Sensitivity Readers - Page 6


Page 6 of 21 FirstFirst 123456789101112131416 ... LastLast
Results 51 to 60 of 210

Thread: Sensitivity Readers

  1. #51
    Member Guard Dog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Anywhere but here.
    Posts
    1,500
    Quote Originally Posted by Terry D View Post
    Probably the same way you would vet a 'Technical Adviser', or a proof reader, or a paid editor. Any paid resource is an open season for potential fraud.
    The difference being a Technical Adviser is much more likely to be along the lines of a historian or other "professional" with a verifiable background, area of study, or other training, where almost any yo-yo with the proper colored skin, ethnicity, or other semi-verifiable trait can claim to be a "professional sensitivity reader".

    Hell, can you imagine the trouble Ironpony could get into if he hired a "sensitivity reader" for his screenplay?

    It just don't bear thinkin' about...



    G.D.
    Leave it be and it won't bother you.
    Screw with it, and it'll eat you alive.

    Soon enough, nations will play second fiddle to corporations.

    "The world is not what we wish it to be; it is what it is."
    "Freedom is the value, not protection."

  2. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by Guard Dog View Post
    The difference being a Technical Adviser is much more likely to be along the lines of a historian or other "professional" with a verifiable background, area of study, or other training, where almost any yo-yo with the proper colored skin, ethnicity, or other semi-verifiable trait can claim to be a "professional sensitivity reader".

    Hell, can you imagine the trouble Ironpony could get into if he hired a "sensitivity reader" for his screenplay?

    It just don't bear thinkin' about...



    G.D.
    I really can't say, because I don't know any professional sensitivity readers and have no idea what qualifications they offer. Do you? If not, then you are simply speculating based on your own bias. It's easy to guess what 'could' be, but it's just as easy to speculate that some wanna-be mercenary with a subscription to Soldier of Fortune could try to pass himself off as a technical adviser.

    Since the stated purpose -- as far as I've seen in this thread -- for sensitivity readers is to offer opinions on the cultural accuracy of a book, the background and training you mention as prerequisites for a technical adviser would come through that person's immersion in that culture. I'd be tempted to let the author who is considering using such an adviser determine whether those 'qualifications' suit the needs of their particular book.

    I think 'Sensitivity Reader' is an unfortunate label for a potentially useful service. It's obvious from the reactions in this thread that the title triggers knee-jerk reactions. In the spirit of full disclosure, my first reaction to the idea of sensitivity readers (a term I'd not heard before this thread) was, "Oh, hell no! I don't need someone else telling me what I can and cannot write." But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that if I'm going to expand my writing very far beyond my own experiences I'm going to run the risk of making mistakes that will make me look like an idiot. And I don't like looking like an idiot. To avoid that I have two choices: First is to not stray far from what I know well (and where's the fun in that?) Or, I can do whatever it takes to learn about the cultures I choose to write about. Now, I've never used a sensitivity reader and don't know if I ever will, but I think they might be a good resource (not a sole resource) for fact-checking novels in terms of culture. Hell, I'd like it if writers better represented my culture. If they did, there would be fewer books where most of the old, white, heterosexuals are portrayed as bigoted homophobes, and where people from the Midwest are unsophisticated, rubes.

    There are a number of types of editors I can hire to work on my book; proof readers, content editors, line editors, etc. Each targets a specific area of the manuscript. That's all sensitivity reading is, just a targeted form of beta-reading. Nothing to get my knickers in a twist about.
    “Fools” said I, “You do not know
    Silence like a cancer grows
    Hear my words that I might teach you
    Take my arms that I might reach you”
    But my words like silent raindrops fell
    And echoed in the wells of silence : Simon & Garfunkel


    Those who enjoy stirring the chamber-pot should be required to lick the spoon.

    Our job as writers is to make readers dream, to infiltrate their minds with our words and create a new reality; a reality not theirs, and not ours, but a new, unique combination of both.

