I is for Immorality

My A-Z Challenge this year contains posts about writing adult content in fiction – you will not find any adult fiction within the parameters of the challenge, except for illustration purposes.

Immoral acts. How does an upstanding member of society write stories which contain despicable, immoral acts? How does his conscience allow him to do such a thing? How can he not be living vicariously through his characters, committing horrific crimes in his head? Does he secretly wish to be the dastardly characters he creates?

I can only speak for myself when I say what I enjoy most about storytelling is developing and writing the actions of nasty characters. It’s a release for me – a way to let go of the things I fear in life. I can control the evils that lurk in the shadows when I write of them. It’s a way to grasp hold of the actions I despise and choke some understanding out of them. And if I’m completely honest, writing a character who is horrid is a way to make me feel above his immoral actions – such a state of ego is not something I can tolerate in myself concerning people real, live people.

There’s also a certain rush in creating scenarios during which my characters act badly or irresponsibly. Depending on what it is, whether it’s harmful or just potentially harmful, it might actually be something I have wished I could do but never would in real life. Sex with a complete stranger? It’s crossed my mind and even entered my fantasies, but it’s not something I’d do. Or something I’ve considered just to dismiss it quickly from my mind. Have I ever thought about what it would be like to kill someone? How it would feel to drive a knife into someone’s stomach? I’d be lying if I said it had NEVER crossed my mind. Would I ever consider doing it? Absolutely never. And no, I don’t even want to live through my characters vicariously should they commit such a crime. But consider the mechanics of it I must if I’m to write it.

Is this a moral dilemma? I suppose depending on your beliefs it might be. To think about committing a crime can be seen as a sin.

Are we writers sinners for the fact that we have vivid imaginations?



4 thoughts on “I is for Immorality

  1. As a reader and as a writer, I prefer flawed characters who make mistakes, learn from them and develop. Nobody is all good or bad. I don’t find it hard to cope with immoral acts in fiction, although in real life I would draw the line much sooner.


    • If our characters all do what we’d do, they’d all end up being us, right? Which again winds up being a copying and pasting situation. 😛
      I agree – no one is all good or all bad. It’s my philosophy in life. But it’s the imbalance both in the good guys and the bad guys that causes the friction in fiction.


  2. Very rarely have I ever judged a writer for what they write but I do find myself hesitating because I wonder what people will think of me for the horrors my imagination is capable of.

    Gonna have to think on this one.


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