I try to write fiction that everyone will enjoy. I try not to be offensive in my writing, but invariably, someone takes something the wrong way and goes away angry.
It always bothers me when that happens but there isn’t much I can do about it.
Take, for example, a comment I recently got about my story, GalaxyBillies. The comment in question was regarding the use of the word, “schizophrenic.” I use the word to describe the thought processes of one of the characters. The comment essentially said, “I don’t like that you are making fun of schizophrenics so I’m not reading any more of your story.”
When I read the comment, I was at a loss for words. But, I realized, everyone has their own hot buttons; things that they are sensitive too. Obviously, that was his. As per my earlier comment, it bothered me. But, at the end of the day, there isn’t anything I can do about it. Honestly, I’ve always been more concerned people will be upset by the use of the word, hillbilly and how I’ve tried to humorously depict the characters.
And, if I were really honest with myself, I probably have. I just haven’t heard from those people.
I suppose if I were to comment on my own hot button, it would be around Scouts. I have been involved in Canadian Scouting for more than thirteen years now and I see a great deal of value in the program. I think my Scouts are some of the finest young people I know.
When I wrote my book, Scouts of the Apocalypse, I tried to be very respectful of Scouting while writing an enjoyable story.
I don’t think the book was out three days before I heard about this: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1727776/.
If you clicked the link you know I’m referring to the movie, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. The movie, by title, seems very similar but trust me, other than zombies and Scouts they are very different. The movie is a comedy verging on slapstick while my book is about horror and survival.
Is one better than the other? No! Will the movie offend people who might like my book? Probably. I just hope that disliking one won’t me eliminating the other from contention. Regardless, I know I probably won’t be seeing the movie any time soon. Not exactly my cup of tea, but then I don’t think I was the target market for the makers of the film.