Being a Better Writer: Imagery and Metaphor

Reaching the end of Topic List XI folks! Only a few more to go! But before we go diving into today’s Being a Better Writer post, a few bits of news to take care of.

So, the weekend sale and the dearth of sales before it. According to a comment left on the original post, I’m not the only author who saw a sudden drop around that time, so Unusual Events’ involvement may have been a coincidence, the drop being something larger sweeping through the book world. School year starting? Something else? I don’t know. But it appears it wasn’t just me that felt it.

Thankfully, the weekend sale seems to have done pretty well, with Colony and Shadow of an Empire selling a good number of copies. Hopefully the momentum gained carries on through now that the sale is over and keeps it back at what it was before things took a swift downward dive, but if nothing else there was a weekend of good sales numbers that hopefully leaves some happy readers craving more.

So, that’s the news so … Oh wait, there’s one more thing. Someone did ask my opinion on the Fantastic Beasts Nagini “controversy” and if I was going to do a post on it. A full post? For something so ridiculous? No. But I can address it in a paragraph or two.

The gist of it? The newest trailer for Fantastic Beasts 2 revealed that Nagini, the pet snake of the big bad in the original Harry Potter series, may in fact be a Naga, and is a character in the new Fantastic Beasts film. Well, almost immediately after this reveal, the film (and Rowling) came under attack for casting an Asian actress as the character, saying that it was accusing all Asians of being reptiles, etc etc. The usual stupid, easily-offended-but-completely-uneducated-social-justice-virtue-signal stuff.

Rowling’s response was to politely point out that Naga are a southern Asia mythology, hailing from that culture, so in addition to the actress’ talent at the role, it was an accurate choice given the myths, legends, and source of Naga. Now, with sane, rational people who aren’t just looking to jump on the latest bandwagon of “look what makes me so woke” things would have stopped there. But they didn’t. Instead the attacks immediately changed to a variety of secondary “social justice” standbys: Cultural appropriation, Nagini was Voldemort’s pet so clearly this is saying all women are pets to men, etc etc etc.

The lack of logic is truly staggering. It’s perpetually-offended folks wanting to be perpetually offended and doing everything they can to try and take some sort of imaginary “moral high ground” to shame everyone else and gain a measure of power over them. Look at that initial chain of “How dare you have an Asian actress portray this mythological creature” to “That creature’s from that part of the world? Then how dare you ‘appropriate’ that myth!”

It’s a strange “game” these morons want everyone else to give them.

Right, that said, let’s get on to today’s BaBW post and talk a little bit about imagery and metaphor.

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