1. samantha95
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    samantha95 New Member

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    Writing from an Indigenous Australian child's point of view

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by samantha95, Jun 3, 2013.

    I am writing from the point of view of an aboriginal child in my novella, I'm struggling to distinguish my narrative voice, everything sounds wrong. Has anyone got any advice for me? It would be much appreciated
     
  2. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maybe give an example of what you think is wrong and offer suggestions of what you think might work, maybe we can help you that way rather than critiquing, otherwise fulfil the site criteria and then put up 5-600 words for critique.

    Are you aboriginal? Or is this the problem, you don't know enough about them to write from their POV. I found this forum that may help http://forums.aboriginalconnections.com/
     
  3. huntsman40
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    huntsman40 Active Member

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    Can I just clarify your situation first? Are you writing this as a first person narrative or from a third person point of view? It sounds like you mean for your narrative to be first person, and if so what are you trying to distinguish it from? Do you mean from other characters or something else?

    My guess though is that your problem will stem from either a lack of being fully in touch with your characters personality, or maybe how they talk. Of course I could be missing what it is you are looking for, but if it is first person then the narrative should be his voice, and so I assume you're struggling to separate him from other characters, or maybe even yourself?
     
  4. ithestargazer
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    ithestargazer Active Member

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    This is a difficult question to give advice on as Indigenous Australians often tell stories through visual and gestural modes. Of course, there are many different communities with different cultures within this one group. Are you writing from the POV of a child in the stolen generation? If so, there are already some books and memoirs written by the actual victims of this practice which would be really helpful. Also, I had a professor at Uni who dealt specifically with the storytelling practices of Indigenous Australians so I'm sure you could find some scholarly articles on that.

    Good luck.
     
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  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    as noted above, you need to give us more info before we can offer any advice...
     
  6. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I do recommend "Rabbit Proof Fence" if you've not already read it. It's one of my favorite stories and it has an example of the voice you are looking for.

    The movie was excellently done. Of course, being from Australia, you are bound to have much more insight on this than those of us from up-over.
     
  7. samantha95
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    samantha95 New Member

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    Yes I am writing in first person narrative, my novella is split in to three sections with a different narrator from a different time period in each, I'm struggling to separate my character (an 11 year old indigenous child) from myself
     
  8. samantha95
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    samantha95 New Member

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    No i'm not aboriginal, i've done quite a bit or research however i'm still struggling to settle with a distinctive voice, Thanks so much for the forum link :)
     
  9. samantha95
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    samantha95 New Member

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    Eventually, yes she does become part of the stolen generation, thankyou :) I will hit up some university databases
     
  10. samantha95
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    samantha95 New Member

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    Thankyou! I completely forgot about that book, yes you'd think that being Australian would give me a deeper insight on this topic wouldn't you? Unfortunately our school curriculum doesn't put too high a focus on the topic
     
  11. samantha95
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    samantha95 New Member

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    No i'm not aboriginal, i've done quite a bit or research however i'm still struggling to settle with a distinctive voice, Thanks so much for the forum link :)
     
  12. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I created a version of Palm Island in my story. But the people on my Palm Island are the second wave of settlers rather than displaced indigenous people. I'm not sure where I came across the history of the island, it popped up in something else I was reading, I think.

    In the epilogue of the movie there's an interview with two of the women who followed the fence.
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    samantha... you don't have to post replies separtely, in a slew of posts, which is both confusing and annoying... the standard method is to put them all in one post, following the name of the person you're replying to...

    as for your dilemma, i suggest you seek out some aboriginal folks and ask them for help with this... and/or go to a library and find memoirs written by aboriginals and novels by respected authors who have captured their dialog accurately...
     
  14. samantha95
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    samantha95 New Member

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    mammamia, i know, i'm sorry, I haven't done this before
    will do
    sorry to annoy
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's not fatal, honeybunch... glad to have you here...

    hugs, m
     
  16. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    You live in Australia, Samantha. What is the possibility of speaking with some Indigenous Australians? Nothing is better than first hand information. Novels written by Indigenous Australians are going to be a good source too, but they are going to suffer from the inherent flaws of emic-only data.

    In sociology and anthropology the topic of emic and etic data is a perennial one because it is at the very core of ethics in both disciplines.

    Simply put:

    • Emic Data is the information you get when talking to people, asking them about a subject or topic.
      Emic data allows you to get the information you want in context from the person or group that you are asking. It allows for explanation and detailing not available through just Etic Data. It suffers from social lying. The person or group that you ask is going to tend to skew the information in a manner that shines the best light on them, makes the best impression.​
    • Etic Data is the information you get when simply observing people, not asking them things directly.
      Etic Data does not suffer from social lying, but since often there is no context given in which to place a behavior, action or feature of a person or people, misinterpretation and cultural prejudices of the person asking raise their unfortunate heads.​

    This is the reason both should be used, so that one balances the other. Just my 2p. ;)
     
  17. Ellsbeth
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    Ellsbeth Member

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    watch the indigenous channel on tv :)
     
  18. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    "Where the Green Ants Dream" synopsis.
     

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