    Visit Amazon and the Kindle Store to check out Reflections in a Black Mirror, and Chase

    Hidden Content






  3. #53
    Sensitivity Reader (SR): "I've finished my review of your novel."

    Author: "Great! What do you think?"

    (SR): "It's a great and substantial read, with wonderful descriptions and a thrilling story…"

    Author: "Yes! Yes! I'm quite happy with it."

    (SR): "…but in reading I found several passages and at least one major character very problematic."

    Author: "Oh? Do tell!"

    (SR): "Well, Mr. Twain…"


    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Graphic Design. Illustration. Happy Dogs.
    Hidden Content

  4. #54
    Member Guard Dog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Anywhere but here.
    Posts
    1,500
    Quote Originally Posted by Terry D View Post
    I really can't say, because I don't know any professional sensitivity readers and have no idea what qualifications they offer. Do you? If not, then you are simply speculating based on your own bias. It's easy to guess what 'could' be, but it's just as easy to speculate that some wanna-be mercenary with a subscription to Soldier of Fortune could try to pass himself off as a technical adviser.
    Okay, first off... Fuck that. I could very easily work as an advisor in some capacity, concerning the Vietnam war, due to the fact I've spent a great deal of time speaking with veterans of that conflict ( one in particular ), not due to my own military experience, or the magazines I bought and read for entertainment and informational value.

    Speaking as someone who used to read that very magazine, with no interest in becoming any sort of mercenary, you've just shown your own bias, with your own words and choice of reference material.

    Second, you're also showing your own bias very clearly in using that not only as a reference in your comment and opinion, and using it as support for those, but as something factually correct as well. Which it is not.

    Thirdly, all of this is a matter of opinion, with nothing more than the "majority" to corroborate it, which we also do not have here.

    So, all we have is speculation and both your and my opinion and bias.

    So what? hardly enough to form a consensus, is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry D View Post
    Since the stated purpose -- as far as I've seen in this thread -- for sensitivity readers is to offer opinions on the cultural accuracy of a book, the background and training you mention as prerequisites for a technical adviser would come through that person's immersion in that culture. I'd be tempted to let the author who is considering using such an adviser determine whether those 'qualifications' suit the needs of their particular book.
    A person who's qualifications would come from having studied ALL of that culture, in the case of someone studying it in it's entirety ( as in a technical adviser who specializes in that particular culture. ), not just a very specific portion of it, which is what you actually get from someone who lived through some portion of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry D View Post
    I think 'Sensitivity Reader' is an unfortunate label for a potentially useful service. It's obvious from the reactions in this thread that the title triggers knee-jerk reactions. In the spirit of full disclosure, my first reaction to the idea of sensitivity readers (a term I'd not heard before this thread) was, "Oh, hell no! I don't need someone else telling me what I can and cannot write." But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that if I'm going to expand my writing very far beyond my own experiences I'm going to run the risk of making mistakes that will make me look like an idiot. And I don't like looking like an idiot. To avoid that I have two choices: First is to not stray far from what I know well (and where's the fun in that?) Or, I can do whatever it takes to learn about the cultures I choose to write about. Now, I've never used a sensitivity reader and don't know if I ever will, but I think they might be a good resource (not a sole resource) for fact-checking novels in terms of culture. Hell, I'd like it if writers better represented my culture. If they did, there would be fewer books where most of the old, white, heterosexuals are portrayed as bigoted homophobes, and where people from the Midwest are unsophisticated, rubes.
    I agree, for the most part. But would also point out that 'stereotypes' exist because of the truth they represent, not the factual whole of the story, or person(s) they describe.
    Believe me, living and coming from where I do, I know why certain stereotypes exist, seeing the truth they present on a daily basis.
    That doesen't mean I'm a part of that reality though, nor does my existence make it false.
    Also, I'm vividly aware that some 'facts' are more factual than others. ( People lie to suit themselves, after all. )

    So... what's your real interest? Telling a story, telling a factual story, that has no more mistruths in it than absolutely necessary, or making money?

