Writers, Don’t Preach

pulpit - illustration for writers don't peach quick writing tip article

When you’re writing a piece of fiction about a theme or event related to your personal beliefs, it’s important to not get preachy. Unless you happen to be the ghost of John Bunyan, that’s not why people picked up your book. Fiction readers want to be entertained and emotionally moved. It can be very tempting to be argumentative with your readers and try to convert them to your viewpoint, but that will turn people off very quickly. If you want to talk about a worldview, it’s important to show it rather than let your story turn into a lecture.

Rather than having a character say, for example, “we should open the borders to immigration for the following reasons”, show us an immigrant family and the struggles they deal with because of closed borders. Whatever your worldview is, demonstrate it with the plot or hide it in metaphor.

In addition to not turning off your readers, showing your worldview this way is actually more impactful. If your character outright says “open borders are good”, your readers could mentally argue with them and come up with reasons why they disagree. But people are less argumentative with stories.

We all have mental walls made up of personal beliefs and prejudices. But stories have a way of sneaking in past our mental defenses. You can hide anything in a story, and if the story is entertaining and emotionally compelling, people largely accept it.

So remember, make literature, not lectures.

Let's keep in touch.

Get my newsletter for the latest posts, book releases, and free stuff!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy at https://dnschmidt.com/privacy-policy for more info.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *