Main Author Tract Discussion

Collapse/Expand Topics

05:00:39 PM Mar 27th 2015
Would adding Rampage 2:Capital Punishment be alright? From what i'm hearing it seems like a bit of a tract from Uwe Boll.
02:44:39 AM Mar 28th 2015
Needs a bit more context, I think.
04:44:14 PM Nov 2nd 2013

  • And in Next, he used a page in the book as a Take That! against someone who wrote a critical review of State of Fear examining his views on global warming. On said page, he devotes a paragraph to mentioning a character with the same name as the reviewer, who just happens to be a child molester with a small penis. The character appears and then vanishes as suddenly.

This doesn't seem to be an author tract. It's a single character in a single paragraph on a single page.
04:43:40 PM Nov 2nd 2013
Removed this from the Starship Troopers bit.

  • Also, the novel is very pro-military in general, but it was more about Heinein's ideas of how the military should be (as well as the associated political/philosophical ideas being pushed) than being pro military.

It's very pro-military, but actually it's not so much pro-military per se... I'm sorry, what?
09:17:54 PM Oct 1st 2013
Wanted to add a passage to the description:

If you want to write an author tract, staying near the lighter ends of the morality spectrum — White and Grey Morality, White And White Morality — will help the message go down easier, and minimize the feeling of skeptical readers that you're stacking the deck.

But I want to run it by other people first. If it's not the sort of thing that belongs, I won't put it in.
12:31:34 AM Oct 2nd 2013
I don't see it as fitting very well, or necessarily being true. However, if others see it as good then that's fine.
10:11:50 AM Oct 2nd 2013
I don't think it's really appropriate for the description. We don't usually include notes addressed to writers in descriptions, because it's really not relevant to describing what the trope is.
03:02:51 AM Jul 5th 2013
I'm confused over the idea that the universe needs to be created in order to do this. "Note that this only applies when the entire universe and characters have been created to put forward the author's viewpoint. If an existing fictional universe or character has been altered to create a medium for a tract, then it's due to a Writer on Board (Author Filibuster is an extreme example of that)." How does this affect interpretations of the real world, where authors predict or stress a certain possibility? Most examples seem to me not to be separate universes. Point in case: H. G. Wells has written numerous novellas with predictions of how civilization will destroy itself. It's ideological science fiction, but does not always create new worlds so much as describes possibilities for the real world. Examples: The Time Machine, The World Set Free, The War in the Air, etc. The narrator often explains why things will happen/happened like this. Is this then closer to Authoron Board?
11:06:22 PM Jun 12th 2013
Deleted the Moral Dissonance bit from the Naruto example. Does not apply.
02:51:45 PM Oct 20th 2012

  • The Narnia books, in which children go to the land and have adventures with Aslan the Lion, who is basically Alternate Universe Talking Animal Jesus. He generally keeps it in subtext, but makes it extremely blatant at some points, such as Aslan saying to the kids at the end of the third book that he is "known by another name" in their world. The final Narnia novel goes even further by having Aslan outright state that he is known as "the lamb" on Earth, and having the main characters follow him into Heaven.
  • Word of God... ahem... in this case claims it didn't start out that way. Lewis said that he didn't set out to write the Narnia books as a religious parable, but that he had converted to Christianity (due to Tolkien!) at the time and his feelings about religion just found their way into his work. Obviously he had noticed it and was playing it up by the end, but it explains why it was more subtle early on.

I don't think putting religious themes in your books automatically makes it an author tract. This is a trope about the author lecturing you to convince you to come around to their point of view. The other bullet point about the Hollywood Atheist in one of the Narnia books fits because it's obvious that Lewis is making a statement against atheism.
07:40:41 PM Jun 25th 2012
  • Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen has always been filled with navel-gazing philosophy (usually of the wangsty kind), but for the first seven books it was at least the characters doing it, and sometimes not without reason. But in book eight, Toll the Hounds, we have long ramblings in omniscient voice, and it becomes painfully obvious that Erikson is trying to push his allegedly deep insights regarding the world on the reader. Perhaps the most Anvilicious example is p.617 (hardback version), where Erikson has the audacity to, in omniscient voice, use the phrase: "And this is the lesson here, dear friends."
    • The parts of Toll the Hounds where the readers seem to be directly addressed are actually told by Kruppe (who, as we know since the very first book, just loves the sound of his own voice).

