15.40: Researching for Writing the Other

Your Hosts: Piper, Dan, and Tempest, with special guests Nisi Shawl and Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Writing stories which feature people who are not like you is, in a word, difficult. In another word? Fraught. But good writers do difficult things, and in this episode Nisi Shawl and Silvia Moreno-Garcia join us to discuss how research can make “writing the other” less difficult, and perhaps even less fraught.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Ross Smith, and mastered by Alex Jackson.



Find news article or clipping from before 1980 as part of your research into something that interests you.

Gods of Jade and Shadow, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

5 thoughts on “15.40: Researching for Writing the Other”

  1. I wrote a novel about a modern-day fishing slavery in Ghana with all Ghanaian characters. Sort of like an Uncle Tom’s Cabin way of raising awareness. I’m a white guy from Texas. So, from my four trips there and lots of interviews I had it mostly right. The most important piece to all this was Ghanaian beta readers. They’re the ones I trusted to ensure I had this right. It’s called The Fisher Boy and traditionally published with a Ghanaian publisher.

  2. A quintet? That’s right, Piper, Dan, Tempest, Sylvia Moreno-Garcia, and Nisi Shawl rambled through the bibliographies, sources, and other researches needed for writing the other. Mayan mythology, the Congo, libraries, ethnic festivals — all kinds of research, and they talk about their experiences and where you can go. The transcript is available now in the archives.

  3. I’m an Egyptologist in case you need a reader!
    Loved the footnotes/bibliography bread crumb trail description, it’s something too few people know how to do.

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