    That will determine which way a person wants to go, and the actual value of a 'Sensitivity Reader'.

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry D View Post
    There are a number of types of editors I can hire to work on my book; proof readers, content editors, line editors, etc. Each targets a specific area of the manuscript. That's all sensitivity reading is, just a targeted form of beta-reading. Nothing to get my knickers in a twist about.
    30 or 40 years ago, I probably would have agreed with you.
    Today though, I'm not so sure I can, or am willing to risk.
    I'm quite sure these 'Sensitivity Readers' have an entire other purpose. One that wasn't needed a while back, nor should be needed today, if people were... less sensitive... to things that don't really matter, or have any actual impact on their lives, past giving them some imaginary importance, or sense of actually mattering, in the grand scheme of things. Whatever the hell THAT might be.

    The fact is, publishers are trying to tailor things to their best, high-dollar market, for their own gain. And if that's a person's interest, and what they choose to get involved with, then someone to guide them in a way that conforms to that is beneficial, if not an outright necessity.

    However, if a person is of a mind just to tell a good story... who needs an advisor? All they need is a good story, and an ability to describe it.

    So in the end, those of us just looking to learn how to tell a story don't need any "sensitivity adviser'.

    And those planning on becoming rich, famous, and someone history will remember are likely just damned delusional fools, with delusions of grandeur.

    Or am I wrong?



    G.D.
    Last edited by Guard Dog; January 14th, 2019 at 08:47 PM.
    Leave it be and it won't bother you.
    Screw with it, and it'll eat you alive.

    Soon enough, nations will play second fiddle to corporations.

    "The world is not what we wish it to be; it is what it is."
    "Freedom is the value, not protection."

  5. #55
    In direct response to the OP because this is the kind of thread which tends to hit peak-idiocy around page 2 or 3.

    I am familiar with sensitivity auditors though I have only come across them in certain types of book - stuff targeted at minors and work in which the subject matter is sensitive (books set in the Deep South during Jim Crow, for instance) and therefore any misunderstandings could be damaging.

    It would not surprise me to hear of growing usage of them these days. I don't know why anybody would look at it as anything beyond a beta read by somebody who may be qualified to make a specific type of judgement.

    Some audiences you need to be more mindful of this than others. It's common sense and goes along with basic human decency as well as quality assurance: If you are liable to mishandle racial or sexual issues in a book aimed at teenagers, you deserve to fail as an author. Not because of political correctness but because you are mishandling your subject matter, no different than if you are writing about planes in ignorance of aerodynamics.

    I know of zero cases, zero, of this stuff resulting in actual censorship or anything similar. There is a massive difference between a private company (publisher) mandating a certain treatment of subject matter in books printed in their name and the Orwellian Police State and anybody who believes in the "slippery slope" is nothing but a snake oil seller trying to inject alt-right politics into literature.

    Pretty much the same people who disparage sensitivity training are the reason it exists in the first place.

  6. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by sigmadog View Post
    Sensitivity Reader (SR): "I've finished my review of your novel."

    Author: "Great! What do you think?"

    (SR): "It's a great and substantial read, with wonderful descriptions and a thrilling story…"

    Author: "Yes! Yes! I'm quite happy with it."

    (SR): "…but in reading I found several passages and at least one major character very problematic."

    Author: "Oh? Do tell!"

    (SR): "Well, Mr. Twain…"
    Ah yes, the old "people from two centuries ago didn't need it so why do I?" argument, as beloved by mental health critics, racial dog-whistlers, and anti-vaccination mothers worldwide.

  7. #57
    Member Guard Dog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Anywhere but here.
    Posts
    1,500
    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post
    Pretty much the same people who disparage sensitivity training are the reason it exists in the first place.


