Thursday, May 3, 2012

Writing and Philosophy

Years ago a friend and I were discussing writing a Philosophical novel, and what it would look like. We were both studying Philosophy at the time, and it seemed like a good idea. Nothing ever came of it. I think we both got bogged down in the Philosophy side of it, and, quite frankly, nobody would want to read a novel that was just Philosophy. Because it wouldn't have really been a novel - it would have been a Philosophical text.

When I sat down to write Eria I tried to include a few Philosophical themes. Most of them are to do with Environmental Ethics and related concerns, and they are really rather subtle - if I hadn't mentioned it just now, you probably would have missed them. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I like to know that they're there, and I mention it so people that want to look for them can find them.

Environmental Ethics was something I enjoyed at university. Not as much as other areas of Ethics, but as far as some of the Applied Ethics fields go, Environmental Ethics is interesting in so much as it involves a thing rather than a person, and raises all kinds of interesting notions there. But I'm not going to talk too much about that here - just mentioning it, really.

When the time came to write my novella The Dragon's Spine there were a couple of ways I could have gone with it. Indeed, I toyed around with a couple of different endings (if you want to know which way I went, you're just going to have to read it). In the end I decided to go with Identity. Theories and notions of Identity were also something that I liked studying and talking about in Philosophy. I suppose if they weren't, I wouldn't have taken those courses, right?

So, I explored them a little in The Dragon's Spine - to be honest, I think I did a better job in the novella than I did in the novel. Whether that's because I'm getting better as a writer, or because the vehicle of the novella's story was better, I guess is up to you to decide.

The one thing I do know is that as I continue writing I'll be including more of my little Philosophical ideas into the mix. Not in a "beat-the-reader-over-the-head" way, but in a nicer, more subtle, more organic way.

If you want to discuss your favorite Philosophical ideas, feel free to mention them in the comments, or say "hi" to me on  Google +. I'm not going to say I'm always up for a chat, and I'm definitely not going to say I love to get into heated arguments about things, but I do like to hear people's takes on various Philosophical notions.

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