The Responsibility of a Writer

The fiction writer's responsibility is not only to engage the reader with effective story and characters but also leave him/her with a glimmer of hope.

Capturing the emotional complexity of life is paramount. If everything is doom and gloom, why do any of us get out of bed in the morning? Writers have a duty to include the moments of magic and beauty we all experience - however fleetingly - in addition to exploring the darker sides of human nature.

Canadian literary icon Margaret Atwood said the function of a fiction writer is to examine society in ways “through which we can see ourselves and the ways in which we behave towards each other”.

In an interview, writer David Foster Wallace put it this way:   

Fiction’s about what it is to be a fucking human being. If you operate, which most of us do, from the premise that there are things about the contemporary U.S. that make it distinctively hard to be a real human being, then maybe half of fiction’s job is to dramatize what it is that makes it tough. The other half is to dramatize the fact that we still "are" human beings, now. Or can be.