Hippogriff's Aerie

Apparitions of Imagination

Blogspotter, Wednesday, May 4th

Over at Bookworm Blues yesterday, Sarah asked if authors should discuss real world issues in their books. This was my response:

“For me, there’s nothing wrong with real world problems, as long as it feels genuine…by that, I mean if as an author I introduce an issue, it should drive the story in a natural way and not be a pulpit that pops up and then disappears.

An example of this would be Mistborn, where the entire story is about a revolt of the peasant class against an oppressive leader, his ministry, and the nobility. This class struggle drives the story – it wouldn’t be as palatable if some character passing through the town saw it, delivered some monologue on righteous ideals or killed a few “bad guys”, then walked away to the next part of the story. That smacks of preaching, and it’s annoying.

Pages and pages of monologue extolling the virtues and philosophy of the author are also a turn-off…Terry Goodkind, anyone?

Ultimately there’s a fine line that’s not always easy to see. As a writer, if you are going to focus on hot button issues, you better know where that line is crossed if you don’t want to alienate readers.

That said, for some people fantasy is an escape from the real world. Those people are not going to want to read about real world problems, so if a writer opts to write about real issues, the writer should accept the fact that those types of readers will be hard to appeal to.”

It’s been a slow couple of weeks for news. For now, I’m just trying to slog my way through The Dreamthief’s Daughter.

Also, if my sister is reading this today, Happy Birthday Courtney!

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May 4, 2011 - Posted by | Blogspotter

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