The news is bad and it’s impacting my novel

In the old days before the Internet, local stories seldom got splashed around the country adding fuel to the fire like they do today. . .a white woman sees a black man walking his dog in the park and calls 911 (what the hell is that!) or a bank can’t verify the paycheck of a black man and calls 911 (that can hardly be bank policy).

I’m fed up with these kinds of incidents just as I’m fed up with sincere protesters getting a bad rap when outside agitators come in and start torching police cars and burning buildings.

I’m writing another anti-KKK novel set in Florida in the 1950s. Florida was a very active KKK world in those days. In my novel, the protagonist starts hassling families who are the local KKK’s movers and shakers with the hope that those people will leave town, weakening the local organization.

But after seeing the daily headlines, I think I’m sitting down at my PC more ticked off than normal. The resulting novel seems edgier and more noir than usual. I don’t know if that’s good or not. I am thankful that I can funnel some of my anger into the story rather than taking it out on family, friends, and co-workers.

How about you? How do you unwind after yet another day of bad news and keep it from turning you into a person you don’t want to be?

–Malcolm

My contemporary fantasy “The Sun Singer” is free on Kindle through July 4th.

 

2 thoughts on “The news is bad and it’s impacting my novel

  1. I think every writer reflects his/her times and influences, which is as it should be. I was reading only today that history is always written under the influence of the present (which is often not the ‘present’ of the events being written about).

    I wonder what writers of (eg) romance and crime fiction are going to do about this time of pandemic? Anything set in 2020 will need to address it. The pandemic may well change our culture significantly for a generation. Romance when you can’t get within six feet of the beloved? Murder from six feet? All doable. All redolent of now. I wonder how long it will be before such a scenario feels historical? And how long it will taint our way of life, like the KKK still does.

    ‘Edgy and noir’ is good. 🙂

  2. We’ll probably get some interesting fiction about the pandemic and the chaos. Perhaps some of the best will come from those directly involved and/or who are recording their day-to-day thoughts in journals. When we write about the past, we know more than our characters who live there, so the stories aren’t pure. Our perspective is different because we’ve seen how the issues in the fiction have changed for better or worse over time. That changes how we tell the story.

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