Monday, February 21, 2011

To Pontificate, or Not to Pontificate?

I had a conversation with a writer-friend a few months ago in which I pointed out that there seemed to be pretty clear messages in said writer'friend;s book, and asked if that was because these views were the views held by my writer-friend. And you know what my friend said? My friend said that it didn't matter; that the messages in the book are there because that's what best serves the story. That's profound stuff, guys.

It got me thinking: what if one day, I find myself writing a story that is awesome - but that sends a message that I don't agree with? Do I write it anyway, because it's a damn good story? Or do I discard it, because I don't want to perpetuate a lifestyle/belief system/whatever that I don't agree with? I'm not sure yet, but if my current manuscripts are anything to go by, I don't think I would write it. Then again... My answer might be different in ten years or so.

How about you? What would you do?


  1. this is tricky! because the characters i write are them- not me. so often they will feel differently about something than i do... but there is usually a balancing source- a character or a consequence or something that presents the opposite viewpoint (conversely this happens when the character agrees with me too)....
    i'm a little convoluted this morning! :P pretty much i try to present several sides of an issue- and let the reader decide what they think. i write YA and i think that teens are so clever they can tell when they are being "preached" to or when an author has an agenda. one of the beautiful things about the teen years is that they are the time that most people individuate into their own belief systems- so, enabling that is what i'm going for... although that was never really a conscious decision. i never thought about it until you asked the question. silly ishta! it's too early to be thinking!

  2. Huh...I never thought about it. Honestly, I can't tell you what I would do at the moment. I'm torn. I guess it would depend on the situation or message. Interesting. Stop making me think so hard on Mondays ;)

  3. For me, it would depend on the message. I probably wouldn't think of a story with a message I totally disagreed with or at not enough to write it.

  4. That's a really interesting question. I guess I've always just assumed, like Natalie, that I wouldn't naturally write something that contained a "message" I didn't like... but now you make me wonder about that!

  5. Hmmm, what an interesting idea...I'd go with writing the story, even if it goes against my values/beliefs.