Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fearless Writing v. Political Correctness

A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to JENN! of Musetracks and Raven of Raven's Wing.  (Okay, actually I interrupted their conversation.  I was looking for the controls for the overhead fans.  It was freezing in the back of the clubhouse where our writer's group meets.)

JENN! had been asked by a third party of they could reprint one of her blog posts.  She had refused.  Which frankly isn't like JENN! at all because she's one of the most generous people I know.

Then she told me which post had been requested.  It was one she'd written back in April.  The actual post concerned how writers need to write fearlessly.  About how we can't be slaves to other people's opinions.

I totally understod where she was coming from because I'm often criticized for stuff that make other people uncomfortable.  Boys hitting girls (though my girls hit back just as hard), use of four-letter words (well, yeah, that's true), and excessive gore (it's zombies, for crying out loud).

Unfortunately, the comment thread of JENN's post did turn political.  I take part of the blame.  I made a snarky comment about how my sheer existence offends the Republican Party so I don't worry too much about their feelings concerning my writing.  Let's just say the thread got weird from there, so I can see where JENN! doesn't want to let her post take on more of a life than it already has.  In today's climate, intellectual discourse has given way to trollish behavior.

But JENN's inital point is still valid.  A writer needs to write fearlessly.  Sometimes it may result in crap like the pedophile's guide recently pulled from Amazon.  Other times, it may result  in a best seller like The Da Vinci Code.  You never know what's really going to happen with your book.

But I do know one thing as a reader.  I can tell when you're not writing from your gut, and I won't buy your book if you're not.

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