1. Flashfire07
    Offline

    Flashfire07 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    4

    Is this plot offensive?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Flashfire07, Sep 17, 2011.

    Ok, first thing first I'm writing a gory thriller/horror story about a small town church who murder people who don't adhere to their view of 'proper behaivour' and the dimensional parasite try to bring red ruin to the group that killed it's host. Now the church gets up to some pretty nasty stuff and the parasite is rather brutal when it comes to dealing with the church. I'm wondering if mixing an 'evil church' with a creature some readers might interpret as a 'demon' while also blending in a bit of ritual magic and whatnot would be offensive, not just offensive to those who are particularly sensitive to this content but to general readers.
     
  2. MarmaladeQueen
    Offline

    MarmaladeQueen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Cambridge,UK
    I can't see why it should be a problem. I think you have to push the boundaries a bit to make fiction exciting. You need to be willing to think the unthinkable. Look at books which have been very successful, like "Room" or "We Need to Talk About Kevin". Where I think you will have a problem is with your grammar, if your post is anything to go by. I can't tell whether you just dashed that off in a hurry with lots of typos, or whether you really think, for example, that "the church" is a plural noun.
     
  3. Duality23
    Offline

    Duality23 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    The idea is interesting. I don't think it is offensive, but i can tell you that i'm sure it would offend some. I am writing about a controversial issue as well right now and i can tell you this: someone can always find something to have a problem with. Tell your story!
     
  4. Show
    Offline

    Show Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,495
    Likes Received:
    30
    I don't see why it should be offensive, at least any more than the many other stories about crazy religious people. It's not exactly unchartered waters. Religious people are one of the most common groups subjected to extreme characterization in fiction. So I wouldn't exactly say this would be pushing the envelope. But no, it shouldn't be overly offensive either, beyond offending those who are offended over anything anyway.
     
  5. Hawwyboo
    Offline

    Hawwyboo Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2011
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Yonder
    It's not exactly Borat, is it? Sure, somebody will be offended, but anything will be offensive to someone and most people who would be offended probably wouldn't read it in the first place.
     
  6. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Some people will be offended. But then again, some people are offended by Harry Potter because the children practice witchcraft.

    Much of what makes a piece of writing offensive isn't the theme itself, but how the story is written.
     
  7. Quezacotl
    Offline

    Quezacotl Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Ponyville
    No matter what you do, you will offend someone. Compared to other plots, this is quite tame. Go for it.
     
  8. Mckk
    Offline

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Well, being a Christian, I'd of course find it offensive, but as someone else has mentioned, those who would be really offended probably won't read it anyway. And they're right - yours is not a book I'd ever pick up.

    Now, my personal tastes aside and all my reasons for being offended etc etc aside, if you weren't trying to basically ruin the church or spread some heretical message about the church - I mean, the real Christian religion and its churches and the Christian doctrine - then to be honest, I'd say yours isn't as offensive as it could get anyway lol. For example, Dan Brown, or perhaps one of Philip Pullman's books where he parodied the gospel - they're not books I'd ever support. I'd never give a single penny to books like those, because to me, they're trying to tarnish what the Christian doctrine actually is. Yours - from your post - it sounds like it's just normal fiction. Nothing would change if it were a mosque or a temple or someone's humble abode. Now since it's not about misrepresenting Christian doctrine, I'd say yours is actually within the acceptable range.

    But personally I still wouldn't read your book. (and I have read books with crazy religious killers before - I can tolerate it if the religious aspect is not too emphasised - but generally I hate the misrepresentation and how society likes to portray the church)
     
  9. Lightman
    Offline

    Lightman Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    8
    Better question: does it matter? A novel about a pedophile is considered one of the greatest works of the 20th century. I'm fairly certain demons and evil churches are not that problematic.
     
  10. suddenly BANSHEES
    Offline

    suddenly BANSHEES Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Messages:
    307
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Flashfire never said that it was an evil Christian church - or is the fact that it's a church in general offensive? Just curious.

    Personally, I think it's an interesting concept. This evil church sounds more like a cult than anything. So long as it doesn't lean too heavily on another religion, it probably won't be too offensive.
     
  11. Batgoat
    Offline

    Batgoat Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2011
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    New Zealand
    If I was going to not write a story out of fear of offending someone, then nothing would be written. Like the good folk of this community have said, some people will get offended. Others won't. Those who may take offense will most likely not read what you've written.
     
  12. TerraIncognita
    Offline

    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

    Joined:
    May 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,339
    Likes Received:
    40
    Location:
    Texas
    I see no reason to find it offensive. It's not my taste but not offensive to me either. No matter what religion you go into there are always people who are hypocritical or more than happy to bend or flat out break the rules of their beliefs for an agenda.

    Truth is you could probably offend someone just by crossing your eyes. Write what you want. Just because certain people find it offensive does not mean it can't be successful or well written.
     
  13. Pythonforger
    Offline

    Pythonforger Carrier of Insanity

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2010
    Messages:
    405
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Amongst the Mortals
    Well, even the tamest story, like Red Riding Hood, was attacked for pedophilia(roflmfao), so you're bound to offend someone anyway.

    Go for it, and if someone tries to tell you it's a piece of crud, flip them off and rob them to fund your story.
     
  14. Snoopingaround
    Offline

    Snoopingaround Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    16
    Hmm...I basically agree with the sentiments of the above poster Pythonforger. The question of what would be considered offensive to potential readers is a valid question to ask as an author, if he/she is aiming to not offend people. If your goal is to cater to the public taste by not offending people by your writing, then that's up to you. In general, however, since we supposedly live in a country where one of the founding principles is the freedom of speech (in the USA), then any author anywhere here should not have to ask this question because of the fear of not being allowed to publish their works. If you ask this question only based on fear of rejection by publishers, then this an outrage that cannot stand. If you believe in your work, then you make sure every word of it gets out there and do not stand for any kind of censorhip.
     
  15. digitig
    Offline

    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,502
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Orpington, Bromley, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    It can be a collective noun, which (in British English at least -- the poster doesn't give a location) can quite properly be treated as a plural noun. (The first sentence is still clunky, though.)

    As for offence, I agree with those who have pointed out that anything can be offensive to somebody. As long as you don't suggest that killing non-believers is normal behaviour for a contemporary church I don't see a problem.
     
  16. Hex44
    Offline

    Hex44 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    0
    I say go for it an use the experiences youve gained to fuel it. You saw how the poster who professed christianity said they would be offend and you just mentioned the word church and no specified religion. It is the right of the people to pick and choose what they will be offended by. And frankly people are sensitive whiners in general. Myself included. I say, so long as you can come up with an intelligent and entertaining peace of art it wont matter who you offend because your fans will swear by it. Am I right?
     
  17. digitig
    Offline

    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,502
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Orpington, Bromley, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    But "church" is a specifically Christian term, so there was some justification.
     
  18. Hex44
    Offline

    Hex44 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    0
    Okay. This is what Im gonna do. If a fictional event in a fictional church truely bothers you, pray about it. No need to input little quips here and there. The man asked a for a critique, so critique him. All other information is irrelevant. But tell me this; if the chuch is unitied under the same God then why so many different denominations? Do they all use churches as centers for worship? And if not what do you call themthe
     
  19. tristan.n
    Offline

    tristan.n Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2010
    Messages:
    286
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Overland Park, KS
    If you're talking about offending the Christian population, I doubt many would find it offensive because it sounds nothing like Christianity anyway (based on the church I grew up in, at least! :)). Some would probably be appalled at the idea, but everyone's views, beliefs, and interests are different. I think it sounds interesting and I would certainly read it, regardless of my religious beliefs. Now if it was a book where every page blatantly bashed all Christians and made them out to be bible-thumping Republicans, I would get sick of it, and I'm not even a Christian! lol There's a fine line between expressing yourself and being ignorant, but I think you'll be fine. :)

    ---------- Post added at 04:17 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:59 PM ----------

    1. Because they believe in slightly different things, such as how you can speak to God. To my knowledge, Catholics believe you can pray and whatnot, but that to speak to God, you must go through a priest or holy figure. I wasn't raised Catholic, so don't quote me on that. Protestants, however, which are Methodists, Baptists, non-denominational, etc. believe that you can speak to God through prayer yourself. Within the protestant group, the differences in beliefs get a little more detailed. Some adhere to traditions, others keep up with current situations and events, etc.
    2. Whether it's a formal church, a community center, or even a school, yes, they all have places of worship. And talking about worshiping the same God, Jewish people have synagogues and temples. Even the lesser known religions that branch off from Christianity, such as Spiritism, have places of worship available, but since the goal in that particular religion is not salvation and traditional worship, then those temples are used more for congregated meditation.
    3. If by them you mean the people, then you call them spiritual or non-traditional. :)
     
  20. digitig
    Offline

    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,502
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Orpington, Bromley, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    I could answer that in tiresome detail, but I think any attempt to do so here would rightly have the mods down on us like a ton of the proverbials. Perhaps take the question to the lounge? Or pose it as a new plot issue that you're trying to resolve. ;)
     
  21. Kube
    Offline

    Kube Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Rapid City, South Dakota, United States
    So what if it does offend people? The best advice I was ever given is stop censoring yourself. You're never going to please everybody but if you try you'll please nobody.
     
  22. Chivalrous Tart
    Offline

    Chivalrous Tart Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    3
    If you want to sell books, offend the hell out of people Look at Anne Coulter, Richard Dawkins, Dan Brown, etc. People love being offended, which is ironic.

    As for your current plot, I'm not sure it's really all that offensive. There are definitely fringe sects of Christianity who would stone you for writing it, but you can avoid the problem by avoiding the southern parts of the United States (TEXAS).
     
  23. Cordoma
    Offline

    Cordoma Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    South San Antonio, TX
    So...You're basically copying stargate SG-1? (well, some of the episodes. ;))

    All kiddying aside, I don't think many people will read it, because it wouldn't be most people's cup of tea. Regardless of how offensive it is.

    @Chivalrous Tart: TEXAS!? I take offense at that particular remark! ;)

    <-- Atheist.
     
  24. AdLibitum
    Offline

    AdLibitum New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Europe
    I think no matter what you write about somebody will take offence. That's how it works, people -take- offence. It's not something you should be overly concerned about.

    ... You should not ignore it either... Tricky thing, that.
     
  25. digitig
    Offline

    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,502
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Orpington, Bromley, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    Right. You think it's like Stargate SG-1 (and for what it's worth I think it would fit in well with Torchwood). And you don't think it's most people's cup of tea? Well, maybe not "most", but I reckon it would be "plenty of".
     

Share This Page