Should you address, or avoid, controversial issues, in your fiction?
I address them – always have.
And yet, I do avoid particular issues, at particular times. I actually can and do hold back, on occasions.
What is controversial, anyway?
How do you define “controversy”? What is taboo in some circles, is spoken about openly in others. And almost everything you could possibly write about, is guaranteed to offend someone out there.
But there are definitely topics which would be generally agreed to be controversial.
This post isn’t about giving examples of specific areas that might cause controversy. We could all make our own lists.
Being controversial for the sake of it?
Honestly, don’t go there. It can be hard enough to deal with the backlash when you feel deeply about an issue.
And authenticity matters. Deal with controversial issues that are important to you, rather than simply “being controversial”, which is the point at which you’re being offensive. It’s a question of being honest with yourself, about your own motivations.
That said, don’t put up and shut up.
History is full of examples of people standing up for what they truly believed in. Where would we be, if everyone kept quiet, and was afraid to express unpopular opinions, or discuss the subjects that were strictly “off limits”?
So, yes – controversy. It’s a fine line sometimes, but we often do need to cross that line, in our fiction. As well as in our blog posts and poetry.
I’ll continue to address what I need to address, in my own writing, and hope that my honest intentions will shine through.
I’m not always right, and I don’t pretend to be, but I have my point of view, and will express that, through my words. I encourage you to do the same.
And should your characters be using swear words? I’ve written a post about this specific subject, which might be of interest.