The Dangers of ‘Conviction’

One of my current writing projects that has been simmering away in the background is the short story Conviction that I am planning to write and blog-through the entire writing experience.

Conviction, as I explained will be based on the Islamic State and the persecution of the populations in the areas they control. So not some light-and-fluffy reading material.

There is an immense responsibility that I feel in writing this story, one that I find quite daunting and scary. I’m not writing click-bait by any means, trying to use sensationalism to my advantage; quite the opposite. What worries me is,

how can I try to faithfully render something so emotive and so sickeningly steeped in human suffering?

I don’t want to trivialize the subject by air-brushing it just because I’m incapable of writing it well. I am convicted of the need to write the story – even though part of me would rather not. To not write it would be even more disrespectful; we have enough vapid journalists already. I’d rather raise it to consciousness and do so poorly than to ignore it. I don’t write this story for fun or entertainment value. It is not a story I look particularly forward to writing.

The truth is more horrid than most people, especially in the West, can conceive. I haven’t watched the IS propaganda videos and I’m not inclined to. To do so would be good research, but I don’t particularly want those images in my head.

I have written quite violent scenes in my novelette Escape from Hell and my first novel Vengeance Will Come but these are fictional violence in fictional settings. What I will be describing in Conviction is too real to be comfortable.

There is so much in the story to consider. So much humanity and so many angles to be explored. Though I don’t plan it to be a long story I think it is going to take a long time to write.

I’m aware of the irony… I sit at a computer feeling uncomfortable because of what I am contemplating; others’ are currently undergoing the reality: that is why the story must be written.


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