Saturday, October 20, 2012

Writing Politically

By Keith N Fisher

No. It’s not what you think. I haven’t bailed out of the non-partisan boat. I’m talking about the things we write without thinking about our readers.

Let me explain. I was writing in a restaurant early in the morning the other day. The music coming from the kitchen was from my era. I didn’t like the Black Sabbath, although I did back in 1972 when I bought the album. I enjoyed hearing Pink Floyd’s, Dark Side of the Moon again, though.

From somewhere behind me, A customer made a comment. She liked the Pink Floyd and went on to compare it, unfavorably to the Beatles. She criticized I Want to Hold Your Hand by singing part of it with a nasal tone.

I was shocked. Obviously to me, that person didn’t have a clue. In my mind, I argued that Paul Mccartney and John Lennon were some of the most talented writers ever. Elements of their music can be found in almost every Rock n Roll song ever written, the rest, were probably from the Rolling Stones. I went on to analyze I Want to Hold Your Hand by pointing out the necessary link it provided in the evolution of the medium.

The music turned to a Jimi Hendrix song, I also enjoyed hearing again, but the customer left and I didn’t get her opinion of him. Hendrix was extremely talented, but I suppose there are many who don’t like his music either. Bringing me to the point.

As a writer of fiction, I labor over my work, choosing words carefully to express my thoughts in the most succinct way possible. I hope readers will like what I’ve written. Most often, however, I don’t stop and think about who might disagree or be offended by what I’ve written.

Writing in the LDS market is limiting. My work will be held to something I call, the Deseret Book Standard. Simply put: If DB wouldn’t put it on their shelves then it won’t be successful in the market. Also, there are hundreds of words and touchy situations I can’t write. I'm constantly being corrected by my wise critique group.

Of course the market is changing, but writing nationally is easier. Nevertheless, I run the risk of offending someone. What happens if I write in both markets? Will my LDS fans shun me because I use a word? Must I write under a pseudonym? What about what I say on social media? Perhaps, politics shouldn’t be discussed, although some LDS writers think it’s their sacred duty to do so. Well, you get the point.

I’m talking about platforms and image. Promotion begins when you start writing and never quits. Be careful. Your snide remark might destroy years of public relations. Stand up for principles not people. Don’t be negative, and if you’re writing in the LDS market, don’t use swear words on Facebook.

Good luck with your writing—see you next week.


Tammy Theriault said...

great follower here! loving hearing your thoughts on all this mayhem.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Keith, there's a market for everything. Twilight was huge in the LDS market, and DB wouldn't carry it. Just be sure if you write for the non LDS market that your LDS folks know there might be a word here or there, or situations/topics covered that DB doesn't go for.

Keith N Fisher said...

but you might remember that Twilight was published in the national market. therebye proving my point

kelly miller said...

I'm a rule breaker. I write whatever flows through my head and find it later on to improve it. I find bits of writing everywhere.