Using your own beliefs in your work…or expect some controversy


As a writer of mostly fantasy fiction I can get away with a lot of things in my work.  I can put in overbearing religions, evil empires, monsters of all kinds and only the wisest of readers will pick up on my social commentary.  This is not true for a lot of other types of fiction.

If you write mysteries and decide to make your villains of a certain political view you can bet dollars to donuts that you will have detractors to your books.  Write westerns were your bad guys are of a certain race and well duck and cover.  Write literary fiction that puts down the common man?  You might as well give up.  But why is this so?

Each and every person who is writing fiction has a set of beliefs that they work with.  Yes, as writers, we stretch outside of our belief systems to make our stories rich and full but at heart what we believe is what we write.

The old saw is write what you know.  Now I doubt very much that my readers expect me to know exactly how a dragon thinks or how and elf feels but I put both beliefs and feelings into my stories.  Yes I have a lot of non traditional characters.  After all writing about the red neck down the street is less interesting to me than writing what a dwarf might be thinking.  That is just me but I do try to make these characters rich and filled with their own beliefs.

As an avid follower of a number of writing boards it constantly surprises me how many of the writers out there have let themselves cement down into a set of beliefs.  Whether they are right or wrong, kind or harsh, is not the issue.  The issue is that as writers of fiction we need to stay fluid.  We should watch the world around us, see how beliefs effect those moving past us in this life and then write our experiences into new and different ways.

There are a lot of arguments about many topics on going.  Most of the arguments I skim over because there really is no room in my gut for arguments that are hurtful.  For those who refuse to acknowledge that someone out there might just have a belief that is different and for them correct.  Each person has their own view of the world and for them it is valid.  I might not agree with 80% of the world on things but as long as they don’t try to convince me I am wrong or worse tell me I am totally stupid and wrong, then they can have their beliefs.

Yes i am talking about the world of writing here too.  Having a writer tell me that writing hopeful works is wasting my time because the world has no hope or that a happy ending is pap because there are no happy endings is both annoying and sad.

No matter how bad the world has treated me, and yes it has over the years, I try to see the good.  No I am not a hopeless optimist, nor a sad pessimist.  I don’t claim to be a realist, for most of those are just cynics who don’t see the beauty under their very noses.  I am a witch, a mother, a wife and a writer.  I continue to put in slyly my belief that the world has a balance to it.  There is no true black and white.  For both black and white are filled with colors.

So if you are going to write a fiction, fill it with your beliefs for sure,but expect controversy.  Because no matter how well you write, or true what you have written is, there will always be someone (many someones) who will disagree.  The biggest problem is those who disagree will probably outweigh those who agree and those who have let life harden their attitudes are the loudest of all.  While they will most need to have their minds and heart opened, they are the least likely to hear a message as you write it.

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