This post is a bit unusual, in that it'll be a part writing update and part ethical quandary.
First, the writing update: I've been doing a speed edit of my revamped novella A Shadow Warrior's Redemption and I'm about two thirds of the way down. I say "speed edit" because I thought that since I was seventh in line to be assigned an editor, I would have the time to do both what was asked of me last week (bio/dedication/acknowledgment/blurb) and get a leisurely round of editing in at the same time.
However, there is no such luck as in a continuing run of good news, I was actually assigned an editor last week. I figured I got about two week window or so to play with before having to get down to the pulling-my-hair-out-with-tweezers editing job on Line 21. Thus, we are speed editing.
Now at the same time we're speed editing the novella, I somehow managed to latch onto a seed of idea for a new short story last weekend while I was busy doing my morning toiletries. This is where the ethical quandary comes into play.
For those who were around here last year, in mid-October I wrote about what I thought was the increasing amount of depravity being passed off as crime fiction. I had a rather lively discussion on my blog with two crime fiction writers, Sue H and David Barber, about the overall state of crime fiction. Respect and civility was observed and afterwards, we continued to be the best of acquaintances.
So like I said, this past Sunday I latched onto a seed of an idea for a new story, and before I had to leave for grocery shopping, I got about a page and a half written in about a half hour or so. The quandary is this: The story itself is exactly what I'd railed about back in October. Extremely violent, wickedly nasty and very disturbing. And yes, before you ask, I intend to see this story all the way to the bitter end. I have no other choice, since this story is fast becoming like a few others of mine, in that even though I haven't written another word yet, I'm still mentally outlining the entire story.
As you can see, I found myself hip deep in an ethical quandary: I railed against this exact kind of story and yet, here I am writing this exact kind of story. So naturally, I posted the question on my Facebook page, and I got a response from David Barber about it. We had a pleasant little conversation about it, but afterwards, I still found myself with the same quandary.
How do I reconcile the fact that I'm writing a story in the same vein that I railed about nine months ago, and still feel strongly about to this day, without making myself look like a complete hypocrite? Is there a way to do that without looking like I'm waffling?
This quandary is really doing a number on my head as the minute I get around to reopening the document, the guilt trip that I was getting while writing this will start back up again.
Sometimes, it really does suck to be a writer, because you're damned if you do (write a good story in a genre that you don't like certain aspects of) and damned if you don't (give up on a good story because it's in a genre that you don't like certian aspects of).