Wednesday, October 6, 2021

It's another meeting of the IWSG!

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!


Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

October 6 question - In your writing, where do you draw the line, with either topics or language?

Well - I don't. I don't draw the line. I looked up the meaning - just for fun - because words and idioms are my jam and I got this definition 

"set a limit on what one is willing to do or accept, beyond which one will not go"

So in this case I guess it means setting a limit on what I will write about and what sort of language I will use. I think I don't draw a line not because I want to be free but because I don't need to. I don't write about everything - I can't - I write about those topics I find interesting. Since I write fiction I have my characters use language in the way that they would, once I've gotten to know them. There are things my characters might say that I would not (though I do curse like sailor so...). My characters could conceivably also utter racist, sexist, ageist or homophobic comments that I would not. I have no problem with this. I write for adults and if adults don't like what they are reading they are free to put the book down or burn it in a raging fire if it isn't a library book. Writing mysteries means that I do write about some unsavoury types. As for topics - well, I don't write about situations that I don't want to spend a lot of time exploring - that would be crazy. I'm not interested  in reading about abattoirs so I don't write about them. I don't write thrillers because I don't like reading them (except for the occasional brilliant one). I don't want to write from the point of view of a psychopath because I don't want to spend that much time in that sort of mind-frame.

Perhaps I do draw one sort of line - I do not write books to please the general public - for commercial reasons say. I try to stay true to what I want to see more of - I'm not frightened of controversy. I'm not scared to piss off industrial corporations or governments. I'm not scared to be politically incorrect either - it is such a shifting morphing value that it would drive me crazy to try and please those who are desperate to search out and destroy those who don't comply. I simply don't confuse the finger with the moon it is pointing to. I don't think Mark Twain was a racist for instance. I don't think JK Rowling is anti-trans. 

And I think diving into a book that does not completely reflect my every viewpoint is the reason for reading.

There then.

How are ya all?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I don't write controversy, but I don't worry about pleasing the general public. The right readers have found and enjoyed my books and that's what matters.

Bish Denham said...

Since I write for children, I do draw a line. I'm more about wanting to pass on a little wonder and magic. Graphic sex, violence or language just don't appeal to me much at all.

Liza said...

I write for myself...what gives me pleasure, which happens to be what I think my readers would like. Like you, I don't want to immerse myself into topics that I don't like.

Margot Kinberg said...

That's such an interesting topic! And I really like the focus you place on what the characters would say (whether or not you would say something yourself). I think that's the most important question to ask, really: how does this character speak (and not, 'How do I speak?'). And I think it is worthwhile to reflect on what we write about (or don't) and what that might mean.