It's hardly been a secret--here anyway--that I was slowly rolling out information on a villainous government running the show in the world that Joshua Rhoads lives in over at On Dark Rhoads. If you get your news online then you know all sorts of nastiness is going on lately, with even more being alleged, outed, and hinted at. It's times like these that we have to re-examine what we are doing in our fiction. That examination needs to look at the parallels and the differences. They must include questioning if the time is right or wrong to release such stories. For the more self-aware, among a group as self-aware as authors and screen writers, we must also consider will it look like cashing in on the hype (or hysteria), and will it look very dated when all of the chips have fallen, and the fullest picture of the events and their repercussion that we are going to get lands and passes by, as all events do pass by.
At On Dark Rhoads I introduced the Mericratic Party. The Mericrats are in charge of the country, and likely will be for some time to come since they are key to the built-in friction of the setting and a potent adversary in a pretty rough subculture within the world, mostly hidden from prying eyes. It hasn't taken long to conclude that I have nothing to worry about. Concerted, organised, far-reaching, effective, evil is always going to win out in the scary department over even pretty heinous acts that occur at random or are a part of chaotic patterns with no useable meaning. I'm speaking in reference to long form narratives where desensitisation to brutality and the visceral reactions they evoke are a concern. Certainly shocking works in the right sized doses have their place. Still, if you can attach something more to it and carry that forward then all the better.
The other factor to look at, compared and contrasted to reality or not, is do your scenarios have the requisite entertainment and cathartic (both emotional and revelatory) value that your audience is going to derive from your work that you want to impart to them? Will it evoke what you want it to as it stands on its own, and as is stands in comparison to other experiences that the audience collectively and individually is likely to have had that it should compare to, or enhance, or extend beyond? As much as this is circling, the right kind of contrast or differentiation may be all it requires and will fulfill your desire for the product's intangible success. Reaching those goals should ensure the tangible successes such as profitability and popularity as much as can be relied on.
Music: Liar by Queen and Move the Mountain by Stratovarius.