Values – The Focal Point of Good Writing
Diversity in life is the greatest thing people have in common. Diverse lives mean diverse values. As a writer, if you want to relate to people and get them personally involved with your writing, challenge their values. Give your readers something to digest. I learned this principle with the first book I wrote. It is the most appreciated book in the Lil Quacker Series written for children. It is titled “Oldie Oldschool and the Chicks.” It is a comic parody of values. Its characters have different values from old to modern, conservative to liberal, men to women, and more. It looks at the crazy sides of them all with Oldie Oldschool teaching the chicks. The fun side of using values in your writing is looking at different viewpoints, lifestyles, and people. Situations always change the accepted norms of the value. What is commonplace now, will look absurd over time. By placing the value on unimportant things, a writer can safely examine it. For example, in Oldie Oldschool and the Chicks, all values were examined in the context of chickens becoming cowboys and cooks. It was a safe environment to discuss conservative and liberal values. It made it possible to laugh at both.
A writer who uses values as a writing tool has a few decisions to make. The writer needs to decide what writing device they will use with their values.
- Promote a value.
Everyone has different values. If a writer wants to entice different people to their beliefs, they need to get behind the values they believe and promote them in their writing. They need to stand on principal.
- Oppose a value.
Sometimes a writer needs to stand up and oppose what they don’t believe. If you want to make your writing stand for something, people need to know where you stand.
- Present opposing values. Show your reader where values clash. By presenting both sides of an issue, a writer can present conflict and move along their writing.
- Be a distant observer. A writer can take a distant view from the issues and show the values in a clear picture from afar. People can see more clearly if they get the big picture.
- Take a comic look at the values. A writer can look at different values in their extremes. An understanding of something can change when it is presented in its absurd extremes. Sometime the truth just looks funny. Humor is the best remedy to look at sensitive issues.
Once a writer decides the writing device to use, they must decide the point of view to use.
- Writer’s opinion. Is your writing going to be an opinion piece? Are you taking ownership?
- Story piece. Is the writer going to use a story to show a casual view of the values.? Stories are very powerful.
- Character values. Are the characters in your story going to posses the values? Do they portray the movement of the piece by their beliefs?
By making these choices, a writer will be able to successfully use values as their focal point for good writing.
As a writer yourself, you might be asking why you would want to worry about values in your writing. I think the best reasons are:
- Relatability. A writer wants to relate with his audience. A writer must present something that a reader can relate with whether good or bad.
It brings up feelings that the reader has or opposes.
- Interesting. Everyone has values. It is interesting to discuss what you believe. Most people have formed strong opinions that they can explore. Readers will remain interested in what you have to say.
- Promotes writer’s conflict. The best way to move an article or story along is with conflict. It moves a story from one place to another, and from one level to another. Values naturally brings conflicts into any conversation or written piece. Everyone has an opinion and their opinion is right.
- Provides an endless supply of writing material. In a world of media and writing, the idea pools for a lot of writing can be tough to tap. A writer does not just want to regurgitate the same ideas. Values provides endless interesting writing material.
The bottom line is this – If you want to practice good writing – Use values as your focal point in your writing. It will produce marvelous results in your writing process.
Oldie Oldschool and the Chicks autographed copy sold at https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheeOldePeddler .