I like what Donald Maass has to say about conveying our passionate opinions: “They are always stronger in the mouths of characters than in the prose of the author.”
I started out writing non-fiction and quickly discovered that I struggled with the teaching style that came with writing a non-fiction book. Obviously my struggle came through in the writing and I only got one book contract out of the countless ideas I pitched over the years. I think it became painfully obvious that I was not cut out for this kind of writing. I needed to follow my heart.
But did that mean that my days of having something to say had to end? Nope. It just meant I wasn't going to be the one saying it anymore. Now my characters got to do it.
In my new novel (coming in June) my main character has some hard lessons to learn about pedestals and authenticity and striving for perfection. Now, I could've written a non-fiction book about these same things but honestly-- truly-- I know that I said it better by telling you a story about someone who was struggling with these things than by writing an essay about my own struggles.
I will close with this quote:
If you want to tell people what to think, write non-fiction. If you want to show them who you are, write fiction.
I hope to keep showing people who I am-- and what I'm learning about life-- through the stories I tell. I'll let my characters do the talking for me.