Positive Social Change
Not that I need to say any of this, but there’s a LOT happening in the world today, and sometimes it can be difficult to find hope in humanity. This is where you, as a writer, step into your superhero suit, ignite your heroic emblem across the sky, and give your readers hope!
But how do you tackle something so huge in a world with so much darkness, when you only have two hands and ten fingers and one keyboard/pen?
ONE WORD AT A TIME.
Words have power. There’s a reason why the idiom, “The pen is mightier than the sword,” has relevance no matter the age it’s in. You can plant an idea into someone’s mind, and your words will cultivate that idea. That is true power.
Positive Social Change within my own novel definitely has a specific focus (which I will not disclose because SPOILERS), but it’s relevant to our present, even though the story takes place in the past. My goal is to give my 21st century readers hope through an allegorical approach of the struggles depicted through my fiction. This means that my characters, setting, plot, etc. will all experience the negative, which can be difficult to write–but that’s the ordeal that brings us all to the understanding of the positive and what must be done to make that positive become a reality.
Remember: Great things don’t happen inside of comfort zones.
Think about the stories that affected society in some way, helping readers to think and propelling them to act. What stories came to mind? Current ones like Hunger Games and Harry Potter? Classics like To Kill a Mockingbird, Animal Farm, and Fahrenheit 451? Use those stories as motivation for you when you feel like your little ol’ story won’t be enough to change anything. Each of those changed something in you, didn’t they? Who’s to say your story won’t be that catalyst for someone else?
A writer only needs one reader in order to make a positive effect. Be the writer that inspires someone to do great and positive things. Show them the hope at the end of the tunnel, with your hero striving through every obstacle, flaw, and catastrophe as he/she works to reach that hope. Then your hero becomes a beacon, and your reader will shine that light on the world.
Worksheet Question: What positive social change would you like to see in the world around you? How can you illustrate that in your novel–characters? Symbols? Plot? Brainstorm and free write to see what you come up with.