Saturday, 17 June 2017

#RebelliousWriting - Where is the Light?

     There's a riddle I'm quite fond of: I need light to exist, but when light shines on me, I die. What am I?

     (Highlight this sentence for the answer: a shadow!)

     I'm going to be talking about light and darkness today. In our world, right now, there is both dark and light; they co-exist. I personally believe that someday the light will win over the darkness, but before we get into that, I should tell you: I'm joining the Rebellious Writing Movement!



     #RebelliousWriting is not about rebelling against your parents; it's a movement rebelling against the dark side that has emerged in YA fiction. It's against the rise in explicit content in books, and it's against glorifying things such as drugs, swearing, etc. in books. Here is Gray's, the founder of the movement, post explaining it in more detail: #RebelliousWriting.

     Now, back to light and dark. I'm not talking about colours here, or what time of the day it is. What I really want to discuss is YA books. Light, in my eyes, is when hope is shown in a book, not where everything is horrible and life is portrayed as not worth living. True, we may feel like that sometimes, but here's the thing:

     Darkness doesn't last.

     Just as the sun always rises after a thick cloud of night, there will always be a flicker of flame to show you the way at the end. There will always be the choice to take the offered candle, and find your way out of shadows.

     It's a choice. It's your choice, your character's choice.

     Do they want to stay in darkness, or walk in light?



     Now don't get me wrong, it's important to show the dark, black, and filthy elements of life. We all sin, we all make mistakes, we all do things we shouldn't or witness them. That's, unfortunately, a part of the world in which we stand. Showing the darkness does not mean you have to promote it, however. Instead we should show it, because there are consequences for sin. There are real, painful consequences, in either this time or the next.

     But please, please, do not write the darkness in a way that glorifies it.

     Sin is not good. Pain is not good. Hurting others, hurting yourself is not good. So why write it like it is?

     Write the darkness in a way that doesn't make your reader uncomfortable, doesn't force them to consider a person's age when they want to recommend your book to them, doesn't make it seem like darkness is fun! so! much! fun!

     It's not.

     So why do I ask you to write about darkness? Aren't I supposed to be talking about light?

     When you write about shadows, you have an opportunity; you can show the burning candle. You can put hope and life and joy, even if it's just a smidgen, into the characters and your reader. You can show them that there is a flame that will show their battered feet where to walk, that they are wanted, and there are rewards for their fight for the good.



     Think about the phrase: "Black and white." Let's imagine that you were taught that no other colour existed, except white. Wouldn't then black also be white to you? Or at least, you would think it a different kind of white. If you didn't know the difference between wrong and right, only that there is "right", wouldn't everything be right?

     We are shown opposites because they help us understand the world around us. Wet, dry. Wood, stone. Day, night. Real, fake.

     Light and dark. Black and white.

     We can get so lost in trying to show the darkness, how raw and hurtful it can be, that sometimes we forget that light and dark must be paired together to really show the truth. If we are shown the consequences of darkness, we can turn towards the light. But if we are only shown consuming shadows, then we'll get lost. The reader will close the book feeling empty and without hope.

     So please, write the light. Show its goodness, its hope, its love, its peace, its perfect love.

     Light will always win in the end.
   


I hope you enjoyed today's post! Feel free to disagree or agree with me in the comments, just please remember to keep it clean and respectful; everyone's ideas are important and should be heard. :)
Do you try to show the light in your own writing? Anything else you'd like to add or ask me questions about? Will you be joining #RebelliousWriting?
Have an amazing day!<3

28 comments:

  1. YAY!!! Melissa has joined the movement!!! I was hoping you would!!

    I love your post, it's so awesome! Did you send the link to Gray yet?

    Catherine
    catherinesrebellingmuse.blogspot.com

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    1. I have indeed!!! I thought I couldn't pass up the opportunity to join something so special. XD

      Aw thanks so much! Yes, I just sent it. :D Thanks so much for commenting Catherine!

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  2. YES YES YES!! As I was reading through your post I was like YES YES YES THAT'S ME THAT'S ME THAT'S WHAT I THINK!

    My books are rather dark because I'm not afraid to address tough subjects and serious issues. BUT I think the difference comes in the way you handle those subjects. I would NEVER write a story glorifying abuse, or bad language, or materialistic living (for example), but it doesn't mean I won't include those things in my books. To be able to follow the light, I think you must have some idea of the darkness. Those things are very real in today's world, and I don't think the answer is to exclude them from our writing altogether. I will write dark stories - to an extent - but I will always point them towards the light. I will never glorify the darkness, and I will always show it for the evil it is.

