Saturday, August 11, 2012

Writing in Ethnicity - Art of Plugging Away

Now, because I'm working on this new short story, have I abandoned the dog historical drama?
Perish the thought!

I've spent the better part of over two years working on this story, and much of my life from 6th grade summer school trying to figure out how to write it!

Now that I have 13 filled journals and a stockpile of empty ones, as well as time and money put into purchasing a reference LIBRARY alone for this novel, there is NO WAY.

Just this week, an employee of mine asked, while we lunched together, if with this story, what kind of dog breeds I use for the different ethnic groups, and I remember a young friend asked a similar question.

The young friend feared that I, even using non-human characters, would settle into stereotypes.
Because societal viewpoints are constantly on my mind as a creative type, I often want to go against the grain.

I don't appreciate when others take the easy way. I strive to make stories that I know I would read, that I would prefer watching.

I assured my young friend then, and my employee this week, that I use not only breeds indigenous to a region/country/nation, but I work on creating an individual first.

Also, because it's New York, have numerous mix-bred dogs (I just love mutts! Both cats and dogs!).

Consequentially, history reveals that organized crime had people of many ethnicities working together for the common bad! Though the Italian mob is more widely known, serialized, idolized, satirized and mythologized, it was NOT the established mob of the U.S.

This distinction actually went to the Irish, who, when the exodus of Southern Italians came to American shores, ran up against a brick wall: the Irish, in earlier years, harassed, oppressed, and racially held back, had established themselves in parts of American society where other Americans, who were called 'Nativists' then, couldn't touch: in politics, the police, and an in-grained infrastructure within the underworld.

By the '30s, the ethnic groups who were controlling most of organized crime weren't just the Irish and the Italians. There were the Jews, the Germans, the Polish, and the Blacks!
There is much of what I assumed, that has fallen apart since I began this story anew. I hope to see it through and let it open eyes as it has opened mine.

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