04 July 2011


I can apply the principle of "a single story" to several areas of my life. Perhaps the most interesting is my writing. Fantasy often has a way of painting the "baddies" as fixed and shallow. How many times have we read about invented races and creatures that are, by their very nature, evil? The truth is never that simple.

What's the big deal? It's only fantasy, right?

In many ways, fiction mirrors the way we view the world. It saddens me that even in our limitless imaginations, we still find instances of one race dismissing another. Groups of people that are inherently evil are not only boring but impossible. There is both light and dark in all of us.
"The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story the only story."
It's always my goal to embrace culture and stay open-minded to other perspectives, but life is a constant process of learning and growing and getting better. Truth is never finished. We'll forever be seeking it out.

9 comments:

Courtney Manale said...

Steph, thanks for writing this! The quote from the TED talk is my favorite!

Stephanie Mooney said...

Thanks for recommending the video, Courtney. Love it.

sonje said...

I also have that problem with fantasy. The last major fantasy series (written for adults) that I read was David Eddings' Belgariad, which had all the people from Mallorea as evil. Sigh. It was annoying, but I just went along with it because, as you say, this is fantasy and this is how it works there. In reality, all human society is based on SOCIETY and one cannot have a society without people caring about each other on some level. I was pleasantly surprised when I read Eddings' follow-up series, the Malloreon which then goes into depth of those people and fleshes them out. The Malloreon was the more interesting of the two.

You'd be hard pressed to find a bigger Harry Potter fan than I am, but even there, I wish there was a bit more to Voldemort. Rowling does give him some depth, particularly in book #6 (which turns out to be my favorite because of that) but his desire just to be mean and evil and torture EVERYONE even those who support him... It's hard to get behind it.

Interesting post.

Kristan said...

Great post. I never thought about this concept in the terms of villains, honestly, but I agree with you. I much prefer bad guys (and good guys, for that matter) who are all shades of gray, as opposed to black (or white). Truthfully? I think my own villain is a little more black than I'd like... but I'm trying to push him into the gray. :P

Sarah Wedgbrow said...

You have to read A GAME OF THRONES because the characters are so human. My favorite, Tyrrion, is one of the "bad guys" and probably one of the best characters ever written.
I wholeheartedly agree that stereotypes are an incomplete way to "tell" a story. What a brilliant way to put it, and such an interesting thing to mull over. Thanks!

Maeve Frazier said...

Stephanie - I love the post. I agree with you. Thanks for sharing. I'm glad I found your blog.

Stephanie Mooney said...

Sonje, I agree. I think some of the information about Voldemort in book 6 could have come sooner, and I would have liked to understand better why he was so quick to give up his humanity.

Kristan, I definitely think you're on the right track with your villain. I feel like I understand his motivation, which makes him that much more menacing.

Sarah, I do need to read it! I've been meaning to look into it for while now. I definite want to read it before I watch the show, though it's hard to resist because I love Sean Bean.

Maeve, thank you! I'm glad you found me too. Thanks for stopping by. ;)

Joelle said...

Thanks for posting the video, I absolutely enjoyed it. Enlightening and humbling all at the same time. I love this ---> "Truth is never finished"

Stephanie Mooney said...

:) Thanks, Joelle. I realize that not everyone who reads this post will have time to watch the video (and I tried to make my comments makes sense in their own context), but I loved it so much that I wanted to share it. I'm glad that you enjoyed it too.

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This blog is about everything. It’s a collection of daydreams, fairytales, and hidden treasure. It’s a place for rainy days, stargazing, wonderful nonsense, and impossible things. It’s about passion and faith and nostalgia.
It’s about life.

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