1. TheDarkWriter
    Offline

    TheDarkWriter Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    11

    Is this too controversial?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by TheDarkWriter, Jul 17, 2016.

    I am thinking about introducing a terrorist group as my main antagonist. They are pretty much like ISIS (and in the story have their origins tied to ISIS and other groups) basically they plot attacks in Western Countries. A lot of what they do is based on real life events. I worry for obvious reasons this will not go over well with readers. My other concern is the portrayal a lot of members of this group are well when I created the group I drew inspiration from Marvel's Hydra and GI Joe's Cobra that being said I don't want to glorify the group in any shape or form. Is this too controversial?
     
  2. Dawnpool93
    Offline

    Dawnpool93 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    The cold dark place of bitter uncertainty
    In my opinion, you shouldn't really worry about controversy in your writing. If you want to write about a terrorist group, then write about a terrorist group. Heck, we probably could use a story about one with sympathetic characters, it would be a good way of looking at this problem with another perspective. My one suggestion is if you do end up writing this, be sure to do A LOT of research. A topic like that could easily turn into a really bad insult if written the wrong way.
     
  3. izzybot
    Offline

    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    865
    Likes Received:
    956
    Location:
    SC, USA
    I don't know about controversial, but mimicking recent real life tragedies could certainly come across as tacky and insensitive.

    It's a divisive sort of thing. If you've read threads on here about other, similar issues, you know that some people will tell you to tread carefully with something like this, while others be of the opinion that you can write whatever you want - which is true. If you understand that some people won't like it and you're prepared to deal with that, go for it.

    Personally, I'd say using a fictional terrorist group as a villain is fine. I do it myself. Using a fictional terrorist group that you've tied to a real one is sketchy. If the group is inspired by Hydra and Cobra, draw off of that more than off of ISIS.
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  4. Tomlan
    Offline

    Tomlan Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2016
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    10
    Controversy just means likely to cause mass discussion. Which as a writer I think it's a necessary thing. You don't have to be insensitive to the current events surrounding this topic, but writing about it from the other perspective should certainly not be a taboo. In a lot of cases it can be refreshing to read something from the other side of things, it gives us an insight that we would rarely otherwise get.
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  5. Mckk
    Offline

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    I'd be careful if you were to do any research for this on the internet. Not sure if this still happens, but years ago when I was still at university (so some time between 2005-2009) there was a case of a PhD student writing his thesis on terrorist groups and the police arrested him on suspicion of terrorism, all because he was researching :unsure:

    ETA: found the article. Seems it was a masters student. https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/research-into-islamic-terrorism-led-to-police-response/402125.article

    And a more detailed wiki page into the incident: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nottingham_Two
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2016
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  6. Simpson17866
    Offline

    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,744
    Likes Received:
    1,290
    So I'm guessing that all of my research into bank robbery, the weight of body parts (hands, arms, legs...), and Jazz music isn't going to look so good?
     
    Mckk, Oscar Leigh and Iain Aschendale like this.
  7. Iain Aschendale
    Offline

    Iain Aschendale Contributed Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2015
    Messages:
    1,021
    Likes Received:
    1,005
    Location:
    The Hopton Stoddard Home
    Didn't Tom Clancy drop a nuke on Washington, DC at some point? And then there's 24, which wasn't to my taste, but I think that the basic terrorism concept is so far into "OK" that it may have been done to death. No pun intended.
     
    Oscar Leigh and Simpson17866 like this.
  8. Simpson17866
    Offline

    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,744
    Likes Received:
    1,290
    Here's a life tip for everyone: whenever you find yourself tempted to say "no pun intended," just say "pun intended" already.
     
    Iain Aschendale and Oscar Leigh like this.
  9. Oscar Leigh
    Offline

    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2016
    Messages:
    4,425
    Likes Received:
    1,982
    Location:
    Australia
    Depicting terrorism is not controversial. If anything, it's mainstream. What could the American government like more than more media depicting their favourite enemy? The perfect distraction from their issues, the perfect thing to distract from their previous actions in the middle east? Now, trying to really take the character's sympathetically, as true-believers fighting for what they believe, could be. And too much historical relevance could be deemed insensitive to terrorism victims. But doing terrorists is not at all going to be a problem by itself.
     
    Simpson17866 likes this.
  10. Oscar Leigh
    Offline

    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2016
    Messages:
    4,425
    Likes Received:
    1,982
    Location:
    Australia
    .

    Look Marvel did it. They went pretty far into the elements of other terrorists that are the inspiration for this version of the character. It's really not a problem. And yes, I really like Ben Kingsley in that role. :superagree:
    (WARNING: Contains some small spoilers)
     

Share This Page