Power to the People; Power to the Writer

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.

7 comments Posted 2009-07-05 Author: THX 0477


  • Marli

    Awesome meanderings with methinks a tad of truth.

  • Fyora Cartagan

    The Ogre Overlord with a Thesaurus is pleased and shall run to his study with fresh thoughts.

    And I say you are awesome, as usual.

  • blusparrow (LoA)

    hahaha you are awesome =) thanks for the inspiration.

  • bluefish

    Perhaps the most important thing about fiction is that it gives us a lens through which to view our own world, an angle through which we better understand our real world. What is Frankenstein but a way to better understand the influence of developing science on the body and the self? What is Dracula but a way for repressed Victorians to discuss the danger of sexuality? How often do we discuss things as Dickensian or Orwellian? Just look at the way science fiction has affected the way we see robots and technology in our lives.

    So I agree completely with what you say. A good story is so much more than just spinning a yarn. It’s about being human.

  • Blossom Ruoquen (LoA)

    One of the biggest things people wrestle with as they get older is ‘What will my life mean in a decade or two after I’m dead?’ It’s part of the thinking process in midlife crisis, and a huge factor, I’d say, in the way humanity is always striving to be something bigger – something better. That’s the gift of writing though. It’s always unique; even if it’s the same tale, told over again by someone new. It will forever carry the flavor of the creator who penned it. It’s a writer’s legacy.

  • OrangeOreos (LoA)

    Good, awesome thoughts. And Blossom, that’s exactly what I’ve always thought about. What sort of legacy do I want to leave? I guess that’s just part of being a human, wanting to be remembered in a positive light, leaving something behind…

    And personally, I’m a stickler for futuristic novels. Fahrenheit 451, anyone? :P

  • Ronnie

    Sounds like one of the Challenges.