A Warning Sign You’re Suffering From Culture-Blindness

On a lack of action in your story.

I have had two people read “The Slave from the East,” and the general consensus is a mushy sort of “I want to read more, NOW, but I’m filled with incoherent rage, and I’m irritated at you, Victor.”

After some thought, my first beta reader informed me that it’s frustrating because, in his words, “nothing happens for a long time.”

Culture-Blindness: when a writer has been so saturated in classical literature that they have become desensitized to the average reader’s desire for action.

Yeah, I just realized the other day that I should think about making sure things happen in my books.

Culturally-induced Blind Writing:

The caravan stretched down the road like a brilliantly colored snake. The horses and asses were burdened heavily with bags and bundles of goods, and the slaves that walked beside them were covered with dust from the road. The road was a thick ribbon of white dirt here; it stretched behind the caravan like a narrow ribbon, as far as the eye could see. It curved and looped over hills and into the far distance.

Action-oriented Reader-centric Writing:

Sand flew up from the hooves of the horses; the asses grunted in the clouds of white dust, and the heavy bundles strapped over the animals creaked and rustled in the morning sun. The desert shimmered orange and gold on either side of the thick ribbon of white road; the sand stretched around the caravan of slaves like a sea of dry death, brilliant and hot.

Beware intellectual and internalized action; watch out for the warning signs of culture-blindness.

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