Writing and Morality


Perhaps as an up and coming author it’s really not a good idea to potentially alienate a section of your audience by strongly expressing your beliefs about something that is potentially an issue a section of your market segment might feel strongly about.

On the other hand, some things are more important than sales and popularity. There’s a time and a place where you have to be willing to stand up and be counted, even if you stand alone. Having been a receiver (I will never use victim, no one will ever make a victim of me) of some really quite voracious, sustained and at times dangerous bullying because of my sexuality I must admit I feel almost compelled now to make it quite clear in my writing that sexuality is not, nor ever should be seen as a choice or anything but one aspect of a person.

I understand that this may alienate some religious and shall we say ‘Conservative’ readers, but frankly my dears I don’t give a damn. It’s never overtly preached, but I do find my own strong personal beliefs about equality leeching into my characters and my writing. Love is love, it should be embraced, celebrated and enjoyed when it is between consenting parties.

Do you find that aspects of your own morality are influential when reading or writing your own work? Do you even find it possible to read a book where the character holds a view you strongly oppose?

Answers on a postcard….or leave a lovely comment below.

Happy Oestara / Easter everyone

About V C Willow

V C Willow has always loved to write and read for pleasure. During her teenage years she wrote a lot of poetry but graduated to writing Science Fiction, Fantasy, Epic Fiction, Urban Fantasy and Suspense as she reached her twenties. She is a geek and comic nerd. A very keen reader, an enthusiastic cook and gardener and loves to craft. She's even been known to get down and dirty and do some DIY. V.C live in Manchester, England with her ball of cat fluff, Willow. She is currently writing her début fantasy novel. You can follow her authors page on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/vcwillow Connect with her on Linked in at: uk.linkedin.com/pub/vc-willow/4b/b90/521 Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/inquisitivevic Follow her on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5563938-v-c-willow )O(
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6 Responses to Writing and Morality

  1. karengadient says:

    The way I view the universe plays a strong role in my fiction, even if it’s between the lines. It’s there in much of my artwork as well. And I do admit that I read fiction that I can personally relate to, so that rarely means heaps of opposing views. A little, sure… but only until my head hurts. 😉

    Happy (a little late) Ostara.

  2. diannwn magdalene says:

    As far as reading a book where the character holds a view that strongly opposes my own, it depends greatly. In many cases I find it enlightening to expose myself to views different than my own, but then I am not what anyone would call a conservative sort. I also find that opposing beliefs or views come across as far less threatening in a fictional setting as opposed to real life. I truly think works of fiction are our greatest asset and tool to help bridge the gap between different groups of people in order to help create a deeper understanding of one another. You also get all the background info on the character which brings the reader a greater ability to empathize with an opposing view point in a way that rarely happens in real life. I suppose a lot of it depends on the way the views are presented.

  3. I think a strong moral character always works in favor of the protagonist, however too much of anything is no good. Keeping a personal perspective out of your writing broadens your audience and helps alleviate the negative feedback. I always try to include my personal beliefs through my characters, and at the same time I keep my distance from issues that may ultimately ruin a good book…

  4. Joanna says:

    I have to say I would find it impossible to write anything if there were not a very large part of me in the characters or the settings of my work. I write my best when I can readily identify myself in my work, though my protagonists are usually male, and write at my worst when I am attempting to write counter to anything which is a part of me.

    I had never considered that my sexuality would be divorced from my writing, in much the same way as I expect every book I read to be a conglomeration of the parts of the author that they ended up sharing. I’d say ‘chose to’ but for the fact that I think a successful novel ends up on its own path and we just guide the words to the page. In that regard I would hope that your sexuality is as much a part of your writing as are your world-views, your beliefs, your values, your gender and your experiences. I may never know what any of them are but they’d better be part of your writing!

    Happy Easter-tide!

    P.S. Love the blog.

  5. jjalleson says:

    I think most writers reveal their personal viewpoint through much of their writing; even if they don’t realise it. There’s nothing wrong with showing this now and again; you tend to suffocate your natural voice otherwise and that can’t be healthy.

    My own website strapline warns readers of what they might be in for. There comes a time when you have to let go of the fear of upsetting others or of causing controversy, and simply enjoy the ride that is writing!

    To echo Joanna, great blog!

  6. V C Willow says:

    Wow you guys are awesome, thank you for all your thoughtful responses and the kind comments about my blog.

    I personally like to stir it up a bit and that often means letting my characters loose to express through fiction a more finite, idealistic view of how we would like the world to be. I think you do have to be very careful, there is a very fine line between depicting morally centred characters and preaching to the audience which will turn them off almost immediately. If you want to alienate your audience preach at them about something, anything, they’ll soon run a mile.

    But for most of the time if you can walk on the right side of writing well developed characters, you find (well I do when I write) that in the most nuanced and subtle ways your morality and beliefs being expressed naturally through the characters.

    Again thank you to all the commentators so far and please keep commenting. It’s great to hear such a variety of views on writing topics.

    Kindest and warmest thanks

    V C


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