    Hey, Luckyscars... would you believe that I've not only been through several of the State of Tennessee's "Sensitivity Training" classes, but was also one of the instructor's ( a woman ) favorite attendees?

    ( Yes, she and I both believe(d) the classes are a load of crap, and serve no real purpose other than the political. )

    I've never been accused or suspected of sexual harassment, or racial insensitivity, despite having worked in a variety of environments and having ended up with 3 wives I first met in the workplace. And I've NEVER conducted myself in any manner that isn't "me", and the same as you'll see in evidence around these forums.

    So yeah, I will stand by the statement that "sensitivity classes" are a load of bullshit, and that anyone with even the slightest amount of good sense does not need them. And also, that they are of absolutely no use, or of any good, where those who are actually the problem are concerned. ( Usually the people who are the highest up the "ladder", and can 'bury' anything they don't want discovered or known. )



    G.D.
    Leave it be and it won't bother you.
    Screw with it, and it'll eat you alive.

    Soon enough, nations will play second fiddle to corporations.

    "The world is not what we wish it to be; it is what it is."
    "Freedom is the value, not protection."

  8. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by Guard Dog View Post
    Okay, first off... Fuck that. I could very easily work as an advisor in some capacity, concerning the Vietnam war, due to the fact I've spent a great deal of time speaking with veterans of that conflict ( one in particular ), not due to my own military experience, or the magazines I bought and read for entertainment and informational value.

    Speaking as someone who used to read that very magazine, with no interest in becoming any sort of mercenary, you've just shown your own bias, with your own words and choice of reference material.

    Second, you're also showing your own bias very clearly in using that not only as a reference in your comment and opinion, and using it as support for those, but as something factually correct as well. Which it is not.
    So, in my haste to reply to your comments I drew on a stereotype which didn't accurately reflect the culture I was representing? And it pissed you off a bit? Funny how that happens even with the best of intentions (and I wasn't trying to piss anyone off). Cultural appropriation and misrepresentation is quite subjective isn't it? It always seems more egregious when it's one's own culture being misrepresented.

    Thirdly, all of this is a matter of opinion, with nothing more than the "majority" to corroborate it, which we also do not have here.

    So, all we have is speculation and both your and my opinion and bias.

    So what? hardly enough to form a consensus, is it?
    I'm not really interested in coming to a consensus. I don't care if anyone uses a sensitivity reader or not. My entire point has been that I can see why some authors would choose to do so, and that in searching for cultural accuracy, one could be of use.

    A person who's qualifications would come from having studied ALL of that culture, in the case of someone studying it in it's entirety ( as in a technical adviser who specializes in that particular culture. ), not just a very specific portion of it, which is what you actually get from someone who lived through some portion of it.
    That seems to be a pretty good definition of what a sensitivity reader would be... for you. As I said, the determination resides with the author.


    So... what's your real interest? Telling a story, telling a factual story, that has no more mistruths in it than absolutely necessary, or making money?

    That will determine which way a person wants to go, and the actual value of a 'Sensitivity Reader'.
    At least we agree that some people can find value in running a book past a sensitivity reader.

    30 or 40 years ago, I probably would have agreed with you.
    Today though, I'm not so sure I can, or am willing to risk.
    I'm quite sure these 'Sensitivity Readers' have an entire other purpose. One that wasn't needed a while back, nor should be needed today, if people were... less sensitive... to things that don't really matter, or have any actual impact on their lives, past giving them some imaginary importance, or sense of actually mattering, in the grand scheme of things. Whatever the hell THAT might be.

    The fact is, publishers are trying to tailor things to their best, high-dollar market, for their own gain. And if that's a person's interest, and what they choose to get involved with, then someone to guide them in a way that conforms to that is beneficial, if not an outright necessity.

    However, if a person is of a mind just to tell a good story... who needs an advisor? All they need is a good story, and an ability to describe it.

    So in the end, those of us just looking to learn how to tell a story don't need any "sensitivity adviser'.

