Ink & Quill
Author Thomas Knauss
Series Dragonwing Games/Bastion Press
Publish date 2002
As is customary with most professions, writers organize into small groups and communities, sharing their passions, ideas and creations with their fellow artists. Some of these congregations gather purely for business reasons, while others function as eclectic and loosely affiliated entities, serving little practical aim other than sharing a common interest. Regardless of their purpose, these associations provide a valuable resource for the writing community. Within the creative halls of these social fraternities, writers exchange bold new ideas, constantly expanding the creative boundaries of their craft. Poets debate the virtues of free verse, playwrights challenge traditional theatrical conventions, and composers echo the emotions stirring deep within their murky souls. The organizations’ structure often embodies the cultural values espoused by society in general.
Clearly, permanent establishments are also the most visible and easily recognized forms of writing communities. Churches, monasteries, universities and courts provide a solid foundation for burgeoning writers as well as fulfilling societal needs and expectations. The institutions’ inherent discipline results in the prolific production of well written and scholarly texts. Unfortunately, stability usually breeds complacency and conformity. The rigid and stoic bureaucracy administering many of these entities often vehemently dismisses radical and unconventional thoughts. Creativity frequently stagnates in the quagmire of ideological suspicion, superstition and suppression, while impassive pragmatism runs amok. Despite the imposing obstacles, some adventurous writers buck authority and promulgate daring concepts contradictory to traditional teachings. Vigorously debunked by the entrenched establishment, these intellectual clashes arouse public sentiment and in some rare instances, spark a firestorm of rebellion within the community’s membership.
Private and semi-private institutions, such as concert halls and theaters also exist, however their autonomy does not always exempt them from censorship. Governments maintain a wary eye on the fledgling institutions, closely monitoring them for immoral and politically damaging content.