Aug. 30th, 2014

sarillia: (Default)
[personal profile] sarillia
I just started an ambitious new world-building project and I'm working on a map. Does anyone know of a good primer on geographical features that will keep me from making mistakes like having rivers flow uphill. I know some things like that, and how swamps obviously need to be in wet places like near deltas and deserts are often on the leeward side of a mountain range, but I feel like there is probably so much that I don't know without realizing that I don't know it.
ljlee: (candle)
[personal profile] ljlee
What do you think about using political, social, religious and other ideas in fiction-writing? Do your beliefs find their way into your work, and if so how? Alternately, do you believe enjoyable fiction is free of ideology and partisanship?

These questions were touched off in me when members of another comm that I admin were quite open about expressing political and moral ideas through their works. I've given a lot of thought to this issue, too, for instance in a long rant about a post by Holly Lisle on her website, in my review of Changes by Jim Butcher, my review of Frozen, my review of Kingdom of Heaven and... oh, let's face it, everything I've ever written, including fiction. Especially fiction. As I noted in the Changes review, my political views are inextricable from the literary.

That's not to say my goal is to preach or proselytize, quite the opposite in fact. I believe the role of fiction is to tell a truth that lies beyond and below facts. Having an uncompromising agenda tends to distort the truth, and if a writer finds herself going into contortions to make her side look good then she has some issues to work out before she can write to her full potential. On the other hand, truth doesn't exist free of viewpoints, and every work of fiction has some moral standpoint no matter how well or poorly expressed. That's the way I see it, anyway. What do you think?

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