We live in an undeniably violent world–wars, murders, rapes, ad nauseum. Should books graphically reflect that reality? How much is too much?
As the author of murder and mayhem–and even in my literary works to some, though to a lesser, degree–this is a question I face. This issue is compounded by the question of sex. As with violence, sex permeates our culture. Nearly every television show, movie, and advertisement has sex intimately entwined. Let’s face it: sex and violence sells.
Yet, I want my work to mean more than a dollar sign or a cheap thrill. I feel a responsibility to tell stories worthy of a #reader’s time. After all, my commitment is to entertain, enlighten and empower. Where does that leave such a writer?
We become a weaver of plots, a builder of characters, a creator of worlds.
I use a certain amount of graphic sex and graphic violence in some of my work. Note the word “some” and the phrase “a certain amount”. Since I write everything from young adult to vampire to #murder to literary (yes, I realize authors are supposed to brand themselves with one genre, but that robe felt too tight and it itched!) the use of sex and violence must be tailored to the story.
For example, in the young adult novel, Black Wind, (TO BE RELEASED JULY 31) they never get their clothes off, yet in the vampire novel, Artemis’ Warriors(COMING AUGUST 31)….well, let’s just say that sometimes clothes get scattered all over the place. The mystery/cop/thriller novels, such as The Special #Crimes Team series, fall somewhere between these two poles.
Likewise, in Black Wind, violence occurs but to a lesser degree and not as graphic. The vampire fighters in Artemis’ Warriors dash about, lopping off heads and arms and other important parts. The blood flies. In Sketch of a Murder, SCT, Book 1, the reader sees crime scenes through the serial killer’s eyes–and the scenes are gruesome, yet in Old Woman Gone, SCT, Book 3, bloodshed is minimal. (All the books in my series can be read as stand-alone novels.)
So, what creates the different levels of sex and violence? The story. It is my contention that the plot and the characters in a story determine the amount of sex and violence, as well as how graphically those instances are portrayed .
All too often, I have picked up a novel and within a few chapters have read ten pages of graphic sex (more frequently than graphic violence even) for every page of story. Needless to say, I toss the book aside and seldom pick up anything else by that author. If scenes of sex and violence dominates a work with no clear purpose in forwarding the story, then I have to ask how well-developed are the characters and how substantial is the plot?
Readers, what is your opinion? How much sex and violence is too much? Leave a comment!
DON’T FORGET: UNTIL AUGUST 30 FOUR of my e-novels are FREE! Want a #FREEBOOK? Go to: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/AyaWalksfar Choose one, or all, of the books listed below. Follow the checkout instructions. When asked for the coupon code, entered the code specific to that book. Continue checkout. Download the format that works best with your device. epub for NOOk; mobi for Kindle; or whatever format your device requires and is listed.
Street Harvest, Special Crimes Team, Book 2 (all of my series can be read out of order, or as a stand-alone novel) Use Coupon Code: JE68B
Run or Die Coupon Code: MX48Y
Good Intentions, a literary novel Coupon Code: HQ72R
Dead Men and Cats, a mystery novella Coupon Code: UH42Z
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