Personally I also experienced and faced with this "message" dilemma once... this was the conversation.
- Why did you add a message into your story?
- Maybe because I wanted to?
- You can't do that.
- Why not?
- Because it's not your job.
Ahem... then whose job is it? Personally I believe it's mine, because everything what I write is running under my name and everything what I write down and publish via official or non-official channels, is my responsibility.
Mira wrote:I think there is a viewpoint that it's the story that is important: An author shouldn't have a message, other than relaying the story and letting the story tell its tale. I think this is a sort-of moral stance that the Story (and the truth is conveys) trumps all.
Usually those ones are used to say this; don't tell anyone a message, whose are fearing their own power, while they're using their own power to control others. Or second option, those who don't have a single original thought, just following others blindly. If you have a message, add it to your WIP (Of course, try to do not insult anyone. That's not a good thing. But if you have a thought, add it bravely.). The problem in the 21st century that some business people and the people in power wants to control every sector and they want to shape the opinion of the people. Now this influence reached the writer sector too, because some people are saying this. But writing is and always was about freedom.
For me, I think that the author who is putting their work out in public incurs a social responsibility. People will read our words and be influenced by them.
That's what some people don't want you to do. To influence them. Why? Because if you, me, or others, i.e. a single writer can influence others with your writing, like if we would be the one man army, that's a huge defeat for them, while they're spending millions for propaganda to shape the thoughts of the people. If you have a different thought, a different message, it's bad, because it's not mainstream.It's one of the greatest social illness in the 21st century, that you can't have your own thought, because if you have, you're a bad man. If you're telling that opinion to the public, you're evil.
I think that writing should be used to do many things: to enhance the culture; to improve the human condition; to help people grow in a positive way; to help people face challenges; to entertain in a way that refreshes; to inspire.
Exactly. Writing is giving inspirations via words and thoughts. But if you can't give inspiration, what you get? An empty, boring shell.
But to publish them, without any thought to consequences, and without revision, is quite another. I absolutely think there is value in uncovering the hidden and the dark, but I think there are ways to do it that are more socially responsible than other ways. Does that make sense?
Absolutely. But personally I'm gladly taking any responsibility and the consequences of my works. And if it's ever going to happen that the industry is not willing to publish one of my works because I have a unique free thought, or a non-mainstream message, which is not hurting anyone, but it's not good because it's a message, then I'm going to put that work up onto the net and spread that work for free, surrounded by a pretty good advertisement campaign. Then we can see who is going to win the "message" battle. :)
In 2002, a Russian Author, Dmitry Glukhovsky made a nice interactive experiment with his novel, Metro 2033 on this way and it's became a national bestseller in Russia. M2033 is holding some interesting thoughts which was presumably the opposite what the Russian publishing houses wanted to see, or maybe the writing style of the guy was different what they wanted. The essence is, the author solved the publishing on this way to keep his work intact and original. It's became a pretty famous sci-fi novel.
Tiger brought up some good points about political correctness, politeness and current social agendas. That's not my meaning when I say: socially responsible.
Political correctness is one of the worst invention of mankind in the 21st century. It's the correct phrase for... take your head into the sand and don't dare to tell those mistakes what you realized in the system (Be it any sort of system.). Unfortunately in this century taking responsibility for anything is not a leading element in people and most of the people are very sensitive for personal opinions. If you're not taking social responsibility, you're the king, if you're taking social responsibility, you're a bad man.