This week: The Sins of the WriterEdited by: Thankful Sonali I AM WRITING!
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A single remark on social media stirs up a hornets' nest, and suddenly, the favourite is in disgrace. Should this be so?
Big controversies often begin with a sentence or two -- especially when it's on social media and a post can go viral within hours. When the post is by a famous writer, the reaction is big -- and sales of her books plummet.
In this newsletter, I'm not going to name any particular author or discuss the nitty-gritties of any one controversy. The questions I have pertain to any author, or indeed any artist / performer, with any controversy. I'm just going to put down the questions, and hope they trigger some thinking.
Why did the books become favourites, and why have they continued to be favourites for more than twenty years? Because they contain a great story, well told, realistic characters, solid values and perspectives on life that can be discussed, debated and argued. Children have learned to read out of a desire to follow this story, and fans have found solace during difficult times, turning to some insights gained from the books.
Does all this go away because of a single post on social media? Is the story any the less gripping, the characters less real, because a controversy has sprung up around the writer? Haven't the plot and characters taken a life of their own now?
More important - are the values diluted? The books embody courage, loyalty, friendship, true love ... don't they do that any more? Does a single remark made a dozen years after the last book was written negate all the values portrayed, built up and held in their pages?
Finally - isn't an author, no matter how famous, human? Can she not have an opinion, and can she not express it? And if it isn't (apparently) politically correct, can she not be asked to clarify?
Do the (supposed) sins of the writer condemn the books? Should they?
Thanks for listening!
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Thank you for the responses to "Flashback holding you back?"
Lucinda Lynx Thank you for writing this! I've never thought about childhood flashbacks. That is another pitfall to avoid.
K.HBey This is a featured issue which reveals some technical ways to write a story with past flashback. Most stories are built with two segments. One segment is the present and the other is the past. It is the most important way to allow a certain credibility to the story indeed. The time concordance should be careful and well taken into consideration in this case. Great job!
Submitted2publisher To answer your question about the Pensieve, I think it was ingenious. I love flashbacks if done correctly. My MC will be talking to her father and remember what it was like during his glory days. Now he's trying to relive them through his daughter. She lives 3 hours away, but that's nothing if he thinks he can get recognized for his past successes through her. His choices have shaped her choices. Off and on through the book I hope to retell a bit of his success as she remembers it a bit differently than his recounting of it.
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