The Issue of Ethics in Writing Fiction

Powerful Essays
Prose fiction writers have escaped the strict scrutiny of ethics in almost all ethics debates because the characters/subjects are not real, Gay Lynch asks in her article, “what can a writer of fiction steal: a voice, a landscape, some history , a name or a story?” (2005). The Oxford Dictionary defines ethics as the: “standards of right behaviour; moral principles”(2011), therefore according to the literature, the issue of ethics in writing fiction is a responsibility of the writer who has to understand his/her own personal ethical standards. A writer writes what they know and in writing fiction a distance is created between the author and the creative piece, I want to explore the Nigerian female’s existence and my goal in writing fiction is to create empathy and understanding in my reader’s mind through storytelling. American novelist, Jon Hansen in his lecture titled,The Ethics of Fiction Writing at the Santa Clara University said that “the first principle of the medical doctor’s Hippocratic oath is: ‘above all, do no harm’”(2007) which also applies to writers of fiction especially when a fiction piece is being created from a real memory.
Writing is a skill that requires patience and practice, Fairfax and Moat suggested that “the desire to write” (1998: 4) is the first thing a writer needs at their finger tips, the need to tell a story which means that writing starts with the writer from their “imagination, personality and interests” (Hamand 2009: 9). I don’t require financial resources to complete this project, my basic tools are: lots of pens and paper, notepad, laptop/computer, internet for research, writing magazines for guide and support and finally the dictionary and thesaurus because, Fairfax an...

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