Real and Fantastic," "Journey's End," and "But That's a Different Panel: Swearing" panels at the 4th St Fantasy convention. Also a few thoughts inspired by them.
SYNCRETISM, REAL AND FANTASTIC
Beware the "science and magic both exist and have to fight" trope.
Schisms within religious faiths are a good thing to remember when writing religion.
Don't make good guys all Religion A and bad guys all Religion B, especially if there is also a racial/cultural divide.JOURNEY'S END
Historical note: mass production / industrialization was brought back from visiting China.
At the end of the journey, one character arc conclusion is the main character's transformation or failure to transform. Decide this consciously.
Don't forget, people also bring back unfortunate things, intentionally or not. Invasive species, disease, etc.
Ponder the immigrant experience, and also what aspects of it a returning traveler may experience.BUT THAT'S A DIFFERENT PANEL
[SURPRISE TOPIC: SWEARING!]
If there's going to be swearing and you're afraid of negative reader reaction, cue the reader in on the first page by using a swearword, so that they know what to expect. Can also do this with general tone/mood.
This made me think about cultural comfort with different behaviors that switches for a person depending on what language they're speaking in. For example, my maternal grandfather could be very earthy while speaking Plattdeutsch, but he would never dream of saying such things in English.
Fantastic Profanity [N.K. Jemisin on the cultural context of swearwords]: http://nkjemisin.com/2012/11/fantastic-profanity/
All posts from 4th Street 2013: http://cloudscudding.livejournal.com/tag/4th%20street%20fantasy%202013