Good Taste, Sensitivity, and Writing

I’m fiddling around with the first traces of an idea. Something I might write for NaNoWriMo, if I can work out where the plot starts by then. I’m actually fairly excited about the idea. No, I won’t tell you what it is, but it does seem to have planted itself pretty firmly in my head.

The problem–if I can call it a problem–is that the idea centers around one of Humanity’s tragedies, and then adds a little bit of sci-fi-y, supernatural-y something. It’s the kind of story that needs to be written very, very carefully in order to avoid coming across as either preachy or callous.

I know that from experience. I have my own little corners of history that I’m protective of. Things that happened that resonate with me, that I don’t want touched. And there are certainly plenty of stories I’ve quit reading because they de-emphasized the serious part of the true story.

On the other hand, now and then, there’s a story about those same times that is actually… good enough. Good enough to make people think. Good enough to make them feel.

And I’m debating whether I have the skill to do a “good enough” story or not.



  1. Reply

    I think the fact you’re aware this is a sensitive subject means you’re halfway there. I’m sure you don’t intend to treat the tragedy flippantly or use it for shock value.

    I say do it and do your best at it, then get a lot of sensitivity beta readers – people with reason to be most affected by the tragedy – and listen to what they say.

    I believe you can do it respectfully and powerfully. Good luck!

    • Reply

      I hope so. But I think I’ll write it and see what it looks like when I’m finished. I may not wind up showing it to anyone!

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