Jul 11 2008
The authors that try to present political or religious opinions usually confuse their opinions with insights. How is your message different from what people have already heard about abortion? For example, your readers have already heard many people chant “abortion is good” and “abortion is bad.” Is your story just another voice in the chorus or will it actually add something? Why will anyone care about your opinion? Do you have any unique perspective on the subject material? Do you have relevant professional or scholarly experience? Are you personally affected by the issue? Etc.
Most attempts at persuasion are ineffective because the writers don’t know very much about the field. The people that read a book about a political subject are usually well-versed about the subject. You have to be even more knowledgeable than they are. Can you add anything to the perspectives of your readers? If your background is only as deep as what you’ve read in newspapers or heard on television, you probably don’t know enough to impress readers (let alone persuade them).
Selling political opinions is particularly tricky in fiction. You’ll probably modify real-life events to fit into your story, which is fine if you’re just writing a story but can be problematic if you want to convey a real-life political message. If the story is too fictionalized, the propaganda comes off as a bad joke. For example, The remake of War of the Worlds was supposed to be an allegory about the US invasion of Iraq. If you fictionalize the story too much, it will lose any real-world persuasiveness.