Episode 189 Considerations when writing about polarizing topics

Oh Boy

Today's Topic Writing about polarizing topics in the age of the internet

Watching the current political and cultural issues can be scary for people considering sharing stories or their creativity. Listen to the episode to get our take on the issues that are most likely to caused polarized reactions from people who read you’re your stories. However, here is a few ideas that you need to understand

Give understanding to people who are upset by your art.

You should put your words, feelings, and emotions into your story. It will make it better.  But keep these ideas in mind.

  • Don’t just do it to be a jerk
  • Do not react to negative criticism
  • Research topics, do not rely on your gut to get the topics right
  • Be understanding to people who are upset
  • Stand by your art!

Wait! How do I stand by my art if I am not supposed to react?????

When someone attacks you or your art. Do Not react, but you can respond. Do not let your initial emotions, rule your response. If you get into areas that are polarizing. Even if you did not understand it would be a problem.  Look through the criticism to make sure there is nothing that could help you in the future. Respond with what your intention was with your logic not in emotions to the criticism(s).

I would respond to legit criticism. However, some of the people criticizing might also just be looking for attention or trolling you. Pay attention to the actual arguments! Learn what you can and understand that some people will be offended and allow them their feelings. Avoid response to people who do not care about discussing the topics.

The most important thing to remember!

The world is very connected. If your book or art is noticed, expect it to get criticism. Especially with polarizing issues. We should stand by our art, but learn and improve going into the future.

Even if our argument is valid does not make it correct for all people in all circumstances.  And sometimes we can be wrong in at least part of our ideas. Sometimes we are right, other times we are wrong, and worse of all we might not even understand something is a problem.

If we are wrong, owe it and grow from it. Understand that people will be offended before you start and even if we change going into the future does not make the art we have done wrong. It is fiction.

Finally, I will be the first person to call fiction lying. It does resemble reality.  And as long as humans are imperfect, our ideas and art will be flawed as well. So love your art, and understand what it is. Your art.

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The bigger benefit for me was increased focus.  It was another major issue of mine.  However, that is a story for a different day.

Get the stories and hear the tips in this episode of the Worldbuilder’s Anvil Podcast

Listen to Michael and I as we go into this critical topic.

Podcast Show Flow

  • Before we start
    • No judgments from WBA, JUST A WARNING
    • Doesn’t matter what side you take
    • Nothing wrong with doing them
    • Closer they resemble the issue on earth the more tension that you might receive
    • Might or might not hurt sales, but can take up lots of your time when talking about your work
    • Might or might not ever be detected
    • Consider someone will be offended even if you avoid these topics
  • Covering highly polarized issues (Current or Classical)
    • Environment
    • Abortion
    • Civil Rights (Race or Gender)
    • Political ideologies
    • Media
    • Health care systems
    • Pro / Anti War
    • Government control
    • Economic systems
    • Cultural Appropriation
    • Slavery
    • Colonization / Imperialism
    • Genocide
    • Rape
  • We are not saying don’t do it
    • Don’t do it because you want attention
    • Don’t do it because you think it will help sales
    • Do what you feel is right for the art, just do it with eyes wide open
    • Do not be afraid to write characters that struggle with these issues

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For complete Fantasy Worldbuilding, show notes go to Gardul.com

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