30 Day Blogging: Politics in Fiction

Todays prompt from Writing.com is:

“When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.” Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of th...
Image via Wikipedia

I thought that I would discuss writing politics in fiction today. There are no real rules as to how to do this but here are a few things to consider when adding politics to your writing:

  •  Consider the angle you are coming from – If you are writing a 1st Person Fiction story about a politician then your focus will be different from writing a historical account of the re-electio n of Lincoln. Is it about the character, the history or a political satire.
  • What part does your character/character’s play in the politics? – Are they an observer or are they involved more deeply.
  •  If you are writing fantasy and your protagonist becomes the ruler of some distant land, they should have a learning period. Having a character suddenly be an excellent King or Queen without any background of leadership is a bit unrealistic. To counter this have them make mistakes or have a rocky path into their leadership.
  • Does everyone think they’re right – When writing about feuds/battles/power struggles remember that both sides will usually believe that they are justified in their actions. The problem with war, in general, is that both sides believe in what they are doing. Having said that, there may be some characters who aren’t 100% behind what they’re doing.
  • Are there characters who take advantage of the situation? – Just like in real wars, there are always greedy people ready to profit from other people’s suffering. Final Point – As I’ve said many times, before there are no definitive rules for creative writing and that applies to politics in creative writing. If you’re unsure how to add it to your story, then think of what you see on the news every day.

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