So I stumbled across an interview with Stephen King and Jerry Jenkins. In it they gave some good advice to writers. But they also raised an interesting question, in my mind...Is it wise to write with a message in mind? King says not to make your plot about the message, Jenkins says to consider your audience.
No one wants (or shouldn't want) to sound "preachy," but walking away from a tale with a feeling of depth or new insight can be satisfying. So I think it can be tempting to want to do a tale that ends with "and the moral of the story is..." But that can also be a turn off to the reader. It runs the risk of being condescending to the audience.
It is possible to weave a message into the texture of the tale so that the reader doesn't see it under the layers. Chuck Palahniuck did that with "Survivor." He wrote an obvious social commentary on celebrities, fame, religion, and money. But he also slipped in the idea that schools were pumping out little robots by likening them to a cult. I never would have picked up on that, had he not explained it on his website.
Which brings up the subcategory of -- if you do preach should it be overt or covert? And if it's covert how do you make sure that your message is successfully received?
So, what are your thoughts on this? To preach or not to preach? And if so, overt or covert?
Link to the interview: http://www.writersdigest.com/article/writing-advice-from-stephen-king-and-jerry-jenkins/
Link to Palahniuk's statement:http://chuckpalahniuk.net/books/survivor