The Scope of Writing

Unfiltered tirades against particular titles, as well as hyperbolic reviews which claim that a series is a perfect masterpiece, can be enjoyable to consume to a degree. Yet written content on anime, as well as other forms of media, of such a nature is inherently alienating and frustrating to many.

Even if one attempts to present an impartial appraisal supported by logical arguments, the fact remains that one is putting forth a subjective opinion by default. For one person may be drawn to the very narrative qualities which repulse another. Because everyone is entitled to holding different opinions and can draw divergent conclusions from the same scenes and episodes, editorials and articles should be encouraged to take a more nuanced approach when it comes to coverage.

The aforementioned rants and overly positive takes fail in this regard since they fully embrace impartiality and thus can come across as insensitive. In an attempt to clearly convey strong emotions and sentiments, the articles essentially dismiss other perspectives in order to persuade the reader.

Admittedly, one of the primary objective of written articles or editorials or essays is to convince the reader that the author’s point-of-view holds merit or is even correct. That’s why examples are appreciated in such content as they are a means for

a) the author to demonstrate what the series is trying to convey in terms of thematics and such, and
b) the readers to follow along and see if they agree with the author.

Another means through which the author can attempt to persuade the reader to believe in the validity of the author’s position is to discuss counterpoints. The way the author approaches this method can be incredibly variable. The author can attempt to tear down these opposing stances in order to make the championed perspective upon which the article is based seem more appealing. The author can also elaborate on these differing positions and ultimately leave it to the reader discretion and attempt to appear neutral (at the risk of creating a false dichotomy, however, since few matters in life are truly black-and-white).

A common approach is to just mention opposing viewpoints before proceeding to the “main” stance. Ultimately it tends to do little to placate readers who disagree with the position of the editorial (and the author), however, as a brief sentence or two is likely not enough.

But what and when is enough?

Does an article have to be exhaustively inclusive and address all positions? At what point does an editorial seemingly shift from being an opinion piece and become more like an article which squarely falls under “he said, she said” journalism?

There’s the matter of flow and clutter to be considered, as well. Including all sides to an debate may be more “fair,” but it will certainly cause written content to appear unfocused or overly lengthy. Furthermore, dissenters can always write their own articles to cover positions which they feel were neglected, so there should be theoretically less pressure when it comes to being all-encompassing. In theory, at least, but readers who feel like their perspectives were marginalized are prone to lashing out.

It’s difficult when it comes to deciding where the line begins or ends regarding being comprehensive. But do bear in mind that no content creator should be attacked for holding different opinions or for omitting perspectives. Maybe mistakes were made or were not made. Be that as it may, the author and editor is in the end people just like you and me. So treat them as such.

13 thoughts on “The Scope of Writing

  1. I think the point is to state your own opinion to create a diacussion. From there you can view the opposing sides and strengthen your own argument.
    You should have to look at something from all sides just to make people happy, animosity is what spurs on dialogue. If you cover everything all people will have to say it “I agree with this” end of dialogue.
    What’s the fun in that??

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think that how comprehensive you are really depends on the writer. Some people are better suited to long, sprawling peices that address things from every angle in an engaging manner, and otehrs are far mroe entertaining when it comes to shorter pieces. Personally, as long as i’m enjoying the article, I don’t mind how comprehensive a piece of writing it is. As long as I can take something away from it, even if it’s simply what someone’s opinion is with little jsutification, I’m happy. Absolutely agree about not attacking others for holding differing opinions too. I saw a fair bit of that today on a YouTube video where someone explained why they preferred Sonic Forces to Sonic Mania, and it was all just so uncalled for.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That makes sense. People are adept at different things, after all.

      Right? This article was actually written in response to another article, which was poorly received and the authors + editors were unfairly insulted and such.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Unfortunately, you can never please everyone. If authors/editors out there can’t see that, then they are being childish.
        You can have an adult discussion about why they disagree (everyone has a RIGHT to disagree) but, it’s silly to be angry with someone for not seeing things there way. If you do, you’re in the wrong business.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It really does confuse me when people take such an aggressive stance with articles and opinion pieces like that. I mean, if it’s something that’s caused great offence or is genuinely problematic in contect, then I understand why people would want to lash out. When it’s someting as simple as ‘I like x because y …’ though, it really seems like an odd reaction to me.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I kind of think when reading a review I just really want to see the author’s opinion and their reasons. I don’t really need it to e comprehensive about how other people might take something or not. I may not end up agreeing with the reviewer’s stance but I’d rather the review just stay to the point of what they liked and didn’t like about it and why.
    Thanks for sharing another thought provoking post.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I agree with Karandi here. For me, the interesting thing about reading an article about something — particularly an article by someone you’ve gotten to know through their other work — is what *they* think about the thing in question. Writing is a great way for someone to express their personality, and the things they enthuse about or criticise (or even the things they choose to cover, full stop — I know I, for example, simply don’t cover things that I don’t find interesting or enjoyable to at least some degree at all) can be part of that “getting to know” process.

      You may agree or disagree with what they are saying — and that’s fine, so long as you are respectful, particularly in the latter case — but ultimately the reason you’re reading a blog instead of a Wikipedia synopsis (or even an academic essay, where such things exist) is that you want to know what the author feels about the thing, why they find it interesting, all that good stuff.

      A whole other discussion that I won’t get into now (too much) is that a lot of people (particularly in the games sector, it has to be said) are hung up on the idea of “the review” being the be-all and end-all of analysis and criticism, when there are all manner of other ways you can explore a work besides simply “judging” it.

      Everyone handles this side of things differently, and that’s one of the many things that keeps everyone’s work unique and interesting!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Great points. Gotta agree with what you’re saying here. I sure do wish everyone else had the same mindset.

        This article was specifically written in response to another article and its reception, but the people in the gaming sector which you’ve mentioned seem rather disagreeable, as well.

        Like

    2. That’s what I think, too, but the reception towards an article I’m sort of responding to was very surprising in how they demanded for the article to be comprehensive. I believe that’s probably what happens when an author takes an uncompromising position, but the fault also lies with the readers for overreacting.

      Thank you for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

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