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Authors Who Insert Personal Views

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Posts: 1462
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: I love history, but it's boring in school. Historical fiction brings it alive for me.
Preferred HF: Iron-Age Britain, Roman Britain, Medieval Britain
Location: New Orleans

Authors Who Insert Personal Views

Post by Rowan » Wed February 20th, 2013, 9:11 pm

I decided to put this here in the chat section mostly because it's about a non-HF author. If the moderators believe it should go elsewhere, I bow to your wisdom. :)

For now, I will leave the author's name out of the discussion. The book in question is a contemporary mystery and up to this point I have enjoyed every book written in this series. This book, however, has proven to be a struggle at best.

It's as though the author has two plot lines going simultaneously. One featuring the crime itself and the effort to solve it by the main players, as per usual, while the other seems to be an ongoing plot line of the individual I'm assuming will turn out to be the one who "dunit". There are typically several chapters written focusing on the main plot of the book and followed by several of the other variety. It's when I hit those "other" chapters that I feel like I am going from a nice sail down the river to a sail through an ocean of molasses. The "other" chapters do nothing for me and while I understand the author is using them to give a lot of back-story to the reader, I don't think it's wholly necessary. After reading the bit I did during my lunch hour today, I also believe the author is using these "other" chapters to rant (in a manner of speaking) about a social issue that she feels passionate about. While I was emotionally moved by what I read today, I fail to see what it has to do with the plot of the story. I have since decided to skip the remaining "other" chapters and just read those that stick with the plot as it is.

Have any of you ever experienced this before?

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Post by LoveHistory » Thu February 21st, 2013, 1:56 am

Can't say that I have. However, keep in mind that it may be the character, and not the author, who is ranting. And in the end it may turn out to be very important to the story.

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Post by Ash » Thu February 21st, 2013, 1:14 pm

That kind of writing is the reason why I don't read Jodi Picoult. I have put aside books where its obviously the author's voice hammering his particular message and not the character's, even if I agree with his take on the topic. Sometimes this can be done in a way that makes the reader consider the opinions and perhaps sees the topic in a different light. But too often it does feel like a hammer.


Post by Helen_Davis » Thu February 21st, 2013, 4:01 pm

I have written some autobiographical characters in my alternate history series. And obviously, my series is the way I wish things had been. But I try to leave my actual PERSONAL views out of it.

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Post by Divia » Thu February 21st, 2013, 4:39 pm

I suppose as writers our views could slip into a novel, but when its really obviously and poorly written then I think we have a problem.
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