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Lucky Joe
August 15th, 2003, 06:34 AM
You've got issues!

Let's face it we all do, but the question is do you share them through your writing?

Do you believe that your work can have a deep and lasting effect on your readers or are you aiming to entertain your readers and leave the important stuff to other people?

Personally I have nothing against either approach, but tend to go for the entertainment route, but am interested to see what the rest of you think.

So fess up, are you trying to change the world or just make it smile/laugh/cry/whatever?

August 15th, 2003, 06:39 AM
I am trying to entertain and hopefully, make readers relate to my characters and empathise with the emotions and actions of said characters.

I don't think I will change the world LOL.

I would be interested, not in this thread perhaps, to hear if any members feel that a book has changed them in some way.

August 15th, 2003, 12:53 PM
"The Fountainhead" by Ayn Rand totally changed my outlook on life. Other books that have been inspiring or have had a positive influence are "The Sword of Truth" by Terry Goodkind everything by Tolkien.

I like when books are written with an important message in mind, especially if they are entertaining as well.:)

August 15th, 2003, 01:25 PM
Last night I just caught the tail end of an interview with an SF author while channel surfing. He was talking about the fact that he and his wife had decided not to have children. He believed that rather his contributions to society were his ideas. I wish I would have caught his name.

Another interesting point he made was that SF authors aren't supposed to "predict" the future, but as (I believe) Ray Bradbury put it, they are supposed to "prevent" the future. An SF author looks at our current state of knowledge and affairs and extrapolates from that - not to what the future will be, but to what the future could be. The idea being that an intelligent society can then look at all the possibilities, and choose the path it wants to take.

For myself, yeah, I have issues.

I don't think it's possible to write something without making some sort of statement. Even mind-numbing entertainment presents simple paradigms of right and wrong, or good and evil - even when they are just a reflection of what the author believes correspond to society's consensus.

Sometimes I do it (plant some issues) intentionally. Sometimes I play a little devil's advocate. I don't expect my writing to change the world. All I really hope for is that it gets people thinking.

I think the first SF book that really got me thinking was Starship Troopers. I can't say it changed my life, but I remember feeling like I was sitting in History and Moral Philosophy - the class that everyone had to take, but no one had to pass.

August 16th, 2003, 12:49 AM
I just read Starship Troopers a few days ago. Made we want to kill people. Specifically, it made me want to kill everyone involved in the production of the movie that dared to use that book's name. That book definitely got me thinking.

Along with it, Foundation, The City and the Stars, The Giver, and - though it's non-fiction - Guns, Germs, and Steel also made a huge impact on my life.

I certainly hope my writing will change the world. I am most certainly trying to send a message.

August 18th, 2003, 04:21 AM
Originally posted by choppy
I remember feeling like I was sitting in History and Moral Philosophy - the class that everyone had to take, but no one had to pass.

What a fantastic bit of writing, that is an excellent opening for a story.

August 18th, 2003, 04:28 AM
I have done very little serious writing, but when I do write, it definitely carries some serious issues. I am going through a phase where I am frustrated that the world does not run by my ideals - I suppose that is my arrogance or even madness. But I try to put it into writing as that, I find, it a good outlet for such emotions. I would like to think that when my book is complete, it would carry several important political and ethical undertones.

Lucky Joe
August 18th, 2003, 06:05 AM
I guess every story has some sort of underlying message or truth about it, but perhaps they're just not that obvious unless you sit down and think about them.

Maybe just having people think about small things that are in your writing about the way people live/behave/whatever - and not necessarily put in there to teach them something - would be cool.

Can't think of any books that have changed my life but I'm sure if I thought about it hard enough i could come up with some that have made me think about things a bit more than i otherwise would have.:D

August 18th, 2003, 08:07 AM
China Mieville had quite a deep impact on me with Perdido Street Station. There's some really good political radicalism in there.

August 18th, 2003, 11:28 AM
Originally posted by juzzza

What a fantastic bit of writing, that is an excellent opening for a story.

*cough* Heinlein would probably agree.