According to the UN, the world’s population will top 9.1 billion by 2050. As futuristic a year as that sounds, it’s likely within the lifetime of a lot of the writers on the site. Some of us have better odds than others.
They go on to say that much of that boom will come from the least developed countries. The theory is that as developed countries decrease in fertility rates, they will still increase in numbers by absorbing immigrants. Then again, the whole thing depends on the containment of diseases.
Why bring this up in a writing blog? When I saw the article it reminded me of one of the great powers of writing: the ability to imagine, present, and explore society and culture. That can mean a bleak prediction of where certain policies will take us, as in Orwell’s ‘1984’. It could be a more fanciful extension of popular fantasy/sci-fi memes, as in ‘World War Z’ or ‘Vamped’. You can even go olde-school and see how Dickens viewed society in his age via ‘Bleak House’ or ‘Little Dorrit’.
That’s when writing really hits the mark, when it goes beyond simply telling a nice story. There are lots of reasons why things will stand out and connect with us, and this is just one of them, that it speaks to who we collectively are, where we came from, and where we secretly fear we may be going. Then maybe, just maybe, the thought process sparked there can lead to something positive.
So, are you telling stories or are you connecting on a deeper level with your fellow human beings? Is your character a swell guy or in some way a stand-in for each of us or all of us or some of us? Does the resolution of the conflict stem from convenient plot contrivances or does it speak to how life could go or should go?
Just wondering. Just wandering. Just wishing to be awesome.