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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
"You never did understand that Lightning is a family. I thought you would have learned, when Duo hit you in the face."
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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