Shoptalk about YA literary trends brought a possible Tween Hobocore genera, which lead to the joking idea of mashing up Twilight and Hobos. Ha-ha-ha…Sparkle Hobos.
“Wait.” My brain kicked into gear, “What if we took out vampires and put in Irish Travellers or Romani?” “Yeah!” said my other brain. “Cheap and easy, we cut and paste out the word vampire and put in Traveller, add some conflict about moving on and we’re Golden.” Visions of the YA moneytruck backing up to the house filled my brain.
Then it happened.
I recalled Wendy Xu’s wonderful deconstruction of the book Eleanor and Park. In the review, she points out that taking a culture and Othering it (making it exotic and different from your own) is dehumanizing. People as prop. Minstrelity
I wasn’t truly connected to the Hobo Twilight idea. It was more a blatant idle cashgrab. That I set it back down isn’t notable,. What is worthy of though,t is how damned easy laziness can lead to places of oppression, erasure, and caricature .
If I were connected to my book idea, I suspect I would be hard-pressed to abandon it, and see the unfortunate implications in it. It would be a willful sort of blindness.
The takeaway is, if you are writing about people outside of yourself, consider if you are writing about the people, or writing your idea of the people. Get out there, learn but more important Think!