Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I've Got Issues.

I'm not talking about the whole fear of clowns or other things only to be addressed by licensed professionals. I'm talking about the views and causes that manage to creep into the things we write.

I'm not a fan bait and switch. If the dust jacket says I get to read about laser-blasting alien hordes, I don't want to be beaten over the head about anti-industrial policies. I just want to blast aliens! If I want serious, I'll read serious.

Most of the time, I make a conscious effort to leave the politics at the door of my theoretical office. I think I tend to do a good job. The main thing that ends up in the stories I write is the universal idea of being a decent human being for the sake of being decent. Mainly because I can't stand douchebags, and I need an outlet for the irritation that won't require a trip through the legal system. :)

The book that I'm editing and second-drafting, however, has taken my usual habit of "no politics" and run like it's being chased by a pack of wild dogs. I have weird religious themes (that may or may not inspire picketers). The government doesn't fare too well in the piece (which I hope doesn't get my taxes raised). And society goes to hell in a handbasket (oops).

It's probably the muse getting back at me for starting the project from a snarky place.

I think that my main concern is becoming heavy-handed with the opinions that do make it into my work. I want to tell a story, not condescend to my readers. I want to be fair, even with things I don't particularly hold in a favorable view.

Is that weird?


  1. Not weird at all. That's what editing is for. You obviously know when you are doing it so it shouldn't be too difficult of a task red lining it out.

  2. Sounds like a fun project! You can always tone it down in rewrites, but I think the bigger question is why stories with a point, political or otherwise, are suddenly out of fashion?

    Didn't a moral or a social commentary used to be a GOOD thing? Now, as one critic told me, it's all "put the message aside and just tell a good story."
    Okay, maybe in a video game I can see that, but I like my fiction with a point. Classic science fiction embodied social commentary.
    But my story about corporate greed and alien races, should have just been about shooting and sex? Or Avatar which is about environmental connectedness and exploitation (really, not actually about the race/alien thing) gets trashed for being to "preachy."

    Once upon a time fiction came from the mythical standpoint of teaching through story....

    Now, it just better have explosions and breasts.

    (am I feeling snarky too?--must be contagious)
    Really, just write the book that needs to be written.


  3. Ack, I need to check back more often than I do.

    I love messages, and most of the stuff that comes through isn't "purposeful" per se. But I've seen things where the story begins to take a back seat to the preachy, and that ruins it for me.