1. Rick n Morty
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    Rick n Morty Active Member

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    Environmental messages

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Rick n Morty, Feb 29, 2016.

    First of all, I'm too lazy to check the whole forum, so I'm sorry if there's already a thread for this. Secondly, I'm sorry if this is the wrong category. If it is, please move it. Anyways...

    Is is possible to get away with an environmental message in a modern work? Usually works with environmental messages end up being really cheesy (Captain Planet and Ferngully come to mind), but there are some surprisingly deep and meaningful environmental works out there. (Like Princess Mononoke.)

    In my story, the main characters are animals, and at one point, they end up in an abusive circus. But animal abuse in circuses wasn't the main moral I was going for; the circus is just another obstacle in their adventure.
     
  2. Feo Takahari
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    Feo Takahari Active Member

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    There are two main problems with a lot of environmentalist messages:

    1): Simplistic and non-actionable. It's easy to agree that pollution is bad, but nobody wants to live in an unheated grass hut. Environmentalist messages often ignore why environmental damage happens in the first place and all the factors that cause it to continue.

    2): Repetitive. Your readers have probably seen a lot of environmentalist messages, and they don't need to see the exact same one as before.

    Animal abuse is relatively actionable (shut down abusive institutions, provide more funding for shelters, spay and neuter stray animals to reduce populations.) It's also a bit of a different message, one that's been done before, but hasn't really been oversaturated. I think you're on safe ground.
     
  3. Rick n Morty
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    Rick n Morty Active Member

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    Yeah, the only major film I can think of that dealt with animal abuse in circuses was Dumbo, but that wasn't really focused on too much.
     
  4. NeighborVoid
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    NeighborVoid Active Member

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    The key to making a message more subtle is to hide it behind proxy elements - things like geopolitical conflicts and economic collapse.

    For example, you could write about resource wars that stem from an environmental problem.
     
  5. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    The piece I'm working on is set during the last few years before total environmental collapse due to climate change. However, while those themes are presented throughout the story, it's only the setting of the world not the plot of the story. So while my story shows people what things may be like because of climate change I'm trying not to beat them over the head with the cliche climate change is bad message.
     
  6. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    "Water For Elephants" is basically about animal abuse in a circus. It has other things going on as well, but it is a decent flick despite having Robert Pattinson in it.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1067583/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_14

     

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