1. Daniel
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    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors. Founder Staff Contributor

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    Being too graphic?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Daniel, Jun 20, 2006.

    What is your opinion on graphic writing? Be it sex or intense violence, is there a line you like to draw? I tend to make scenes as graphic as possible, but I don't want to offend readers...

    Basically, what's your opinion on graphic writing?
     
  2. webdev
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    webdev New Member

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    I personally try not to be graphic in anything I write. If I am writing something I try to keep it from being illicit and make it something that most parents wouldnt go crazy if their kid stumbled accross it. You could probably call all of my writing pg/pg13 level.
     
  3. Eddy
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    Eddy New Member

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    For me, I like graphic, mainly because I enjoy reading graphic novels. But all in all, it depends on two things: what you're best at, and at your targeted audience.
     
  4. Spherical Time
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    Spherical Time Contributing Member

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    I never know until I start writing. It's not until I'm working on something that I know what the writing style is.
     
  5. M.Kirk
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    M.Kirk Member

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    I'm a big Dean Koontz fan, and for some of you who are fans of his as well, you know how graphic he can get when he is writing about serial killers or something along the lines of it. I personally love it, the more graphicness the better, it let's me feel like I'm there. I mean, it's not like you can control graphic things that happen to you in real life, why would you want to read a book that censors a graphic scenario?
     
  6. Spherical Time
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    Spherical Time Contributing Member

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    Some people do it so that they can sell to a younger audience.

    And there are some people that are very sensitive to violence and sex.

    I agree with you though. The more detail, the better.
     
  7. Lin
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    Lin New Member

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    I tend to end up being graphic in most things that I write, even if I consciously set out not to.
    Some things have to be explored in detail. Contraversial writing is the best kind, in my opinion, because even though it can shock or offend some people, it can also make others think about something they maybe hadn't before.
    Besides, I like graphic sex :3
     
  8. Verto
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    Verto Member

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    Hmmm, well I guess I like the book to go into graphic detail because then you can get a good idea of the book. But somtimes it is not apropriate to be graphic concerning the story. However most of the time it makes the reader more engrossed in the story, so yeah I do quite alot of graphic detail. (Sorry if im talking gibberish there I have very mixed feelings on graphic detail.)
     
  9. idraw22
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    idraw22 New Member

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    me, I like graphic writing, it's being able to see all the characters and what's happening just reading the story. Helps me to really get into what I'm reading and therefore, I like it all the more! So I like trying to write that way too.
     
  10. idraw22
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    idraw22 New Member

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    I like graphic sex too! It's reallllly out there happening in front of you...lol:D
     
  11. Iai
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    Iai New Member

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    Never dabbled much in writing sex, I'm afraid. I do enjoy writing graphic violence, but in a slightly skewed context. It can be bloody and gory, but it also has to be abrupt and impersonal. I think it gives a slightly more realistic outlook on death, and reinforces the fact that once life is over, it's over.

    In my book that I'm working on, a little girl kills a butcher with his own knife. The actual death only lasts three sentences.

    I am not a sociopath. Most of the book is pretty tame.

    ~Iai
     
  12. cl0ud
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    cl0ud Member

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    Its a hard line to draw. Most people do get offended, but if they dont like the story then dont read it. As for graphic sex I dont know. Dont make the book too dirty, make it more romantic than anything. A line has to be draw somewhere, I just dont know where.
     
  13. trailer trash
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    trailer trash Senior Member

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    Censorship

    I do not let graphic content influence the way I write. It is up to the reader to decide if a story is too graphic for them. If they do not like such stories, they can elect not to read them.

    I feel it is pure censorship to impose controls beyond a rating system, which informs the reader before hand that the story may contain graphic material. Let the reader decide for themself what they wish to read, and do not attempt to dictate to the writer what he, or she must write.

    Thanks for posting

    PS: I have written a nonfiction account of one days evnets in my life as a child that is so graphic and disturbing to some that they could not finish it. But to have written it any other way would have diminished the importance of the theme and the issues that the book raises in real life, even today. My story Terror After Midnight is indeed disturbing even to me.
     
  14. DagunZain
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    DagunZain Member

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    For me, it depends. Sometimes I'm abrupt and impersonal with violence, sometimes I mention it in passing. Sometimes it's running down my arms, cold, metallic, and pure. Heh. I guess context has a lot to do with that decision.

    My characters, it seems, don't 'get down' too much. I'd apply the same idea as above for scenes like that; context is key.
     
  15. kalibantre
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    kalibantre Member

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    I'm half and half. I don't think anything should be shied(sp?) away from in literature. But I also don't believe it should be thrown in just for the hell of it. Some stories and books need graphic detail to enhance them in others it destroys. If a book is all great detail or trying to shock you, it's often a bore. Every now and again slapping you in the face with images you weren't sure you wanted to encounter is a great thing. Books shoud make you think and question the world as well as be entertaining.
     
  16. Laimtoe
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    Laimtoe Senior Member

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    No matter what you do, if something contraversial is happening, it's going to be graphic.

    I was talking to an author (Dave Wolvert/otherwise known as Dave Wolverton) and he said that he got quite a bit of comments from editors and fans about a specific scene he put into his book.

    All of them said it was too graphic.

    However, he said all that happened was this: A woman gets attacked and raped in her hom (Obviously a graphic thing) but he didn't want to talk about all the terrible things going on. So he started explaining the furninture in the room, the lighting -- everything OTHER than the rape. He explained how it was all going to be perminently imprinted into the victim's mind. Then the rapists had their way with her and left after having stolen a great many of her posessions. Yet despite his attempts to NOT be graphic -- it was a tramatic thing to read.

