Principled Writing

Just take a step over here, please,
and sign on the dotted line.
Your conscience is perfectly clear now
And it’s all going to be just fine.
It isn’t a question of principle,
when wrapped in a fictional skin
A story is simply, exactly that
It can glorify any old sin.
The reader will know it’s only a tale,
And never it serious take
They are fully aware, the words that you writ
Are totally, utterly fake.
So keep your eye on that pay cheque
It’s all going to be just fine
And you really won’t even notice that
You’ve crossed a horrendous red line…

E.M. Swift-Hook

4 thoughts on “Principled Writing

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  1. I agree with you, crossing red lines in fiction can accustom readers to horrible behavior. And yet . . . I’m old enough to remember when that red line banned such things as depictions of sex, especially unmarried sex. And homosexuals, with or without sex. And uppity women. And people of color coming out on top. These things all crossed red lines, and ruined careers, got people blacklisted, led to suicide. So, how to square these things?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Are you saying that writing about racism and sexism crosses a red line? Surely not. Perhaps you mean only if they’re not condemned. I strongly disagree. How else do we explore uncomfortable ideas? My comment was about the people who wrote or acted about red line topics—ones that seem so tame today. Henry Miller, Mae West, Oscar Wilde, Alan Turing. Even Socrates. Since I’m not sure what red line topics you’re talking about that would compromise our integrity, it’s hard to say more. Slippery slope.


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