Questions of Morality


Last weekend I attended one seminar as part of Sydney Writer’s Festival. I really wanted to go to a few more, but there were so many people there – you needed to queue for an hour beforehand to get into them. Maybe next year I will go to a few of the paid ones to make sure I get a seat – most of the ones I wanted to go to were free with no bookings. My bad.

The one seminar I did manage to attend was Questions of Morality.

I found the panel really interesting and some of the things they said have made me want to get over some of the qualms I have about writing fiction.

A few of the things I picked up from the seminar include:

  • choose to be good, or a good writer
  • all good literature is immoral in a way
  • be true to your own story
  • people like stories of transgression – we like the dark and the deep. That type of literature is part of the experience
  • proceed until apprehended
  • if all your family were dead, it would be easier to write
  • a writer in the family is hell for all families
  • if you really want to get something off your chest, you write a novel.

Some books that I aim to read because of what came up in this seminar are Mein Kamph (Karl Ove Knausgaard recommended this for every writer), American Psycho and some Ayn Rand. I’m also keen to read some of Krissy Kneen’s work, some of the examples she provided about her own work piqued my interest in a ‘how do you write that’ and ‘how does that even work’ kind of way. Especially something about a pony beastiallity scene. That just makes you go WFT?!

Maybe if I follow some of these ‘tips’, I might overcome some of my apprehension of, not only writing, but also letting people read my fictional writing. Only good things could happen, right?