Monday, July 28, 2008

Do You Censor Yourself?

I've been catching up on my Google Reader content lately and came across this wonderful article by acclaimed Brave Men Run author, Matthew Wayne Selznick. He received a response from one of his readers concerning some of the content in his book. Mr. Selznick then delved into the question of whether author's should be concerned about the content of their works offending their readers. I love his response, and you should read it in its entirety in his article, The Author's Responsibility.

As a Christian I know that I will encounter different things in the books and stories I choose to read that I may find offensive. That is the risk I take as a reader. Most of these things I take in stride as an avid reader and aspiring author. I know that many of the things we encounter are there to help us define ourselves as humans. Especially in the case of the characters in Brave Men Run, who display many of the character flaws you come to expect in teenagers. As others on Mr. Selznick's website have stated, a teenager who never does anything wrong is not believable. That is true of character's of almost any age.

In my own writing I never try to apologize for the things I've written, or the actions of my characters. If people disagree with what I'm writing they can put the book down and find another. And if reading my material changes peoples' personal opinions of me...well, I guess they'll have to learn to accept the way a human mind thinks, including mine. I know I've accepted it, and am grateful for the different ideas that flow through me during the creative process.

Mr. Selznick, congratulations on an incredible novel in Brave Men Run. And thank you for not worrying about any one's opinion but your own.

1 comment:

Matthew Wayne Selznick said...

Thanks so much for your supportive and encouraging response to my blog post on "the author's responsibility." The feedback -- and the fact that you felt compelled to write a post of your own -- is very gratifying!