Friday, February 21, 2020

Contemporary Fiction and Today's Politics by Connie Vines @author_connievines

How should fiction set in today’s times treat politics?

Thank you Dr. Bob for this month's Round Robin Blog topic.

I do not mention politics in my contemporary fiction. My western romance and romantic suspense novels highlight regional influences and traditions but ignore politics.


It's not because I'm unaware of the world of politics, Global and within the U.S.A., I am writing fiction with a strong romantic element.  I do not find politics romantic.  And even if I did, by the time my novel came into print or were downloaded into eBook readers, the political climate could have changed--my hero's stance is no longer be considered 'hero-like', or, relevant.  

Now my historical novels are a different matter.  History is history.  Historical research involves  means fact collecting: diaries, journals, newspaper articles (different slants), art, government records, (often) first-person interviews, and photographs---there was no photo-shop history to hide scars, or disguise the look of hunger or sorrow in the eyes of children.

"Tanayia--Whisper upon the Water" highlights a 'hot-bed' of political, racial, and government policies from the late 1800s until early 1900s--when the Native American Indians was forced onto Reservations and their children to sent to government run boarding schools.

I choose my political stories with great-care.  I make a point of showing both-sides of the story.  The world was different, harsher, less-forgiving and less open-minded place then.  Life was often cut short. I do not paint anyone as purely 'evil' but a product of his or her time and or environment because everyone is a innocent at birth.

So, reader's what is your take on politics in a contemporary novel?

Be sure and visit the talented writers of this month' s Round Robin Blog Hop and read what they have written.

Skye Taylor
Dr. Bob Rich
Fiona McGier
Rhobin Courtright


  1. You are right about well-documented historical trends and politics. Research takes time and effort but often offers lessons about today's problems. Politics today are too rigid and decisive. Contemporary fiction was much easier to write in the past because keeping up with today's rapid change in social trends and situations is difficult.

  2. I agree, Politics isn't entertaining, or romantic. But I do take issue with your comment about the world being harsher and less open-minded and less forgiving. Actually it was harsher, but today's political climate is anything but open and forgiving. If you disagree with someone you are instantly labeled with the worst names that can be thrown at you. Nothing open minded about it. Which is why I agree that politics should never be included in a work of fiction you want all readers to welcome and enjoy.

  3. Yes, there's nothing romantic about politics today...or in the past either, for that matter. But then I have no interest in writing about rich people who don't work at real jobs, but live off the public dole. They're worse than welfare cheats, who are at least honest about being thieves. Politicians tell you they're doing things for your good, while they're rifling through your pockets to see if they can steal any spare change from you. Old Will said it best: "A pox on both your houses!"

    Fiction writing is, at its essence, escapism. Most people read fiction to escape from their troubles.

  4. Connie, I agree about it being best to leave politics out of fiction -- when possible. But what happens when my character insists on being interested, or vitally involved in politics?
    I know, I should find more obedient characters, but those ones don't tend to inhabit my computer.


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