Writer’s Dilemma : Principles and Idealism vs Market Taste

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There’s a romance novelist I knew on blogging community shared her thought and concern about sex and violence scenes in popular romance stories, especially on platform, like wattpad and fanfiction.net. In her opinion, that scene is too vulgar and she worried if it’d damage the youngster’s moral and mentalities, especially underage readers. Okay, I don’t want to talk about “eastern culture” or “moral and ethic” here, because the explanation will be longer and kinda risky in rising a heated argument. But, yeah I know what she feels cause I have the same worries. As a romance novelist, she regretted the creativity of romance story writers whom she considered to be limited only to sex and violence scenes.

She also regretted why romance stories with the nuances of sex and violence became more popular and loved by many people. When she shared her opinion, one of her friend called her as “moralist” (in a mocking tone).

Moralist (n) is a person who has strong ideas about moral principles, especially one who tells people how they should behave
(Oxford Advanved Learner’s Dictionary)
I wonder what’s wrong if someone is considered as moralist? Please, tell me if it’s good or bad!

Have Your Own Principles and Idealism

Every writer must have uniqueness and writing style. Our writing style usually almost similar with the way we talk. If you try to copy others writing style, even he/she is your role model, your writing seems has no soul. Because you write like others, not yourself.

Principles and idealism in writing are also important owned by every writer. My blogger friend that I’ve told you about at the beginning, has the principle and idealism not to include sex and violence scene in her works (even drugs and alcoholic drinks are shown only a little as an explanatory, not a major element).

There’s another blogger friend who’s more senior (both age and experience) , always including his personal experiences as real examples of what he wrote. His writings are rich in life wisdom and very characterized (he’s already three quarters of a century old, so his life experiences are numerous).

I have principles and idealism in writing, which is not only able to entertain but also educate, both myself and others. I also maintain the principles of simplicity, honesty and sincerity in writing. I don’t want my writing is only about bundle of words, but also has meaning and able to touch others heart or make others brain work to think, even though only 1 or 2 people.

Idealism vs Market Taste

An idealist writer often find dilemma between maintain the idealism or follow the market taste. If you’re an Indonesian, I’m sure you know how’s the quality of our TV programs today, especially shitnetron (I mean sinetron) and FTV. I have ever read an article that contained interviews with some sinetron and FTV script writers. They claimed to the media that their scripts often have to be revised because the scripts were considered as “too intelectual” so people will find it difficult to understand. “People” referred to here is the lower middle class and uneducated people.

For me, there’re 2 things I want to criticize. First, this country actually never lack of smart and creative script writers. But they’re forced to meet market tastes and pursue ratings, that’s why they’re being forced to sacrifice their principles and idealism. Secondly, if the target is lower middle class and uneducated people, can’t they produce entertainment programs with “better quality” but still entertaining? “A better quality” doesn’t mean it must be “too intelectual”. Got the point?

Okay, back to the topic. Honestly, I’m sad yet embarassed to know how pitiful the readers tastes (and TV viewers) in this +62 country. I’m sorry, I do not intended to humiliate my country itself. Like a TV programs, can’t romance writers write love stories that aren’t vulgar but still romantic? Love is universal language besides music, so, don’t narrow the meaning of love with such ragged romance stories like that. And love must not only be shown by sexual desire. Only narrow minded people who think that sex is the only way to show how you love someone.

Writing love stories that fit in market tastes (applies to any type and genre of writing) will probably bring more popularity and money. So, should our principles and idealism be traded with those kind of things?

Have a great day everyone! Don’t forget to be happy.

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