I’m a writer who wants to be accepted for their work as all writers do. For myself, I write as an emotional cathartic and a way to look at the problems or things that are bugging me in a different way. For other people, I write to entertain and inform. My hope is that maybe my words will make my readers think about things in a different way.
MisunderstandIng, misinterpretation, and misrepresentation are things I want to avoid when I can, especially when it comes to cruelty and violence. I’m more worried about my friends and family than strangers because the latter only has my words to go on to judge how and what I think. I already have one person I know who isn’t going to read my upcoming novel. According to them, horses have to learn to trust humans, so writing in some animal abuse/cruelty wasn’t necessary. Yes, young or wild equines will have trust issues because they have no experience with us two-leggers. Domesticated adult horses, though, form their opinion and react the way they do based on how they’ve been, or are being, treated.
Even in writing about the abuse, I was real careful about how much detail I provided. Most of it is implied and there is only one scene where there is actual physical contact between a human and a horse. Most of my characters are disgusted by it as I am in real life. One of them even gets sick over it and another is willing to sacrifice their soul to stop it.
Maybe in a perfect world that is moral and just, I could have written a mild, non-violent story where everyone just got along and I was just writing about their adventures. Sadly, though, we live in a world where abuse, crime, hate, bigotry, cruelty, terrorism, greed, pain, anguish, fraud, war, and other forms of evil still exist. That means that some of those elements are needed to balance and fill out a story, unless it’s meant for little kids. I’d love to live on a planet where they were only concepts or words in a dictionary, but the changes needed to banish them here on Earth probably won’t happen in my lifetime. The only way I can even come close to the utopia that I want is through my stories and those of other writers.
Does writing about abuse or having other violent scenes in my books mean I want to hurt animals or other people? Does it mean I want to glorify, promote, or justify such actions? No. Make that an emphatic Hell, no! I tell my stories in the way I think they are going to have the most impact and that sometimes means writing about stuff that is the exact opposite of what I believe in.
I brake for squirrels and other animals. I still feel the loss of every pet who has ever blessed me by being a part of my life and has died or been given to a new home because I was moving and couldn’t take them with me. I cry when I read about cruelty and get mad over stories involving bullying. Same thing when I see those two things on television. In fact, I don’t watch the news most days because I can’t stand the sensationalism of tragedy nor the sacrificing of integrity and trust for the sake of ratings. Yes, I watch television shows and play video games that contain violence and mayhem, but, even there, I have limits as to what I can tolerate. In real life, I don’t like it when any person or creature gets hurt or feels pain around me. I don’t expect everyone to be happy all the time because I know there is stuff going on in their lives that makes that almost impossible, I do, however, wish them peace when they can find it.
Humankind has the potential to be better than we are and to treat each other with more respect and kindness than we do. Will we? I can wish for it and write the future the way I think it’s going to happen. Maybe my words with change minds and influence actions. Maybe they won’t. That is not so important to me as people understanding that the different types of writing that I do don’t reflect or expose who I am in the same way. When I’m writing factual, I’m writing facts and things I’ve researched. When I express my opinion, it’s my thoughts based on my experience, knowledge, and emotions. When I write fiction, it’s my emotions combined with my imagination and inspiration. All three contain parts of me, my heart, and my soul because they are my creation. The last one, however, can’t, and shouldn’t, be used to put me in a box of assumptions about who I am.