Authors Inserting their Views

It isn’t really a good practice for an author to interject his viewpoint or opinions into a story unless it is well disguised.  One simple way to get away with it is to have a character express the author’s opinion as if it was the character’s.  It must be believable and fitting within the character’s established personality.  It can be done.  Maybe an example will be useful.  In “Bula Bridge” I have a character who has to make a road trip from Washington D.C. to Ashtabula, Ohio.  She goes on the Internet and searches for a suitable route only to find that much of it will be on a toll road.  She clicks on the suggested route and drags it to a new one that minimizes the tolls. In the novel it reads:

“She noticed that the suggested route spent a considerable amount of time on the PA Turnpike.  She put the cursor on top of the suggested route, clicked and held, and then dragged the blue line to a new route that avoid the tolls.  She hated turnpikes and the fees they charged for a damn road that her taxes had paid for.  She wasn’t giving them any more money than she had to.”

This fits the story just fine but certainly it is a pet peeve of mine even though I let the character spout off for me.  The Ohio Turnpike is an example of what bothers me about toll roads. Originally when we passed a bond issue to build the turnpike we were assured that once the bond was paid off the road would be free.  Guess what? The bonds are paid off and the road isn’t free.  In fact it costs more now than it used to.  In addition, we are building roads in places where only “pass holders” can even use the roads without paying a fine. Damn!  The taxpayer builds the road and then a single company has a monopoly on its use.  Doesn’t seem right.  But you can see that stuffing all that into a novel would not work.  Readers would be upset with rhetoric like that from the author. But, they don’t seem to mind a bit of it thrown in by a main character.