    Dave Wolvert explained that what he's realizing more and more is that if you don't explain the grusom details, then you're adding suspense. Much like how a film maker won't show the evil creature that's going to kill the main character until it's too late. While if you explain the grusom details, the viewer or reader will either be sitting on the front edge of their chairs wanting more and more, while the squeemish ones are just hoping it ends soon.

    But the sex -- if you're talking about sex and explaining every detail. In my opinion, if I want to read how a guy is thrusting himself into a girl, how it feels, and what he's doing with his hands or something like that -- I'll read a porno magazine or something.
     
  17. Mercury
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    Mercury Active Member

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    I agree about the lack of detail having impact, Laimtoe. If you don't spell it out for the reader but guide them into imagining the rest and filling in the blanks themselves, it can have so much more impact.

    Writing graphic sex is for that target audience - erotic literature.

    I also don't see the point of graphic voilence unless it is essential to the story. If your character is very violent and you want to shock the reader with that apsect because it is essential to how the story develops for that character, or if a particular event was very violent and that level of violence affects the outcome of the story, then it is important. For example, diluting the cruelty of war-atrocities will lessen their actual impact on the reader.

    Simply including graphic violence for the sake of it, though, will often result in a publication rejection.
     
  18. chase42
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    chase42 Member

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    Anytime I write violence into a story, it is never gratuitous. It always has a purpose, like remembering the sight, smell, or sound affecting the main character's actions later. Generally, I do not go overboard unless it is absolutely necessary to shock one of the characters, or perhaps show the absense of shock during such a brutal event.
     
  19. IndianaJoan
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    IndianaJoan Contributing Member

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    I think we can all relate to the overuse of graphic images. I think where you must learn to draw the line is when the images you are trying to depict are not really necessary to a specific area of a novel.

    In my books, I have some sex..but its minor and I do not go into great details. I want the reader to know my characters are intimate but at the same time..I dont want to depict that intimacy in a manner that is embarassing..in other words..i dont stand in a room and feel my partner up in the presence of other people therefore i dont want to reveal more to my reader than they really want to know.

    As for violence, I think that in order to get an emotion across..if the violent act is part of the plot..its of great benefit to make people FEEL the revulsion of it..I mean if you dont draw a good picture it is hard to elicit sympathy or true emotion from the reader ..

    I think violence and sex must be used very carefully. How important is what you are showing the reader to the integrity of the story? Thats the key..if it doesnt effect the plot..keep it simple...if its necessary to create an ambience..then use it but use it wisely. Fine lines we have as writers sometimes :)
     
  20. Raven
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    Raven Banned

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    The thing is if your writing a story about soldiers in a war/battle or even sci fi soldiers fighting aliens. Its going to be graphic.

    In war soldiers don't bash each other with flowers they kill each other and blow each other up.
    So in fiction regarding soldiers its just the same if I'm reading a story about soldiers killing each other aliens or even robots i want to read the discription of the fight/battle/and how charactors get killed off in detail.

    Same really in sex. If your writing Adult material the reader will want to read something that well You Know :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

    Same principles.
    The more discription and the more graphic the better the story.

    Same really if your writng in the medievil era. Now thats going to be very graphic.

    Unless your writing for children I don't see a problem and I have to admit when I'm writng I make the discription of the scene very graphic. At the end of the day the reader can always stop reading if they don't like that kind of thing. But then again that particular reader proberly wont buy the story or read it if they are that way inclined.

    People who want to read about Graphic Violence and Graphic Sex will go looking for it to read.




    ~Raven.
     
  21. Sapphire
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    Sapphire Senior Member

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    Well, you won't really have the problem with graphic sex unless you are reading an erotica novel, so if people are that sensitive to sex, then don't read erotica novels; it's that simple for that one. Plus, in normal novels about fantasy, crime, science fiction, or any other genre of writing, it's not likely you will run into any graphical sex scene anyway. If two characters bump uglies, it'll most likely be implied if anything. And for the violence...who doesn't like good bloody and addictive battle scenes? :D

    As for me, I like to be graphic with the battle scenes that I write, because as a reader of many fantasy and science fiction novels, the more detail a writer puts into a scene, the better, because it really gets me glued to the pages and imagining what's really going on in that scene.
     
  22. Nexus
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    Nexus Contributing Member

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    I agree, as graphic as possible. If someone doesnt like Sex scenes then skip it, because often they dont have any important plot information anyway.
     
  23. Hellbent
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    Hellbent Senior Member

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    There's nothing wrong with a good imagination. If you're good at inserting a bunch of lurid and murderous information into a violent scenario, then guess what, there's definately an audience out there for you (not just psycho killers either.) Like how about kids who want to be psycho killers when they grow up, strange teachers, mail-men, bus drivers, and people living in their parent's basements.

    No, but really, my opinion on Blood and gore, is if you're going to do it, use a lot of style in the way you write it and really make it stand out.

    It's the best part of the story, so...make it sound like it.
     
  24. Mercury
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    Mercury Active Member

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    Yep, but using style usually means less is more. I actually get bored when a battle scene gets bogged down in too much 'for the sake of it' violence. It's what you leave unsaid but skilfully hint at that is so much more powerful.
     
  25. Mercury
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    Mercury Active Member

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    In fact, as an example, I'll post an old war-story of mine in the General Fiction section. I'm not saying it's a particularly good story, but it's one in which I avoid graphic violence (despite the fact that a few people die in it) to give it more power.
     

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