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Orson Scott Card on Preachy Writing
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There's an interview with Orson Scott Card in this month's Locus. A good chunk of it is on-line.

In case you're not familiar with Card, he's the author of Ender's Game, a Mormon often vilified by many in the SF community for his personal views.

Actually, I'm not too fond of the way Locus writes up their interviews. You can tell that certain paragraphs are responses to particular questions, but instead of writing the interview as a Q&A, they just mass the entire interviewee's responses together as if it's a giant monologue.

Anyway, I thought this was the most interesting bit from the interview:

I think the more the fiction writer tries to make a moral statement, the less effective the moral statement will be. Fiction by its very nature will have a moral statement, no matter what you do, so the most powerful and effective are the ones the writer is not even all that conscious of putting in. As soon as you try to control it and Make a Point, you’re probably going to start bending and twisting your story away from what you instinctively believe it should be toward what you have intellectualized it ought to be, and your story becomes more false and less effective as a moral statement.

This is interesting to me, and in general I tend to agree with Card. Basically, I don't want to just write fluff. I want to write fiction that deals with meaningful subjects. Though Card might say that what's most important is to just tell a good story. Well then, how, I wonder, does he decide what to write about.

I agree that morality is implicit in your writing anyway, whether you're writing about a space battle or a woman struggling with the decision to have an abortion. So what if you decide to write stories more focused on moral dilemma? Does this make your writing preachy?

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