On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Themes vs. Preaching

Every book should (WILL) have themes, probably both societal and individual. Gangs of boys can turn feral. A class system with great discrepancy can lead to violence. A class system can encourage a sense of entitlement. Power corrupts.

Bad things happen to everyone, learn to deal with that which happens to you, grow. Everyone needs help, don't be afraid to ask. Know thyself.

Those are some of the themes I've explored, but, hopefully, I haven't preached about them. Preaching, for me, includes rants on something, whether it is the value of romance novels or the complete failure of the U.S. judicial system or just a heavy-hand on the "considering women secondary to men is bad." I've read all of those.

Even when I agreed with the ideas, I've felt uncomfortable, and I've been pitched out of the story. For me, of course, that is the one and only rule: Don't pitch someone out of your story.

I've actually stopped reading some authors because I don't want to see the rant one more time.

Of COURSE you have the right to write passionately of your beliefs, but recognize that your audience may not go along with you, and they have the right not to finish the book. Also, your readers may ascribe to you the beliefs that a CHARACTER has, true or false.

I have strong political beliefs. I don't voice them in my books or here. I want to keep every single one of my readers...I want MORE readers. I already know that the society of Celta, with its belief in a male and female deity (and my characters decide whether they pray to the Lady and Lord or the Lord and Lady -- and in what instances) can be uncomfortable for people.

If I make you feel and think, that's good, but I consider myself an entertainer -- taking you away to another place for a few hours so you can forget your [plumbing/car] problems. So, for me, educating you about romance novels or violence or slavery is not the main thrust of my work.

I would say that writers who do this limit their audience, and for me that isn't something I want to do.

May you enjoy your entertainment today.


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