One of my Facebook friends recently posted something about Hollywood. She said, All I’m asking is that you give me good characters, not tokens, and good stories, not lectures.
Such is the sorry state of today’s entertainment industry. It’s no longer about entertaining. It’s about using entertainment to push a political agenda, and it’s not going over well with the general public. I think this is why television ratings are down, and why, prior to Covid, there were fewer butts in seats at movie theaters. People watch scripted TV shows, and go to the movies, because they want to be entertained. However, when you use entertainment to lecture people, they’ll walk away.
In my earlier post, No Politics Here, I talked about why I keep politics out of my contemporary romance novels. I write solely to entertain my readers, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. If I wanted to lecture people I would write nonfiction. However, I made the choice to write contemporary romance. It’s my favorite genre, and, like my readers, I simply want to be entertained. I stick to the outcomes readers want and expect. Good overcomes evil. The antagonist suffers the consequences of his or her actions. I’m a storyteller. My job is to entertain readers. Period. I’m neither a teacher or a preacher, nor do I want to be, and I leave the politics to the politicians.
I once posted this meme on Facebook with the comment, “I swear, on everything that is holy, this story isn’t set in Washington, D.C.” Thankfully, people got the joke. They gave it a lot of likes.
All jokes aside, I keep my books politically neutral. I do so by design. It’s a given that no matter what my political leanings are, roughly half of my readers will have the opposing point of view, and I refuse to alienate half of my readers.
I write contemporary romance. I write for people who want to take a break from politics and just be entertained for a while. My stories are about the relationship between two people who’ve fallen in love, and the obstacles they must overcome before they can live happily ever after.
The meme is about my contemporary romance novel, The Deception. It’s the story of a young photographer who’s fallen on hard times. Her boyfriend has dumped her for another woman. A friend and mentor takes advantage of her vulnerability. Later on she’ll meet a man who isn’t who he appears to be, and it puts her life in danger.
For those who are interested, there is a genre called, “political fiction.” Famous novels include George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm. I read both when I was in high school, and they are indeed interesting books. However, it’s not a genre I choose to write.