Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Whatcha Say Wednesday: Indulgent vs. Inspirational

I want to start by saying thank you to everyone that has participated in the contest so far. This story has more twists than a bowl full of s’ghetti. Is Tommy still alive? Will Paw kill Sonya? Is there three legged wooley boogers after all? It’s all up to you.

To add even more fun, I am adding a more defined plus system that will give everyone a chance to enter the contest. DETAILS

VOICE OF DOUBT: You can’t change the rules halfway through the game.
ME: I’m not changing the rules. I’m just giving everybody extra entries and better odds.
VOICE OF DOUBT: Oh, ok. See ya later. Hey, what time you doing revisions?
ME: ‘Bout 9:30 or 10. (Slaps forehead)
VOICE OF DOUBT: Cool. See ya then. I’ll bring wine.

Ok, on with today’s post.


Whatcha Say Wednesdays are about you. Your thoughts and feelings on a particular subject. Dig in as deep as you wish, or veer off in a new direction. For the comfort of those who would prefer to express their opinions with a sense of privacy, I have turned the anonymous comments back on.

MR. OBVIOUS : Um, you call it Watcha Say Wednesdays, but you’re posting it Tuesday night.
ME: Yes, but that’s so it will be up all day on Wednesday.
MR. OBVIOUS: You could just call it Tell Me Tuesdays.
ME: Yes, but then it would be posted now and there’s barely any Tuesday left. Now, shhh, I’d like to get to the point.

On Friday, I saw a wonderful video on Notes from the Writing Chair. Watch it here. The song and the video touched me very deeply. I believe this is something that we writers and artists often struggle with. After showing the video to many of my friends and family, a line of dialogue opened that led to a light debate on the strength and responsibility of words. And I would love to hear your thoughts and beliefs on the subject.

When is expressing your opinions through your work indulgent vs. inspirational? We all have opinions and beliefs, and authors and artists tend to see the world differently from the rest of the planet. We are given the ability to see our environment with both a bird’s eye view and also the detail of a microscope which makes us that much stronger in our craft.

The question is – when is this expression for us or when is it truly for the benefit of others?

Two extreme contrasts are Lennon’s Imagine vs. when another rock star tells me whom I should vote for in an upcoming election.

Secondly, is there a place for it in Fiction? George Orwell’s Animal Farm comes to mind.

What are your thoughts?


  1. Thats a lot of thinking your requesting Aj.

    I've read some books that are high on what I feel are "author intrusion". Moralizing through the MC. Very annoying. Scott at the Literary Lab had a similar post today.

    The story needs to create a scenario, explore differing views through plot development, and let the reader make up their own mind.

    Just my opinion.

    Love the video by the way.


  2. I agree with you. I think a moral can be worked into the theme, such as do this and result happens. But to make your characters preachy - irks me. UNLESS - that is their character. Such as a character who loses someone to lung cancer, begging her loved ones to stop smoking.

    Isn't that the best video. I even showed it to my daughter - my mini artist. :-)

  3. Ok, I think I get what you are asking. I cannot think of a specific novel, though, that moralizes to extreme--but I remember reading some!

    My opinion? Sure there is a place for it, with open and honest caviats. But I think the authors who give their unsolicited opinions aren't even aware of themselves, they don't know they are doing it for themselves.

    Ok, my thoughts are a bit disjointed today.