    And those planning on becoming rich, famous, and someone history will remember are likely just damned delusional fools, with delusions of grandeur.

    Or am I wrong?

    G.D.
    You are a smarter man than I if you can be sure of the motivations of total strangers, but you are welcome to that opinion. Like I've said, use one or not, I don't care either way. I'd judge the book on its merits, not whether the author used any sort of advisory help of any kind.

    I do know, however, that what might not matter to you (just as using a stereotype of readers of Soldier of Fortune didn't really matter to me) can matter to other people. Yes, publishers want to make money and in the current economic/political climate they know the risks of choosing poorly. Some writers would like to get their books published, even some who frequent these message boards. I don't blame them if they want to approach writing as a business and tailor their work to the constraints of their target markets. That's not a bad thing. The hobby writers among us, or those of us just trying to develop our voices and our story-telling techniques certainly don't need to run every story through any sort of filter. I never suggested otherwise.

    I'm not sure what the aspirations -- realistic or not -- of members here has to do with the validity of using sensitivity readers as a resource. That's an individual choice, but I can tell you that there are many published writers on these boards. Some who make their living by writing. One of those has even responded to this thread in support of sensitivity readers.

    Look, no one is trying to tell you to go out and hire a sensitivity reader for your work. No one really cares what you or I do to get our books written.
    “Fools” said I, “You do not know
    Silence like a cancer grows
    Hear my words that I might teach you
    Take my arms that I might reach you”
    But my words like silent raindrops fell
    And echoed in the wells of silence : Simon & Garfunkel


    Those who enjoy stirring the chamber-pot should be required to lick the spoon.

    Our job as writers is to make readers dream, to infiltrate their minds with our words and create a new reality; a reality not theirs, and not ours, but a new, unique combination of both.

    Visit Amazon and the Kindle Store to check out Reflections in a Black Mirror, and Chase

    Hidden Content






  9. #59
    Anyone here can easilly look up Twain and his 'sensitivity'. Maybe some kids are too unsophisticated or are just not developed enough but the anti-racism and poignant portrait of how things were for minorities- the utter unfairness of it - was and is obvious to many. Others ( adults) on the other hand, just don't get it, and think he is (was) somehow in support of bigotry, racism, injustice. Someone should explain it to them.
    Last edited by Kevin; January 15th, 2019 at 03:12 PM.

  10. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by Guard Dog View Post
    Hey, Luckyscars... would you believe that I've not only been through several of the State of Tennessee's "Sensitivity Training" classes, but was also one of the instructor's ( a woman ) favorite attendees?

    ( Yes, she and I both believe(d) the classes are a load of crap, and serve no real purpose other than the political. )

    I've never been accused or suspected of sexual harassment, or racial insensitivity, despite having worked in a variety of environments and having ended up with 3 wives I first met in the workplace. And I've NEVER conducted myself in any manner that isn't "me", and the same as you'll see in evidence around these forums.

    So yeah, I will stand by the statement that "sensitivity classes" are a load of bullshit, and that anyone with even the slightest amount of good sense does not need them. And also, that they are of absolutely no use, or of any good, where those who are actually the problem are concerned. ( Usually the people who are the highest up the "ladder", and can 'bury' anything they don't want discovered or known. )



    G.D.
    Ah yes, the “I am not sexist/racist because women/minorities like me” argument, as beloved by...well never mind...

    Look lad, my comment was not targeted at you okay? As I mentioned I had not read the steaming pile of vitriol that has I am sure (still not reading it) been spewed in this post to know where you or anybody else stands. I don’t care. I was addressing the OP.

    I gave my reasons and my point of view and I stand by it. I don’t care to debate the character of people I do not know. The fact you are apparently worked up about something that has, you claim, not impacted you one jot says more than any length of internet argument could.

    Let’s leave it there. Peace.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
This website uses cookies
We use cookies to store session information to facilitate remembering your login information, to allow you to save website preferences, to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.