Welcome to another Round Robin!
This month poses the question of whether or not I have placed current political, social, or environmental problems in my work.
Normally I like to try and put a fictional spin on these topics and bring forward a more lighthearted approach to our given content, but for this one…
For this one I am putting the fiction hat aside.
First, it is important to understand that all fiction is influenced by the culture and climate in which the author sits. So there is absolutely no one who should look at that question and say they haven’t managed to fit any of these problems into their work. Whether they meant to or not, it is there.
You can try to say that people are reading too far into the work in order to nitpick and find such hidden gems, but the true beauty of the written word is precisely the ability for readers to dig deeper. Further, their own political viewpoints and social understanding is going to be reflected in how they translate what has been written.
That said, I will admit that until recently I have never set out to deliberately say something about the political and social climate of the world. It has undoubtedly come out in certain works, though.
Deviation is absolutely a commentary on what the world demands women to be and our standards of beauty.
Tapped and Enemy Souls dissect religion versus faith.
The Haunting of Tessa Pines discusses the struggle of veterans as they return from war.
However, these were things that came out through the telling of the story. They were not deliberate set pieces that I put in there, which is good because I think if I’d tried to shove them in on purpose the stories would have felt stilted and preachy.
It is important for me to say that I did not at any time attempt to solve the problems displayed in the books. I cannot offer solutions, only illumination. And sometimes, hope. Because in the middle of illuminating the problem, others who identify with the characters on the page have a sense that they are not alone. And there is nothing that brings hope more than those four little words: You are not alone.
Take a look at what some of my fellows have to say about politics in fiction.
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
A.J. Maguire https://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/ (YOU ARE HERE)
Diane Bator http://dbator.blogspot.ca/
Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Marci Baun http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/
Anne Stenhouse http://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com
Dr. Bob Rich https://wp.me/p3Xihq-1Ng
Rhobin Courtright http://rhobincourtright.com
5 thoughts on “Current Politics and Fiction – June Round Robin”
Do agree with that sentence that ‘all fiction is influenced by the culture and climate in which it sits’. spot on. Anne
Totally agree with you! Really appreciated the comments: ” important to understand that all fiction is influenced by the culture and climate in which the author sits” and as a writer you “cannot offer solutions, only illumination.”
You hit the nail on the head – ILLUMINATION – we don’t have to beat our readers over the head with our personal opinions and beliefs, but by creating characters that deal with issues we can illuminate those issues and leave the reader to ponder and think. Every novel includes characters who are dealing with a GMC – Goal, motivation and conflict – an often those conflicts reflect the world we are living in. It would be unrealistic if those things didn’t add color and challenge for our characters.
Yes, the heart of fiction is that the characters do what they do, and their passions and beliefs need to come through. And whether they live in our contemporary world or not, that will reflect the culture they are written in, and written for.
Fiction is a means to escape the real world. It’s also a way to put yourself in someone else’s position, which is why readers have more empathy. But the hard part is to write characters you believe in, without alienating readers with differing viewpoints. We seem unable to appreciate the value of compromise anymore–which is tragic.