WHAT’S WITH ALIENATING READERS LATELY?
A pet peeve of mine is alienating readers. When an author preaches either politics, religion or sex to the reader through the guise of a fictional story, that pisses me off.
I don’t care whether I agree with them or not, when a book is advertised as fiction of any genre, unless it plainly says it involves such discussion in the blurb on the back, I expect to get what I’m paying for. If I want discussion, I’ll go to the non-fiction section!
I read a lot of thrillers. When I find an author that writes decent, to my specs, third-person, past tense, fast-paced, short (or relatively) paragraphs, scenes and chapters, I’m there. They also have to have positive endings.
Once I find those authors, I keep a lookout for them. I think a lot of readers are the same way, right? When you find someone that writes what you like, you stick with them.
What happens when they suddenly (the “ly” word is deliberate here) make a left or right turn? I’m not talking about changing writing styles, though there IS that. I’m talking about going all cause on you?
In my case, I have two thriller writers. One I’ve been a huge fan of for two decades. The other, I’ve liked okay for maybe the past year. I’ve been growing on this number two guy.
I just read the latest novels by both guys. The first one uses his “thriller” as a platform to deny global warming. I’m not talking just about a plot device, but he comes close to author intrusion in spots to hammer his point home to the point where I almost threw the book down. It wasn’t even in the character’s heads as much as coming from blatant… well, you get the picture. It’s not whether he made any legitimate points or not, either. It’s that I didn’t buy one of his thrillers to put up with that. I wanted to be entertained, not get mired in a philosophical discussion on which scientists are right or wrong. Thriller? What thriller?
On to book number two. In this supposed thriller, it was merely a vehicle for Obama bashing. Might as well spell it out for what it really was. Like the previous example, the bashing was so blatant it should’ve been on the political discussion instead of the fiction shelf.
LOST A FAN
Those two authors lost a fan. This has nothing to do with whether I agree with them or not. It’s that I bought a book from them under false pretenses.
Before you think I’m just a dirty liberal weenie, I’ve had the same thing happen from the liberal side also. I’ve read thrillers that did nothing but bash either Dubya or #1. They pissed me off also, but at the time, I wasn’t as keen a reviewer as I am now and probably didn’t give as harsh a review. If I did, it was probably not just for that but for the writing or plot. It’s actually been quite a while since I’ve seen a thriller that bashed the conservative side as blatantly as these bashed the liberal side. I’m sure they’re out there.
WRITERS CAN’T HELP SOME BIAS
As humans, we can’t help innate bias to some degree. However, we can and should not preach if we expect to appeal to a wide audience. Unconscious bias is one thing, blatant preaching is another. You should know the difference.
Do you want to be known as that Left Wing Writer? Or, the Fox News Darling?
Guess what? You now have half the audience you could’ve had.
If you shut the hell up and just write a good story, EVERYONE can enjoy it!
Happy neutral writing!