My favorite book on writing is Ayn Rand's The Art of Fiction, which I posted a book review of back in 2011. I'm not a writer that's into writing fiction for fiction's sake. While I love writing stories, I can't write a good one unless I feel that there's some point to what I'm doing, other than my own amusement. I want people to get something out my stories besides just entertainment. That's just who I am. And because of that, Ayn's book spoke to me more than any other writing book I've read. She tells you how to focus everything in your story on making the point you want to make.
So, naturally, I was curious when I saw an article titled "Why Even Ayn Rand Can Teach You Something About Writing."
Even Ayn Rand. Well, that's generous of you.
Mostly, the article is about Why Ayn Rand Can't Teach You Anything About Writing At All. Oh, and she hates humanity. And is boring. Actually, the only benefit the writer of the article believes can be derived from reading her book is the opportunity to practice working past a state of rage so that you can then prove why she's wrong.
He complains about Ayn's writing all the way down to her prose style, but it's obvious that what he really objects to is her philosophy, Objectivism, which she's not at all shy about espousing. I don't agree with Objectivism because it's a godless school of thought, but it's important to realize that Objectivism and Christianity are on the same side in one very crucial battle.
You see, both believe in an objective reality.
This means that both Christians (if they're worth their salt) and Objectivists believe that reality exists apart from our perceptions of it. We either perceive reality correctly or we don't. Two directly-conflicting views of the world can't both be right. Not all views are equally valid. They are valid in so far as they line up with the reality that exists outside of all perceptions. Truth is solid and cannot be changed. It exists. If it contradicts itself, it is not truth.
Most intellectuals do not believe in an objective reality anymore. They demonstrate this in the art they create and value: books with made-up words, art that destroys boundaries between things, films that tear down the notion of reality. Rarely will they come out and voice this core belief, but it's here, plain to see, in their hatred of a writer who believed that words should have concrete meanings.
No, I don't think books should be 'preachy.' But I'm willing to use my fiction to say that some things are of greater value than other things, that the universe has meaning that we can understand, that there is right and wrong, truth and falsehood, lines that should not be crossed, ways we should live.
Can you believe it's come to this? That we're considered old-fashioned for believing in reality?