There seems to be a rather overwhelming agreement here in this forum (at least from those who have voiced an opinion) that a writer should not try to push a message in his/her work. I'm finding this difficult to reconcile with the fact that the great works of any genre and those works that have come to us from ancient times all have very strong messages the writer is clearly trying to "say" to the reader. I've heard from preachy to propaganda in responses here in our little community. Is it just semantics? Are we simply meaning different things when we say don't try to push a message? That I can understand, but if people are meaning a proscription against the level of "sell" in works like LotR, Dune, Oedipus Rex, etc., then I'm at a loss for understanding. The floor is open.