Case in point: Sylvia Plath. “Plath-y” writers do care about something: the fact that life seems random and unfair. They want to make you jump on the apathy bandwagon. Plath-y writers typically make you want to bang your head against the wall for days after reading their stuff. I sank into a two-day depression at the end of Jude the Obscure, by the ever-cheery Thomas Hardy, but the tragedies in that book stick with me to this day. In Hardy’s case, tragedy has a point–it’s often a direct result of bad behaviour. Thus, it says something.
I do want to say something with my novels, to reflect the world accurately by using characters who act in realistic ways while they grow and change. Although sometimes, they’ll refuse to do so, which brings some serious consequences.
Here’s what I’d like to know: Do you have a big idea you could build an entire novel around? Grandparents who get dropped off in nursing homes and are forgotten like yesterday’s news? Pet overpopulation? Media trying to make girls grow up too fast? In other words, what do YOU care about in this day and age?