Hello everyone! School is OVER! Yay…maybe now I can post more often.
Thanks for hanging in there, now, for the nitty gritty:
Let’s talk about storytelling again. In my mind the two biggest problems with modern storytelling, particularly fiction, are it’s obsession with darkness, and the homosexuality progressive push.
As controversial as the second one sounds, it’s not just about not liking homosexuality, it’s about what effect the subject has on a story. I’ll explain this one first.
Okay, so you’re cruising along, watching your favorite show or movie, and then boom! Someone on it is gay. It happens with book series too. There’s one book series I really liked, The Heroes of OLYMPUS (it was a phase) and up till book 4, it was pretty good, and then book 4 came along and a kid who’d been normal, even heterosexual up till that point, up and comes out…ugh…
But okay, fine, it’s something real people deal with right? I can’t say it’s wrong to put that in your story, right? However, the catch is, this character already had a lot of emotional issues, ones that desperately needed to be resolved; and guess how they all were resolved? He gets a lust interest at the end of the last book…and that’s it. He’s FINE. Abandonment issues? Grief? Antisocial behavior? Not a problem, not now that he’s embraced being gay…???
I wish I could say that was an isolated example, but it happens all the time. Whether it’s the producers, publishers, or public opinion, a writer feels pressured to be “progressive” so they pick whatever character they think can afford it, and sacrifice them on the altar of LGBT. And that is it, that is the last of their character development. Never mind if they were complex before that, and had a way more interesting emotional arc, it’s all gone. Guess what, it won’t even be talked about anymore. Not in the material, and not by the fans, all anyone cares about is they are LGBT. People worship that label, as if it’s the most important thing about the character, and somehow legitimizes the whole story. Never mind whether it was any good or not.
And can I just say, having an LGBT character does not automatically make your story good…Disney, and Hollywood.
AS I’ve shated before, I personally believe homosexuality is wrong, and unnatural, but even if I didn’t, this is still very bad storytelling. It’s on par with trashy romance novels where the climax of the story is the characters having sex. They rarely get much development or depth outside of that. And most people agree that that is trash, you read it recognizing that, if you read it at all, and you admit your motives are less than pure.
But with LGBT stuff, sex is somehow treated like an honor, even when it is moral-less. The characters often are not any more good than anyone else, and their sexuality shouldn’t earn them the title of brave just because it used to be looked down on. I’m sick of Hollywood waiting till something becomes popular and then riding the wave while marketing it as doing something daring, if it was a real risk, very few studios would do it. Unless we think they actually care about social justice.
The sad thing is, independent enterprises now feel, thanks to very shortsighted fans, that they must include these characters to do their part. It’s like how you can’t make anything without black characters now. It would probably be acceptable to make something without white characters, but you know…equality.
Anyone else get tired of this hypocrisy?
If homosexuals want to find someone who really cares about them, don’t turn to people who are using their lifestyle for a cash grab…just saying.
And speaking of cash grabs, what about obsession with darkness? Storytime:
For a year I was part of an online writers workshop for Christian teens, and I got to read some other people’s works, and I can tell you 8 out of 10 times, it was dystopian, or some kind of personal angst story. From Christians…they were all the same. They sounded like clones of each other.
Of course that is popular, and what kids read now. Today I watched the second Hunger Games movie for the first time ever…and I looked away at some moments. I still can’t bear to see some stuff played out in front of me. There are those who eat it up. And those who don’t care. I was just amazed anyone could come up with something that sadistic and twisted. For fiction.
Usually when I hear about stuff that terrible, it really happened, and you an put it down to people being sick enough not to feel it was wrong. But to put it up for moral consideration implies you know it was twisted…and what gives?
I have to ask the ever unpopular question, do we need stories like the Hunger Games? It has some social commentary, but by the second movie, the layer of belief that this could happen starts to war real thin. I know that historically, such things have happened, so we could get to that point again, but if you’re comparing to our society, we have many issues, but we’re not that far gone yet. You expect me to believe people would see this kind of torture, and cheer for it, if they cared about the people playing even in the slightest?…maybe. But we are not quite there yet.
And the question also is, are these violent movies pushing us toward that frame of mind? Even if they are doing it to supposedly point out the problem, these ideas are left in people’s heads.
And horror has an unfortunate effect on people, they try to inoculate themselves. That’s why people read and watch Horror, many of them are riddled with fears of their own, the fear they find in the stories they feel they are in control of, and they want to be inoculated to their horrors. To become unmoved by it. Because then they feel tougher. They can shrug and say “I’ve seen way scarier stuff…”
When I’m horrified, I also have a tenancy to try to find a way to think of it that makes it less terrible. But apathy, and indifference, they won’t drive away fear. Only love can cast out fear.
Beyond fear, hate, rage, PTSD, and jealously feature greatly in our fiction. Brokenness, revenge, justice that is not justice, it all plays in. People justify it in the name of that being the more realistic reaction. Not the RIGHT reaction, just the realistic, one, because producers and writers know, the real reaction could never be the right one! Who’d believe that?
Funny how with parables, proverbs, and fables, the conclusion always turns on doing the right thing or failing to do it. No one found those stories too unreal at the time they were told. In fact, I’d argue that Jesus’ parables can be all too real for comfort.
I am not hear to discourage people from writing stories, but I think we need to reach higher than this crap.
I know many people will defend it to the very end, and I’m not likely to unconvince them, which is kind of unhealthy in of itself. I have stories I believe firmly are good, but if someone argues, I’m not going to attack them for it, I’d probably drop the conversation.
The point is, do we want to write well? Do we want to write stories that can change people, that can give them hope, and that can represent the best of us, our hopes, our dreams, and do we want that to be more than darkness and cheap nods to a movement most writers aren’t even actively part of? Do we want this to be what we tell our audience we think humanity is made of? Is it all about our angst? Is it about sex? Or is there more to life than all that?
Can we write about higher things? Beautiful things? If you cannot write about those as well as the darkness, you’ve got no business writing. You have to have an answer if you intend to raise a rhetorical question.
That said, until next time–Natasha.