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Full honesty:

I also had in mind the fact that some writers whose work I greatly admire have political viewpoints quite different from my own. It doesn't prevent me from enjoying their work, even if they choose different villains than I would.

(For example, L.J. Sellers is a great indie mystery/police procedural novelist... even though her politics and mine don't mesh. I'd never stop reading her work, just because of that. How silly.)

And that's just my approach... others can read or not read as they wish or don't wish, for whatever reasons they have or for no reason at all... it's still KIND of a free country.... lol :)
 

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Eh. I don't generally care too much about an author's politics as long as they aren't trying to subtly preach at me through their prose. That cheeses me off. If you want to be pro polka-dotted jackelopes, knock yourself out. But I get really torqued when the protagonist of a book takes a moment (or a page or three) to talk about how awful it is for the polka-dotted jackelopes. Now, if you want to describe their little rabbit warrens and how horrid and dark they are when the protagonist arrives on the scene, that's great. But don't roofie me and call it romance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
I also read that Roal Dahl wrote at least 13 drafts of his short stories before he was satisfied. And Sue Townsend (The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole) used to get up at 5 am and sit on the edge of the bath and type out her manuscript on a typewriter balanced on her lap, as it was the only place and time she could get away from the demands of her children (and husband, I should imagine  :))

That's what I call dedication to a craft. ;D
 

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Arkali said:
Eh. I don't generally care too much about an author's politics as long as they aren't trying to subtly preach at me through their prose. That cheeses me off. If you want to be pro polka-dotted jackelopes, knock yourself out. But I get really torqued when the protagonist of a book takes a moment (or a page or three) to talk about how awful it is for the polka-dotted jackelopes. Now, if you want to describe their little rabbit warrens and how horrid and dark they are when the protagonist arrives on the scene, that's great. But don't roofie me and call it romance.
Like I said, it depends. Generally I don't care what someone's politics are... but there are things I simply can't tolerate. If a writer starts publicly advocating apartheid or something like that, I really do decide I can't read them. On the other hand if they are voters for the Monster Raving Loony Party, I'll probably just ignore it. I do agree that I don't want to be the subject of propaganda, either political or religious, in my fiction.

Of course, that's just me and I'm sure other people feel differently.
 

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Arkali said:
Eh. I don't generally care too much about an author's politics as long as they aren't trying to subtly preach at me through their prose. That cheeses me off...
Well, that's the thing... some authors are very transparent about their agenda. It only took one mystery novel for me to know where Sellers stood politically.

Yet her novel was well-executed.

John Irving is one of the few who really alientated me, eventually, though.

I knew where he was politically, based on the first novel I read by him. (World According to Garp.) However, I stuck with reading his earlier stuff, through Hotel New Hampshire, and even A Prayer for Owen Meany.

But Owen Meany was what soured me, because he became too transparent and preachy. Weave a world view into a compelling storyline, and I'm fine. But Prayer for Owen Meany went on long, 20-page political jags that did nothing to advance the story, it was just the author venting on politics... I tolerated it because there was a moving story of self-sacrifice buried under all that jangle... but it also forced me to just stop reading him. I wasn't willing to do it anymore.

So by the time he reached Cider House Rules and all that came after it, like A Widow for a Year, it was with one less reader willing to go for the ride with him.

But generally, unless it's really transparent like that, I'll stick it out if the novel's well-written.
 

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CraigInTwinCities said:
Well, that's the thing... some authors are very transparent about their agenda. It only took one mystery novel for me to know where Sellers stood politically.

Yet her novel was well-executed.

John Irving is one of the few who really alientated me, eventually, though.

I knew where he was politically, based on the first novel I read by him. (World According to Garp.) However, I stuck with reading his earlier stuff, through Hotel New Hampshire, and even A Prayer for Owen Meany.

But Owen Meany was what soured me, because he became too transparent and preachy. Weave a world view into a compelling storyline, and I'm fine. But Prayer for Owen Meany went on long, 20-page political jags that did nothing to advance the story, it was just the author venting on politics... I tolerated it because there was a moving story of self-sacrifice buried under all that jangle... but it also forced me to just stop reading him. I wasn't willing to do it anymore.

So by the time he reached Cider House Rules and all that came after it, like A Widow for a Year, it was with one less reader willing to go for the ride with him.

But generally, unless it's really transparent like that, I'll stick it out if the novel's well-written.
As much as I hate preachy books, I always get a kick out of the preachy bits because-for reasons I can't explain-the characters that utter these parts always sound to me like Meathead from All in the Family. Yes, every time I read these parts I hear Rob Reiner whining in my mind's ear. Weird, eh?
 

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There's lots of reasons to put you're best writing out for everyone to make their opinion on. Its a matter self-respect .
 

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Eric C said:
Well preachiness is just another example of ill-considered shortcut writing, don't you think?

There are messages in Huck Finn, for example, but they are not delivered preachily.
Exactly. Putting things in a book that make me think about my positions is fantastic. Preaching at me from on high - not so much.
 

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Just to get back to DWS and his take on not rewriting, he often quotes Heinlein's rules for writing. And the third rule from Heinlein is actually this:

Rule Three: You Must Refrain From Rewriting, Except to Editorial Order

Now, Heinlein was writing in a time where you couldn't publish without submitting to publishers, who would then have an editor tell you how to fix what you wrote. And while DWS himself does advocate writing fast and publishing quickly, I don't think his regular references to Heinlein's laws back up the idea that he means "never edit yourself".

But then I fall into those sort of pantsers who have to write to find out what I'm saying, and then go back afterwards to make it make sense.
 

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Ian Fraser said:
The brandy-soaked Churchill had some good quotes, but he's hardly a shining example to writers. He was also an Imperialist in the true sense, doing everything possible to hang onto England's colonies, without any interest in what the oppressed people thought about it.
He was also overweight and smoked cigars. So what?

Those of us who do actually give a dang if we put a quality piece of work out there are losing big time to people who don't care. That's very frustrating. The message is very simply that hard work doesn't pay off anymore.
Wouldn't it be simpler to acknowledge a significant set of consumers don't share your values? Hard work without a valued product is never valued by consumers. It's the product of that work which is valued. Consumers have no idea how hard or easy it was to write some book. They don't care.

I doubt authors spend much time examining how hard it is to produce all the products they use.

Anyone can sell a boatload of books if they are willing to push enough buttons, to give readers what they obviously really, really want, given human nature--sex, gore, glamour, psychic harm done by one character to another, stories of power exercised and taken away.
Well, I'm willing. When does my ship come in?
 

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jnfr said:
Just to get back to DWS and his take on not rewriting, he often quotes Heinlein's rules for writing. And the third rule from Heinlein is actually this:

Rule Three: You Must Refrain From Rewriting, Except to Editorial Order

Now, Heinlein was writing in a time where you couldn't publish without submitting to publishers, who would then have an editor tell you how to fix what you wrote. And while DWS himself does advocate writing fast and publishing quickly, I don't think his regular references to Heinlein's laws back up the idea that he means "never edit yourself".

But then I fall into those sort of pantsers who have to write to find out what I'm saying, and then go back afterwards to make it make sense.
This is it, now isn't it? Heinlein's context counts. He was writing short SF for the magazines of his time. No one but editors saw everything he wrote, and they picked and chose it for him. He was not self-pubbing everything and using the public as his editors.

I really cannot fathom why people can't see what a self-destructive idea it is to apply this to self-publishing. Your first 200 pieces of crap will sink your reputation. And if you publish under pen names, you've lost any chance of selling the rest on the off chance you produce a good one.
 
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