I removed this because the comment below it seems to contradict the entry. If someone knows this series and thinks that it's an example, could you please convert it to a single entry?
12:30:09 AM Jan 17th 2012
edited by doomsday524
Are you sure DuckTales really gave an Author Tract about unions, or is it just someone's interpretation of the episode?
11:31:00 PM Jan 16th 2012
edited by doomsday524
Reading through the examples, there's something I noticed. If the example is right-wing, they're complained about and their portrayals of the other side are claimed to be over-the-top, but if they're left-wing, Tropes Are Not Bad is stressed and they're portrayed positively and their negative portrayals of the other side aren't decried, no matter how preachy, Anvilicious, inflammatory, and over-the-top.
10:20:48 PM May 17th 2012
Stuff like this is why I'm thinking that the trope needs to be brought to the Trope Repair Shop.
12:55:14 AM Aug 2nd 2012
edited by MrFable
Could you give an example? I don't see this bias.
04:47:28 PM Dec 26th 2011
  • "The Truth for Youth" by Tim Todd are comics done in Japanese style artwork. They're like Chick Tracts, but a bit more sane. It's pretty odd to read Japanese-style characters talking about the evils of porn.
Oh TV Tropes, sometimes you say the funniest things! What about the outrage over how not All Anime Is Naughty Tentacles?
10:12:55 AM Aug 24th 2011
edited by Shados
"Instead of creating fiction for its primary purpose (entertaining people)"

Interesting statement - surely the primary purpose of fiction can only be determined on a per-instance basis? Generalizing over such a broad scope of works isn't usually very useful. Also, negative tone of the line does contradict with Tropes Are Not Bad.
03:14:10 PM May 22nd 2011
  • El Goonish Shive does this in regards to homosexuality, public nudity, and related issues.

I'm not sure whether this is an example. It is certainly heavy enough to chase readers who disagree away from the comic (myself included) early on, but I don't know if this changed significantly later on.

Any help?
12:48:19 PM Apr 26th 2011
What's so wrong with this trope? It really sounds like anyone who dares to put in An Aesop to give their work some extra meaning are pathetic zealots who just want to preach! Would it be fair to say that any work of fiction that has a sort of underlying message (particularly if it doesn't fly with some people) would pretty much be this? I'm just saying...
03:08:38 PM May 22nd 2011
Remember that some tropes are not bad. As I understand it, though, this trope comes into play when things are pushed much further than simply an anvillicious aesop. It only becomes negative if it hinders the work, though it does have the potential to chase away fans who disagree with the author.
07:23:23 PM Sep 2nd 2013
I still don't see how this differs from An Aesop without being either The Same, but More or License To Whine. We already have Author Filibuster for when they discard storytelling in favour of preaching, so if they aren't doing that then what are they doing?
09:08:01 PM Dec 14th 2010
edited by Camacan
Dropped these comments from Better Days — it's better if individual examples don't wander off into discucsions of whole sub-genres or other works.

  • Better Days is a 'furry' comic, and they do tend towards Author Tract. Jack, anyone?
    • True, but take a good furry webcomic, like 2kinds. It's a statement against racism with loveable characters overcoming differences and becoming friends. Better days basically turned from a mild Author Tract about conservatism (actually pretty interesting) into a massively wanky self-inserted-fantasy-persona.
03:30:46 PM Sep 7th 2010
I don't really know anything about Doctor Steel, but I find the example listed rather dubious. I highly suspect that this is Not an Example.
02:53:06 PM Jun 16th 2010
edited by
I can kind of see why Avatar's page got locked now. Apparently, people have put a license to whine ahead of explaining.
11:17:53 AM May 14th 2010
Mmm. You know, I'd say that, for instance, Jingo is much more obviously an Author Tract than Nation. Or, hey, if we want to talk about Pterry's view of religion, how about Small Gods? But honestly, it never occured to me religion was even a major theme of Nation (despite Mau's Pterry/Simony style "angry at God for not existing" atheism), let alone that it was a tract on the subject.
Collapse/Expand Topics