Little Women is a text about writing texts. The protagonist, herself an author, experiments with different genres and voices in order to find her own "truth" as a writer. Literature also provides inspiration, not only for childhood games, but also for adult lessons. Shakespeare is a particular touchstone for these characters, exemplifying both writerly talent and development of characters. The German Romantic poets and the American Transcendentalists are also sources of wisdom and interest, uniting Romantic ideas with social ideals. However, writing can also be dangerous in this novel; sensational or thrilling fiction divorces entertainment from ethics, and writing or reading texts of that kind can harm someone's character.
In order to find her own voice as a writer, Jo must write stories that are realistic, instead of sensational or moralistic.
Jo's temptation to write sensational, thrilling stories in order to make money is one of the major moral challenges she must face.