Monday, October 26, 2009

Types of Writers, Part 3- The Pastor-Writer

Today we will examine the third type of comic book writers I will be showcasing: The Pastor-Writer.

Pastor-Writers are writers with a tendency to interject their political, ethical and religious views into their writing. Frequently, their characters will coincidentally hold the exact viewpoint as the writer, regardless of whether this fits in with the character’s previous portrayals. They will not only hold these viewpoints, but feel the need to give sermon after sermon about their pet issues. This may lead to unintentionally hilarious contradictions, such as a character that gains their power from the animal kingdom preaching vegetarianism.

Frequently, the main character will be written as if they were Moses with their opinions hand-crafted by God. They are always right, and anyone with opposing viewpoints will be shown to not only be wrong, but be treated as if they are not only stupid, but immoral.

Some writers manage to avoid becoming Pastor-Writers, but still give their character similar political views to themselves.  They do this by showing that their character is far from perfect and capable of being wrong.  Another way to avoid it would be to treat the opposing viewpoint with respect, but that rarely happens when politics and religion are involved.

Pastor-Writers are not necessarily bad writers. In fact, many are only allowed to get away with it because they are good writers. They just have an unfortunate habit to derail the plot for so they can give the readers a 5-page lecture on U.S. foreign policy that is completely irrelevant to their story. Fans of their stories will either agree with the authors’ views, or will be willing to put up with it because the rest of the story is interesting.

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