Morals in Fiction

“For, above all, science fiction, as far back as Plato trying to figure out a proper society, has always been a fable teacher of morality.” – Ray Bradbury, author

I readily admit, I am rather opinionated. This can be both a good and a bad thing. My morals and values make up a large part of who I am and I try to live by them as best as I can.

However, the downside is often experienced by others. I can be loud and relentless in my pursuits of getting others to see my point of view, or rather: agree.

Creatively this means that for a long time I used the genre of sci-fi and fantasy to write about these values.

I wrote about mental health, climate change, accessibility for those among us with physical disabilities in the form of fantasy stories and in them I tried to convey my point of view on human rights set against a fantastical background.

To this day, I’m not sure if I’ve ever succeeded in what I really wanted to achieve in these short stories. I wanted to warn, yet give hope. I wanted to address an issue, but also raise awareness for it. I wanted to discover how I felt about the issues while writing about topics like these.

However, I felt more and more that I lost myself in the why of writing a story instead of exploring the issue through writing. Whether or not this was actually the case is beside the point; the fact that this feeling stayed with me and would not go away told me I needed to make some changes. I realised I needed to stop being afraid and start being myself in my writing; not hide behind characters and imagination.

Overthinking started to negatively influence my ability to write a fictional story completely. And so I decided to separate the two. Up to a point. I can never betray my values as will become clear in my upcoming fiction too, but the plot in my mystery writing will not be based as firmly around my values as they did in my sci-fi and fantasy. For now, anyway.

Instead, I will now display those values in a more direct way on this page. A place where I don’t need to think of a plot and characters to show how I feel about a topic.

On the contrary, here I can discuss topics head-on and write as much about it without using an imagined story and fictional characters as its backdrop.

But most of all I hope it will encourage me and you to have a discourse about all these different topics. I very much look forward to that!

For the creatives among you, do you struggle with a way to share your values through your art? Or do you have a different way of working altogether?

x Sandra

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