Let’s Talk Bookish: Topics that can’t/shouldn’t be represented in fiction

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. Today’s topic is Topics that can’t/shouldn’t be represented in fiction.

Are there certain topics that can’t or shouldn’t be represented in fiction? If so, why shouldn’t they be?

In my opinion, there aren’t any topics that shouldn’t be represented in fiction – rather, the manner in which they are portrayed is what could be problematic. The author should take extra care with sensitive topics and make sure to write about them in such a way that doesn’t glamorize or misrepresent them.

Do you think problematic/controversial issues in society should remain strictly part of the real world, or should they be explored in fiction?

Like many readers, books are my escape, so I personally prefer to avoid books that are too close to current events or even real life in general, a large part of why I rarely pick up contemporary novels. A relatable and relevant novel can be a very thought-provoking read however. I’ve come across a couple of fantasy novels that subtly parallel real life events in their plots and they were fantastic – after all, a story you can find a connection with is always more enjoyable to read. People would probably also be more open to sensitive topics being discussed in fiction compared to talking about it. Realistic novels are generally rather interesting reads, depending of course, on the genre and most importantly, how the author chooses to write about it.

Should the ability to write about problematic or controversial topics be limited to certain people?

I don’t think topics should be off limits to certain people, but the author is certainly responsible for doing the proper research and writing about it in a manner that is respectful to readers who may actually be dealing with the same issues in real life.

What topics do you think shouldn’t be represented in fiction? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


2 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish: Topics that can’t/shouldn’t be represented in fiction

  1. Ashmita | thefictionaljournal February 11, 2022 / 11:56 pm

    I agree abt researching probably because more often then not authors end up writing cardboard characters in the name of representation and sometimes the representation is wrong or just present for the sake of it which kinda defeats the purpose of having it in the first place. Very thoughtful answers! ✨💜


    • Raji (@journeyintofantasy) February 13, 2022 / 1:35 pm

      Agreed, if an author is including representation in a book, it needs to be done right or not at all. Thanks for reading!


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