Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Fun and Functional Role of Science Fiction

I’m writing this because I’m having a difficult time getting through a scene in the story I’ve been working on.  Maybe the process of writing something else will keep my mind moving in the right direction.  And if it doesn’t, oh well.  At least I’ll have done something else I pledged to do in the meantime.

As I know I’ve mentioned before, I write mostly science fiction.  I do this because, as a genre, it offers the most exciting possibilities for me as a writer.  I can place my story wherever and whenever I want.  I have the freedom to create any world I want, and through character interactions with that world, the plot unfolds, entertaining me as well as my audience.  Granted, my audience is small at this point, but I can only take it one step at a time.

Now, many people aren’t willing to give science fiction a chance.  I’ve heard people say that it’s stupid because it doesn’t deal with real people or real problems.  That simply isn’t true.  The opportunity to use a fresh environment with characters developed in the context of that environment enables me to take problems I’ve seen in the world, which often inspire me to write in the first place, and get a new perspective on them.  When I analyze an issue through the eyes of a character I’ve co-created with the world I placed them in, I often find angles of the issue that I hadn’t previously considered.

And, I admit, science fiction is also fun for me.  I don’t see a point in writing something that I wouldn’t enjoy.  Life is too short for that.

Currently, my writing is inspired by the real-world environment of political extremism I’ve been seeing lately.  With the political arena heating up with angry rhetoric, it seems to me that politicians are spending half of their time painting themselves as the opposite of the other side.  I fear that we’re getting away, at least in some cases, from the real issues as we get more mired in the political blame game.  That extremism and anger is what inspired me to write this current story, which is set in a future where both political extremes have become so angry and powerful that they’ve literally destroyed America by splitting the country into halves, which are separated by a neutral buffer zone.

I’m not writing this because I believe such a thing will happen, but instead because I want to speculate about what each extreme would look like, and how that kind of world would adversely impact people.  It seems to me that unbridled extremism can be a very dangerous thing.  In a world like ours where everything is so uncertain, I think these kinds of speculations are a good thing.

No comments:

Post a Comment