1. Nobeler Than Lettuce
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    Nobeler Than Lettuce Contributing Member

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    Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Nobeler Than Lettuce, Oct 27, 2009.

    So before I was anything I was a writer, but before that I had gotten a really sweet break and was attending medical school in Hungary. Due to the riots and the general state of the country (see photo: http://www.writingforums.org/picture.php?albumid=40&pictureid=190 ) and other factors which I will not discuss I left and went back to America, losing my chance at college. Since European med schools do a shorter program, I couldn't just pick back up where I left off, so I had to start at the beginning, and that's where I'm at now.

    During that time I didn't have much access to a computer, so I blocked out a novel in my head. It was pretty simple science fiction, focusing on some kind of god computer, and since I love Dostoevsky, a jealous murder. Now that I've come back I've begun writing a novel with a much greater philosophical aim. Which is why I naturally ask, how far can I go with the sex, drugs, and rock and roll?

    I don't really mean the characters should be swearing or acting lewd, even though that often comes along with the lifestyle. I'd like to take a more modern approach, but am unsure how.

    From the beginning of the book (a flashback sequence) everyone is smoking bud and drinking beer. Which is already way more than most proper literature allows. Further in you encounter Meth, LSD, Ecstasy, Cocaine, Ketamine, 2ci, DMT, various opiates, and Mescaline (To quote The Matrix “The only way to fly.”)

    Now that might sound excessive, but this book is a sort of study of the American teenager, the rave scene, and the Californian marijuana collectives, so at least it's relevant. It does get tiresome to write in drug after drug, so I space it out a little, but it's still pretty deeply routed in the philosophy of using psychedelics. I suppose I don't have to ask – does this kill my chances of being published? Keep in mind I've read Carlos Castaneda, so I know it's not impossible, but those were different times.

    I had more to say, but I can't make it topical to this discussion, but as an open discussion: Anyone else encounter problems with depicting story elements that the public just doesn't approve of? (Like trying to write a homosexual sex scene? That'd be a goodun.)
     
  2. RobT
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    RobT Active Member

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    It's not something I've ever tried to write about, but I think you hit the nail on the head in your post when you mentioned "relevant". As a fully paid up member of the public, all I can say is that if things are relevant and used in the correct context, I have no problems with them and don't see why it should hinder publication.
     
  3. Irish87
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    Irish87 Contributing Member

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    As soon as you start writing the way another wishes you to then you'll never stop. Of course I would suggest discretion, but beyond that I hope you write whatever you feel is best. Just ask yourself: who are you writing for? If the answer is the public then you should either sugar coat it all or just go hog wild and throw every obscenity and slur you can find.

    I'm not saying you should never make sure others will like it, I just want you to remember why it is you started writing in the first place.
     
  4. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    As with any questions dealing with the grittier side of life, all I can say is that this is a rather conservative forum as far as these things go. Expect conservative answers, if any at all.

    I really do not think there is any sort of level that is too much. It all depends on the audience. If you asked the average member here about erotica as literature, you're probably going to get an, "Eeewwwww! Grodie!!" response. I am personally a fan. I'm a big boy. I'm beyond grodie.

    As for the inclusion of the drugs and Rock-N-Roll (we've already mentioned the sex part), I cannot see why not. Fear And Loathing in Los Vegas (the book, not the movie) was rife with drugs. The book was practically published on acid blotter. The active word in that last sentence is published.
     
  5. Ghosts in Latin
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    Ghosts in Latin Senior Member

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    I think that the length you can take your subject to depends wholly on how you write about it. For example, a rough sex scene can still be tastefully written, and shooting up heroin doesn't have to be literal vulgarity.
     
  6. Kas
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    Kas Contributing Member

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    Of course it's fine. . . Just about anything is publishable, so long as there's a market and it's well-written. You just need to find the right publishers.

    Do you realise how many recreational drug guides are published each year? ****loads.

    How to Be a Pot Star Like Me: What Every Marijuana Enthusiast Should Know, Chris Eudaley.

    A story is surely less controversial than a how-to. Drugs are massively popular. Everything you're talking about is massively popular. Coupled with quality writing, the subject matter can only increase your chances. . . with the right publisher. . .

    You can't really go wrong writing about what virtually everyone and his dog has enjoyed at one point or another.

    As for erotica, that's extremely popular, too. In fact, it's one of the hottest markets :)rolleyes:) for e-books.
     
  7. Fox Favinger
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    Fox Favinger Contributing Member

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    If you write fiction set in our world, you will come across controversial topics. Unless of course your perception of our world is unrealistic. Considering the content I've read in school summer reading books I can't imagine anything is too much for publishers so long as it's well written as others have stated.

    I've read very strange, weird, and just whacked out stuff that was published, so weird in fact that sex and drug trips don't seem odd at all, and far less offensive. It seems realistic, and fiction that deliberately avoids the topic feels less immersible. If you are writing about the teenage life, it will not be remotely believable without the inclusion of what you mention. The agenda my high school friends was getting high and getting laid in that order. They wouldn't argue.

    I've included words and topics in my stories that I know I will get bashed for, but the people that will are a minority. And the literature that caters to them doesn't sell well.

    Oh yeah I would like to see more homosexuals in the general media that aren't stereotypes :rage:
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if you'd do your homework, as serious writers do, and check the current market, current and past bestsellers, and the major chains' bookshelves, you wouldn't have to be asking these questions...

    bottom line: it's all done and published all the time, nowadays... and i'm sure to much greater excess than you plan to do it...
     

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