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I actually have this in mind a lot when I write. I think that the socio-economic circumstances of a character determine part of the action just like in real life. And it gives the character a set of problems. For the type of fiction I write, wealth gaps are a useful tool to give a more complete picture of how climate change will affect everyone. And income can take any form, from money, to seeds, to access to water.

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So important with climate change! That's a great connection. And also relatedly, the way people do tourism and travel.

Thanks a lot for your comment, Claudia.

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Yes, that’s another one. This brings me to other stuff, such as hunter gatherers with a highly mobile lifestyle. Apparently they had to know the flora and fauna of an area as big as 250,000 km2 to survive. And here we are today glued to our chairs. We need to move more but how to travel without doing harm?

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Oh yes yes. And maybe the answer is more local travel ON FOOT. I’m aiming to travel a lot less in the near future as we settle down near my inlaws. It’s difficult because of course travel opens up worlds of culture and international exchange but then most of my travel now is by train or foot or ski (!!) in Switzerland and I learn a lot about the work that way, too. Different stuff of course! It was similar in Austria.

You give us a lot to think about! Thank you ☺️

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*world not work 🙄

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Nov 30, 2023·edited Nov 30, 2023Liked by Dr. Kathleen Waller

Really good, Claudia. It's something I don't give enough conscious thought to, I feel/worry. But Kate's post (and your comment) raise my awareness more and I'm certainly going to be giving it more thought moving forward.

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I think that these are everyday issues that readers will find relatable. Income gaps are a huge stressor in our society. I love getting inspired by real life when writing fiction. You do that as well. Your focus is on relationships. Money of the lack of can influence the dynamic in a relationship.

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Nov 30, 2023Liked by Dr. Kathleen Waller

Definitely. I've been thinking about how this might differ in writing fantasy vs scifi and it's perhaps easier for me in the latter to bring in some aspects of economics and income gaps etc, both explicitly and implicitly.

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I think it works in both. Think of Cinderella.

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Nov 30, 2023Liked by Dr. Kathleen Waller

To***

Dammit why can't I edit on the app 🙄

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Nov 30, 2023Liked by Dr. Kathleen Waller

Income/wealth gap - a perennial source of conflict! I used this in my novel when my MC has an affair with a building manager, with a twist - the MC is young, gay and broke, but white and English-speaking; his lover is a bit older, gay but socially closeted and Spanish speaking only. The "potential" embodied in my MC's white privilege becomes another source of conflict in the plot, while the limitations imposed on the lover lead him to ever deeper dejection. A contempoary upstairs/downstairs tale. :)

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Oh yeah, that's really interesting. Wealth/income + age/culture/dominant language/etc. I think it's compelling to look at those crossroads and the norms or the subverted structures. Thanks Troy; love the interpretation. 🤓

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Nov 30, 2023Liked by Dr. Kathleen Waller

This is so good. I am writing a piece at the min and was thinking about how to show the ‘money’ of the time. You mentioning newspapers this morning (when I listened) nudged me in the right direction. Thank you.

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Aw that’s so great to hear, Jon! Hope to get a chance to read your fiction soon... 😁

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A bit behind in listening, but thank you again for another solid episode! I am fully on board with your position that writers can (or maybe must or need to) recognize the construction of class as points of friction and conflict, both internally and during interactions, as a key theme to bolster the exposition. Class differences are ubiquitous in day-to-day life globally, not just in western society. If writers are missing the opportunity to "show" cultural, economic, and political tensions in the development of characters and the plot, the narrative landscape can only appear flat and disingenuous in my opinion. I also really appreciate that you note you don't have to whack the reader with an ideological hammer, but rather writers should reveal the constructs in the minute details (clothing, mannerisms, etc.) in order to represent the way characters "experience their reality" and to foreshadow the conflict at class borders.

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Thanks a lot, Brian. Appreciate your feedback. I think there are some fictions that will push an economic agenda more and that’s great but it’s good to hear this idea of subtle yet important layering of economic / class situations can also work.

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Nov 30, 2023Liked by Dr. Kathleen Waller

Thanks, that’s kind. It’s great to hear your pieces and apply them, they really are ace.

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And thank YOU. ☺️

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