    Sorry for the essay! Amazing post :)

    Amy @ A Magical World Of Words

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! :D

      I would consider aspects of my books dark as well, but I'm very much like you. I believe in showing darkness so readers can understand the light, but I would never glorify sin. They are extremely relevant issues in the current world. Great points!

      Haha no worries, it was a pleasure to read your "essay." ;) Thanks so much for commenting Amy! <3

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  3. This was absolutely beautiful. Thank you.

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  4. I totally agree. We should never glorify bad things in our writing, but it can be okay, sometimes, to show them. I'm definitely going to check out more about this movement!

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    1. Yes, please do check it out! It's a great movement. :D I'm glad you agree, and thank you for commenting Rachel! :)

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  5. YA is sometimes a struggle to get through! I hate how darkness is treated as a 'cool' lifestyle. I think the purpose of YA books, really, at its core, is to show that while young adults are going through rough phases in their lives, there IS light. Metaphorical, literal, you name it!

    I tend to write two-sided stories. Like in a way, there is darkness, but light comes out of it!

    Great post, Melissa. Thank you for opening my eyes once again <3

    - andrea at a surge of thunder

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    1. Darkness is definitely not a cool lifestyle! That's very true, and really well put! I think a lot of authors go in with the intent to show the light, but can struggle with the balance between dark and light.

      Yes, that's exactly the kind of stories that are so important to write! :D

      No, thank you! I'm so happy you agree, and thanks so much for commenting, Andrea! <3

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  6. Wonderful post, Melissa. I love the perspective you brought to this movement, thank you for joining.

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    1. Thanks Gray! I'm glad you think so. XD Thank you for starting such a great movement and commenting!

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  7. This is absolutely beautiful Melissa <3
    Thank you for the beautiful imagery, with your permission can I use this post with some adjustments for the upcoming website?

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    1. Thank you Anna! :D Absolutely, go for it! Thanks so much for following and commenting! XD

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  8. OMW MELISSA THIS POST IS AMAZING!!! Just...wow. WOW. The way you portrayed this and explained it was brilliant. I'm sort of lost for words right now, but I agree with every point you made! <3

    audrey caylin

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    1. Awwww thank you Audrey! Your comment made me so happy. <3 I'm super glad you loved it and share the same thoughts as me on the topic. Thanks so much for commenting! :D

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  9. YES!! This post was so well put and I agree wholeheartedly! Keep expressing yourself because you always manage to hit on just the right words to make your meaning clear!

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  10. Thanks so much Emmeline! :D I'm so happy you agree with and like my post. Your very kind words mean a lot! <3 Thank you for commenting!

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  11. LOVE this!! Great job, Melissa!

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  12. I hadn't actually heard about this movement, but it sounds really interesting! I definitely agree about not glorifying darkness and things like that in writing, and I think that in showing the darker side of things it should be to show that ultimately hope and light will win out. Especially in this day and age, with all the terrible things happening in the world, I think that's the message we really need to be taking away from fiction right now.
    I'm OK with things like swearing in moderation, and when it's used only because that's genuinely what that specific character would say, but I think some people go way over the top in the name of making their characters 'cool', and it's just really off-putting, especially when authors know that it could offend a lot of readers. As you say, it's all about not glorifying these things!
    Great post :)

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    1. I agree Laura! There's a lot of horrible things occurring all over the world right now, and people need to be shown that there is hope and light. :) I always try to eliminate swearing in my own writing, but I can appreciate that it's a personal and individual decision of how much you include in your writing. After all, it depends on where you live to define what a swear word is! Definitely, swearing should not be included just to make the character seem 'cool.'
      Thanks Laura! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and commenting! XD

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  13. Thanks for the great post! I love how you described the way that differences and opposites can help us understand things more fully. We need to show both to truly be able to understand why each is significant.

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    1. You're very welcome! XD I'm so happy you enjoyed reading my post, and that my points struck a chord with you. :) Thanks so much for dropping by and commenting RM!

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  14. (I'm late but) THANK YOU MELISSA THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. It's easy to pick at the obvious things - swearing, smut, drugs, etc - but the overarching glorification of darkness is harder to pin down and is therefore even more dangerous. This post is awesome, and the world needs to know that darkness isn't cool!

    Jem Jones

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    1. You're never too late Jem! XD You're very welcome! :) Darkness is so not cool, and is always makes me sad to read books that portray it as the ideal lifestyle. Thanks so much for commenting and saying lovely things! <3

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  15. Wow, you expressed that contrast so well! It's powerful. This is a great post, Melissa. Keep writing for His glory! :)

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    1. Thank you Jessica! <3 I'm very glad you thought so. Thanks so much for your words, and for commenting! :D

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