I've been working on a YA/adult contemporary fantasy novel for a while and I had some questions about sensitivity reading.
The world featured in the novel is entirely new but it's inspired by ours. Namely, the heroine is coded as Arab (as I am, so I drew her experiences as a queer Arab woman from mine) and her love interest is from a nomadic people inspired by North-Eastern Asian cultures (specifically Korean, but through their travels they absorbed many components of other cultures as well). This people is mostly known for their white hair and their astronomy skills, as well as their vivid godly tales of star gods.
Here is where I have questions.
I have called this people "Dalmeoli" as a placeholder. I suspect that for someone who speaks Korean, it sounds awfully silly since it's just "moon" and 'hair' stuck together. But I can't really tell either and this is where I seek sensitivity reading. Does it sound accurate to you and if not, how could I make it better without being offensive to Korean culture? I was thinking of translating "moon nomads" instead, and I'm open to using the English phrase rather than butcher the Korean language.
The love interest's name is Sora. He is a man, but in Korean, Sora is a feminine name. I am aware of that, but since he is from the nomadic moon people, which absorbed bits of cultures during their travels, I thought it was okay if he was named that way since in Japanese it can be a male name. I am just afraid it would sound weird because his family name is Kim, like his mother's. Does that sound appropriate or is it shocking? Neither he or his mother are the type to bother about gender stuff but I'm mainly asking from a culturally sensitive standpoint. I want to avoid the implication that Asian cultures are a monolith, it's not my intention but if it's what my writing conveys i want to fix that.
To sum it up, my question is: where do I draw the line between artistic freedom, world building, and culturally sensitive representation?
Thank you for reading through this!