This seems to be the watchword of so many people recently. Anything that goes against their specific belief system offends them. Is this normal? Have authors begun to develop characters who take offense at everything around them?
I certainly hope so. One things authors must learn early on. We have to watch societal trends and integrate them into our work. Does this mean our main character has to remain offended throughout the story? Or should we work to show this person changing, evolving, becoming someone who isn’t offended because someone doesn’t think like they do?
As authors, as masters of the written word, we have the perfect opportunity to show others how their actions look to others. Not that we should preach about a problem. What we need to do is easily slide information into a book in a way that is pleasing to our fans. Instead of pummeling them with constant reminders that the way they take offense at everything they don’t agree with, show them the consequences of those actions.
Far too many people say they can do without those who don’t think exactly like they do. We’re constantly reminded during these turbulent times that it’s not safe to express our true beliefs, if we want to keep our friends. That leads to tension or ignoring things our friends find important. Eventually, they’ll understand our feelings. The question then becomes will they change? Will they understand their far too sensitive feelings have alienated others and is driving them away?
Someone once told me they’d love to live in their version of utopia. Once they finished explaining everything that would be going on there, I remarked, “How boring.” The friend was not amused and demanded an explanation. My response was very simple.
We are all built differently. Our beliefs and desires are never the same. If everyone was exactly the same, if we didn’t feel passionately about different things, our lives would be incredibly boring. We’d have nothing to look forward to.
So, use societal trends to put forth a plot in your book, but remember to also show how those trends could hurt those around you, in a positive way.