Round Robin Blog Posts – Social Issues in Fiction

I’m so happy to be joining the Round Robin Blog Hop this month. This month’s topic discusses social/current event issues that are important to me and how, when, or if I allow them to seep into my fiction. 

Deviation-510Let me start off with admitting that I definitely allow social issues to be addressed in my fiction. Anyone who has read my work, particularly my science fiction, will have noticed this for certain. Deviation, for example, has the very blatant conversation about women’s rights. Tapped is the start of a much larger conversation on religion that will be spanning several novels. The Abolitionist (which I’ll start later next year) is fairly self-explanatory.

All of these issues are very important to me and I believe that every author has the responsibility to Scornedsay something with their fiction.

However …

I also believe that every author has the responsibility to thoroughly research, understand, and clearly provide counterpoints to any social issue they address in their writing.

I shy away from making my personal opinions known here on the blog because honestly, I hate fueling the fire for these sorts of debates. They’re pointless and detract from the more important social issues that we should be spending our energy debating and attempting to fix … like homelessness, children living in poverty, the fact that some employment applications (or other legal forms) still ask for your “ethnicity” and therefore support a racist social structure, or the shameful amount of people going hungry everywhere …

But all of those things I can and do address in my writing. I “address” them, but I do not answer them because honestly, if I’ve written it right then I won’t have to.

Readers don’t need me to tell them poverty is bad, they already know it. My job as an author is to help somehow bridge the gap between the Reader and that poverty, to help them experience it so that they understand why poverty is bad.

This is terribly idealistic of me but I truly believe that we can change the world. Books can change the world. Stories can change the world. Authors … can change the world. Not by telling the world what to think, but by exposing these issues for what they are and bringing them forward in a terribly intimate way.

Have a look at what some of my fellow authors believe in and write about in today’s Round Robin Blog Hop …

Skye Taylor  http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
A.J. Maguire  https://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/ (YOU ARE HERE)
Beverley Bateman  http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
Margaret Fieland  http://www.margaretfieland.com/blog1/
Marci Baun  http://www.marcibaun.com/
Victoria Chatham  http://victoriachatham.webs.com/
Connie Vines  http://connievines.blogspot.com/
Bob Rich  http://wp.me/p3Xihq-vQ
Rachael Kosinski  http://rachaelkosinski.weebly.com/
Helena Fairfax  http://helenafairfax.com/
Judith Copek http://lynx-sis.blogspot.com/
Rhobin Courtright  http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com/

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9 thoughts on “Round Robin Blog Posts – Social Issues in Fiction

  1. Hi AJ,
    This strikes a chord with me:
    “…homelessness, children living in poverty, the fact that some employment applications (or other legal forms) still ask for your “ethnicity” and therefore support a racist social structure, or the shameful amount of people going hungry everywhere …”

    It is impossible to write, even a shopping list, without expressing our deep belief system. As writers, we need to do it knowingly. I am glad you are doing so. Let’s make this planet a better place.

    🙂
    Bob

  2. I liked your comment “I also believe that every author has the responsibility to thoroughly research, understand, and clearly provide counterpoints to any social issue they address in their writing.” I so agree, but I find scifi a perfect medium for exposing ideas.

    1. I agree that scifi opens things up for the possibility of what we can and should do better in the future, or perhaps show how things will get progressively worse if we continue down the path we’re on.

  3. I’m beginning to think maybe I should consider writing sci-fi now that it’s been pointed out how it can be used to showcase some of the issues while not making judgements on what is in our real world which leaves the reader to make the judgements.

  4. I don’t think every book needs to have to address a social issue. If the author is so inclined and the story can bear it, then that’s fine. Otherwise, trying to force something into a story where it obviously doesn’t belong won’t work. It will feel forced.

    Books are very powerful, but, sometimes, it’s just nice to be entertained, too.

    1. Well, yes and no. Because even entertaining books are set in a culture and place where, even inadvertently, the author manages to say something about what is right and wrong. That said, nothing should ever be forced into a novel.

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