How to avoid writing about a ‘banned’ topic

Here’s one way of ethically avoiding mentioning the corona virus if you’re writing a novel.

‘Ethically’ means not being sneaky, not filtering it into the story in the hope that no-one will notice.

Why would you even want to avoid mentioning it?

Because apparently at least one publishing platform is frowning on the practice, and depending on whose opinion you believe, is even banning any mention of it.

Again apparently, a leading search engine has taken the same attitude.

The reason for all this is, there is too much fake news and even fake cures about it being peddled on the internet.

I have to admit, I mentioned it in a novel that I’m writing, before I heard about the ‘embargo’ on it.

But luckily it wasn’t the main theme of the novel.

I just needed the main character to be isolated, so naturally the pandemic, and ‘lock down,’ sprang to mind.

But it was pretty easy to edit it out of the story, I created an accident which left her isolated in her home.

Apart from the ‘embargo’ on mentioning the pandemic, it might make sense to avoid mentioning it for a practical reason.

It might be too topical.

Who knows, hopefully in a year or so it will all be over.

This might mean that any mention of it will seem dated, and irrelevant.

What kind of accidents could you create to convey isolation, without mentioning it?

Or without mentioning any other kind of global and national disaster?

This is how I did it.

I created a scenario in which the main character slipped and cut her leg on a sharp farm tool.

This meant that she couldn’t walk or drive to escape from her isolated home.

Not over-exciting maybe, but at least it’s durable, at least it will never date, become old fashioned.

People will be having accidents like this long after this current crisis has ended.

One last thought.

Maybe it’s too hurtful to write about the coronavirus pandemic, because so many people have been affected by it, have lost their loved ones.

Why cause hurt, when you don’t have to do?


Author: Paul Gresham

Leave a Reply