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Why do stories need an Aesop?:
Who you are does not matter.If you're a bad writer, perhaps. Part of learning the craft is learning not to do that; learning to recognize and correct for your prejudices. There are aesops running around in my stories, intentional ones; some of them are reflective of me, incidentally. Some of them aren't.
edited 9th Oct '11 2:51:22 PM by Night
"Who I am does."
Additionally, even if you aren't able to overcome your prejudices entirely, simply being aware of them can help your work avoid becoming an Author Tract. For instance, I have a frothing-at-the-mouth hatred for Science Is Bad and other "primitivist" ideals that is probably too deeply rooted in my personality to overcome. Therefore, I will never include any sort of Evil Luddite antagonist or the like in any of my works, as I would be unable to treat them as anything other then an unsympathetic strawman. I also don't see where the fact that some readers might read an aesop into your works even if you didn't intend one comes into this at all. I have never found the "some Viewers Are Morons, so you should tailor the entire work to their level" argument terribly convincing for anything other then economic reasons, which I don't see being much of a problem here.
Fuzzy Orange Doomsayer
For instance, I have a frothing-at-the-mouth hatred for Science Is Bad and other "primitivist" ideals that is probably too deeply rooted in my personality to overcome. Therefore, I will never include any sort of Evil Luddite antagonist or the like in any of my works, as I would be unable to treat them as anything other then an unsympathetic strawman.I can't speak for you, but I've found that I can write characters I disagree with if I portray why they think differently than I do. (In one of my current projects, the female lead argues The Evils of Free Will, and the male lead realizes that her belief in it is a direct result of the traits he admires in her. I've probably tipped my hand that I agree with the male lead, but I give them both time to make their arguments, and I think my story will have wider appeal because of it.)
edited 9th Oct '11 4:21:01 PM by feotakahari
That's Feo . . . He's a disgusting, mysoginistic, paedophilic asshat who moonlights as a shitty writer—Something Awful
As I was saying, there's a difference between disagreeing with something and being unshakably prejudiced against it. I can write plenty of characters I disagree with, but in that particular case, the disagreement is so fundamental that I strongly doubt I can ever overcome it - the point is that, by being aware of it, I know not to use those particular kinds of characters in my works.
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