Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Risk

Taking risks in a story is...er...risky, but it has been done successfully many times.

Jules Verne, HG Wells, George Orwell and a host of other writers have written what was in their heart and made a living out of their writing. Verne and Wells risked being made fools of by future science.

In his story about a journey to the moon, Verne had the astronauts put inside an artillery shell and fired from a huge gun. We now know that the G-forces on the bodies would have killed the crew the instant the gun was fired and so the story is more than a little dated.

Wells' Martians also look exceedingly unlikely and the canals of Mars have been proven to be an optical illusion.

Orwells' Animal Farm was a thinly veiled critique of the Soviet Union, written at a time during the second world war when they were allies of the UK...yet it still got published.

Everytime an author sends out a piece of work to an agent, magazine or publisher they take a risk. So why not write something daring. If nothing else the story will stand out from the crowd.

2 comments:

KLo said...

You made some excellent points here. I wonder if a fear of risks is why so many manuscripts languish unfinished, why writer's block is so prevalent. Wish I wasn't speaking from experience here ;)

The Journalizer said...

Yeah, sometimes when I write I worry about stuff that I shouldn't worry about. For instance, I worry if something might be offensive, even though I don't find it offensive. Then I realize, that I cannot possibly please everyone all of the time and a lot of the time those things that may seem offensive are what make the book interesting-- ie, Orwells' "thinly veiled" critique of the Soviet Union.
Plus, Nathan Bransford had a post about what is ok to write about and what is overall offensive and should be left out. I can't find that post now, but it was pretty obvious stuff and I'm not in danger of offending.
So I agree with Martin, I should take risks and stop worrying!!
thnx, Martin