1. VegasGeorge
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    VegasGeorge Member

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    Personal Revelation

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by VegasGeorge, May 16, 2011.

    I would like to write fiction about current political and social issues. But I'm hesitant to reveal too much about myself in my characters and story. Where do you think an author should draw the line when it comes to expressing his or her personal views in a fictional story? Or is that something that an author shouldn't be worried about at all?
     
  2. Norule
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    Norule Member

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    I would just write. Everything I write has alot of my anti-social, anti-establishment type of thinking :)
     
  3. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    Put the story first, and only express your views if it fits in naturally. It's very, very easy to let the political message ruin the storytelling.

    Don't use your characters as mouthpieces for your own opinions. Make their opinions a result of their own experiences and knowledge. Use the characters to show the reader how different experiences can make people arrive at different conclusions (even if you ulimately only sympathise with some of them).

    Express your views through the story and circumstances, not through character speeches. (This is a corollary of "show, don't tell")

    Don't tell the reader what to think, but let them arrive at their own conclusions. Most readers will see through it if you make the proponent of your own views virtuous and heroic, and the proponent of the opposite views a baby-eating, snivelling coward. Be fair to your opponents.
     
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  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's not something writers should worry about... write whatever you feel you need to write, or whatever needs to be written... who's going to know if any of it is 'you' anyway, since it's fiction!?
     
  5. JeffS65
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    JeffS65 Contributing Member

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    Key. The story has be compelling. It has to be of human interest. Politics in a story will never be about politics itself. However, politics ideology does create actions that tell a story so it needs to be wrapped within what is evolving in peoples lives.

    Someone said to avoid being preachy. Yes. True. While I am somewhat of a political junky, most people are not. Granted, those that would read a story that involves politics are more predisposed to politics.

    Whatever you do, do not 'caricature' an opposing viewpoint. Politics itself is more complex than that and people will see it. Additionally, it will make for a more complex/interesting story.
     
  6. Jonp
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    Jonp Senior Member

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    I think it's tricky. Even when you're not voicing your opinion in your work, (some) people will draw conclusions about you based on it- whether it be true or not.

    Example: I recently had an argument with a friend who said I have a bad attitude towards women, based on the fact that one of my characters used some less-than-savoury language in regards to a women. Completely overlooking the fact that the character is established as a jerk and that my main character is a strong, independent woman.

    I guess my point is that regardless of what you write, whether it be based on your own beliefs or purely fiction, people may read far too much into it and make assumptions about you as a person.

    The best thing to do is write what you like, how you like. If you're concerned that your writing feels preachy in places, then it may be best to go back and re-evaluate that part and make sure you provide a fair, balanced view (i.e. not the virtuous, pure paragon who believes in what you do versus the evil, twisted monster who believed the opposite) which is true to the characters and their motivations.
     

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