I guess I'm looking for advice as much as starting a discussion.

I'm writing a sword and sorcery fantasy story, more a series of short adventures featuring the same characters really. And in one of these adventures my characters stumble into a mountain village that's being haunted by a spectre.

At first the spectre seems malevolent and horrifying, however it's completely harmless and only wants to help the people living in the village communicate with the people who died in a preventable tragedy.

Now, my story is heavily influenced by Welsh mythology (being Welsh myself), and I thought that I could draw parallels between my story and a real event that happened in Wales in 1966, namely the Aberfan disaster, where a landslide (the result of the negligence of the National Coal Board) hit a school and killed almost an entire generation of children.

My problem is this: is this ethical? I don't want to exploit the victims or trivialise their suffering. Of course I would write it with extreme sensitivity and respect, and the horror of the event would be clear as well as the seeming indifference and culpability of those responsible. My intention is that I would be paying respects to those involved, and in memory of the people who died.

Names and places wouldn't be used, only the landslide itself, however there are living survivors and the event is a source of national pain.

What do you guys think? Is using a real-life disaster for a story okay? Is it disrespectful? Should I just write it and worry about backlash later?

Source: reddit post

Read:  So "you can't write about X because YOU aren't X"?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here