Proposed by M.C. Tuggle
The fields of fiction writing and publishing are today dominated by a worldview determined to define what values a “respectable” writer can promote, and even redefine what constitutes a story. It is against these constraints that we, the undersigned, must affirm what we believe are the basic principles and purposes of storytelling, and to take a stand for freedom of expression. We therefore assert the following:
1 – We reject the self-congratulatory projection of supposed righteousness that poses as storytelling. Good fiction writing is the creation of dramatic tension that inspires reader empathy and emotional involvement in characters striving courageously for transcendent goals.
2 – We laugh at the meaningless application of the word “courage” to those who kneel in obedience to the cultural totalitarians who in turn serve the political totalitarians, just as we laugh at over-hyped poseurs who imagine they are rebellious outsiders when in fact they are the pampered favorites of a powerful literary establishment.
3 – We denounce the unhealthy obsession many mainstream publishing houses have for celebrating social and individual fragmentation, alienation, and nihilism.
4 – We re-affirm literature’s primary purpose as a vehicle for kindling and nurturing one’s connection to the transcendent, that is, one’s sense of belonging to, and joyfully nurturing, something greater than oneself.
5 – We believe the acts of writing and reading further one’s ability to communicate, to reason, to empathize, to function in society, and to appreciate different points of view.
6 – We reject the current mode of writing that is as artificial, anti-human, and sterile as the ideology it holds up as absolute and unquestionable.
7 – We reaffirm writing that acts as a civilizing force, and reject current writing that openly seeks to subvert civilization and ridicule those who want to preserve it.
8 – The writing we wish to produce is that which enables the writer to communicate with himself, his readers, and his sense of the transcendent. Understanding, and being understood, are essential to taking an active role in life, to belonging, which are essential to human happiness and the building of character.
9 – When we create worthwhile fiction, we offer our readers moments of joy, and possibly awe, at our affirmation that courageous striving can overcome injustice and suffering.
10 – We unite against those writers and critics who not only seek to undermine the pursuit of the transcendent, but deny that humans are even capable of approaching it.