Screaming “Violence!” seems like such a weird thing to say.

But that’s not what this is about.

Since the early stages of writing my story, I found that my action scenes are more “gorier” than I had anticipated. Let me go back a bit here:

I have always enjoyed science-fiction and horror. Movies, books, action figures – whatever. I’m fairly desensitized except for a few things I do not agree on (which is a different post all together), so I look at gore and think “Cool!” rather than “Ew!”

The nature of my novel is pretty adult. There isn’t much foul language in it, nor is there any sexual scenes. Actually, if anything, taking out a few words here-or-there could probably make my novel close to “all-ages.”

But when it comes to the action, I find I go all-out. For some reason, the violence is amped up, as is the “gore” so to speak. The thing that’s getting me is how “plain” the rest of my book reads to me in comparison to my action scenes.

I don’t know if this makes for better story telling or not! I have no idea! I make this up as I go along! I still have great detail in other events in the book, but I feel the thing that really makes my book “adult” is the intense scenes of violence.

Like I said, I’ve been thinking about this since first writing my novel. Is this something I should worry about? Is this something which will shun people away from my story? Does it degrade my story in any way? It certainly is NOT the “focus” of my story, but to me, it seems. . . different?

Am I looking too much into this?

So I ask of you, fellow writers: HELP!

2 thoughts on “VIOLENCE!

  1. I haven’t gone through all of your archives, where you might have a synopsis or blurb re: your novel, so I have to keep this general. Are you writing an action piece? Military sci-fi? Your proper level of violence and how much graphic detail you have depends on what you’re writing, and what you’re trying to say. I tend to be fairly graphic with most violence because I try to be realistic, and real violence is messy and loud (it is also frequently futile). But there’s still a difference in the level of graphicness between my (sorta) YA novels and my military fantasy/sci-fi stories.

    The one thing you want to avoid is adding gratuitous details for shock or gross-out value. As with writing any sort of scene, you should put in just what you need and no more. Overloading with violent details is where you will, indeed, lose some of your audience. Some people enjoy gore, but at some point you lose the average reader.

    BTW, make sure you separate ‘action’ from ‘violence’. The two are not the same thing.

    Having said that, you should initially just write the story, let the gore fall where it may, then come back and consider the work objectively when that first draft is complete. You can (and should) always fix it in the second draft.

    Good luck.

    1. Hey, Doug.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I definitely should get something up saying what my story is about. I think I mentioned the “idea” of the novel a while back (as if that helps now). The story is a dramatic science-fiction based around a religious police force. As for gore, I definitely try to be as realistic as I can.

      I spoke with someone earlier today about my gory scenes and we concluded they weren’t there “just because.” The gore actually has a purpose – to an extent, I think. I’m definitely not trying to make the audience throw the book away. I guess it’s a gamble with how imaginations can take over the reader.

      It may be tricky too to define what “gore” is to the reader as well. I think my own presupposition of it is not just a flesh wound (more Monty Python for you), but guts, intestines and what have you. My story has a little bit of that.

      I will definitely heed your advice to just write the story. It still feels a bit “off,” but I won’t know until I get my test audiences to read the story when it’s done. I feel the second draft will be a fun edit.

      Thank you kindly for your advice. Expect a synopsis soon!

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