My Battle of the Band winners will be announced in my post of Monday September 23rd. I will also have a bit of controversy related to this particular Battle of the Bands face-off.
Morality in Writing
Big thanks to my long-time friend, Lee, for letting me invade his blog yet again. Not only did he agree to host me during the release week of CassaStorm, but he gave me free reign on the topic.
Of course, knowing he likes topics that stir conversation with a bit of controversy, it took me a while to select one. Confrontation is not my thing. I finally decided to talk about morality in writing. And there are several considerations that come into play.
- Should an author’s moral compass be reflected in his writing?
- Does it depend on the genre or does it depend on the author?
- What about thrillers, crime novels, or horror, genres that require a dark center?
- Does it matter to the reader?
How much of an author’s own moral compass should appear in his writing? I think the answer to that lies in balance. If an author’s views are strong, he needs to be aware of that while writing. It would be easy to hit people over the head with prose that is preachy. To completely abandon it though would also be wrong. So it’s all about balance.
Does it depend on the genre or the author? Certainly there are genres that would suffer from a heavy dose of morality. Of course, as the movie Legend stated so well, you cannot have light without darkness. Does it depend on the author then? How far he is willing to push the boundaries? That is something each writer must decide for himself.
Without pushing the moral compass though, would we even have crime thrillers, horror, and similar genres? For many of those stories, somebody has to be morally twisted in order for it to work. Of course, most of those still boil down to good versus evil and with good winning.
What about the reader? They approach the story with their own moral sense of right and wrong. Since authors have no idea what that might be, they must walk a fine line. We don’t want to offend and turn readers away. Nor do we want our work to seem soft or unrealistic.
That’s a lot to consider. And we all approach it in a unique manner.
Since I always end my posts with a few questions, and I would never ask anyone something I was not willing to answer, I will do that for you now.
I read a variety of science fiction, fantasy, and thrillers. I don’t mind some vile characters and immoral behavior, but I do expect good to triumph in the end.
I’m more strict on myself though. I’m a born-again Christian, and I wouldn’t write anything that I couldn’t share with my Christian friends or even my pastor. Sure I hint at fast women on Spaceport 89 and Byron’s willingness for a night in bed with Athee. I never show it though, and I don’t use language stronger than damn. Sure I could’ve written some really edgy books, but I wouldn’t have been proud of them. I do believe my books are a reflection on me. I also want anyone to be able to pick them up and enjoy, and that includes a ten-year-old, which is when I discovered the genre.
Now I ask you…
Should an author’s moral compass be reflected in his writing?
Does it depend on the genre or does it depend on the author?
What about thrillers, crime novels, or horror, genres that require a dark center?
Does it matter to the reader?
By Alex J Cavanaugh
From the Amazon Best Selling Series!
A storm gathers across the galaxy…
Commanding the Cassan base on Tgren, Byron thought he’d put the days of battle behind him. As a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the desert planet, Byron’s ideal life is threatened and he’s caught between the Tgrens and the Cassans.
After enemy ships attack the desert planet, Byron discovers another battle within his own family. The declaration of war between all ten races triggers nightmares in his son, threatening to destroy the boy’s mind.
Meanwhile the ancient alien ship is transmitting a code that might signal the end of all life in the galaxy. And the mysterious probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago could return. As his world begins to crumble, Byron suspects a connection. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle…
“CassaStorM is a touching and mesmerizing space opera full of action and emotion with strong characters and a cosmic mystery.” – Edi’s Book Lighhouse
“…the racial conflicts propelled much of the plot in this story, driving home a message that's relevant to our own world and giving the book an interesting texture.”
- C. Lee. McKenzie, author of Alligators Overhead
“Cavanaugh has created wonderfully moving moments of great poignancy… CassaStorm could have been a dark story full of hardship and angst, but instead it's a cleverly balanced story about hope and triumph.”
- Lynda R. Young, author of Make Believe
$16.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperback, 268 pages, Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
Science fiction/adventure and science fiction/space opera
Print ISBN 9781939844002 eBook ISBN 9781939844019
$4.99 EBook available in all formats
Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design and graphics. He is experienced in technical editing and worked with an adult literacy program for several years. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The author of the Amazon bestsellers, CassaStar and CassaFire, he lives in the Carolinas with his wife.
Website – http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/
Twitter – http://twitter.com/AlexJCavanaugh