1. FantasyWitch
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    FantasyWitch Contributing Member

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    Very Dark Novel

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by FantasyWitch, Jun 30, 2008.

    I am writing this novel. It's on the forum actually, but I have stopped posting halfway through chpater 3 because from there it gets exceptionally graphic and DARK, and I am in total agreement with the pg13 rule.
    The thing is though the first 2 and a half chapters make it sound more like a teen horror, but it gets rally dark.
    There is incest, rape and murder in the novel and it does get pretty graphic.

    Having seen the first 2 and a half odd chapters do you think that the horror should start at the begining or should i leave it misleading until the first really violent scene?
     
  2. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I think it's a really good idea, actually. Half the impact of dark horror is the shock factor, and the misleading nature of the beginning will increase the impact of the really dark parts. If it was me, I'd probably put a tiny inkling of what is to come in the first couple of paragraphs, but that might not be appropriate to your plan for the story. I don't know really... You're the writer so ultimately it's up to you, and you're also your harshest critic. So just do whatever feels right to you, really.
     
  3. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    I agree with Banzai on this one. Maybe you could hint at darker things to come, but the shock factor can only be increased by the fact that it sounds like a teen novel in the first few chapters.
    Good luck. :)
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I'd begin by establishing the characters and building an uneasy mood, rather than going straight to the horror.

    The forror genre relies heavily on anticipation, building the suspense over the course of time. While building the mood, make use of reversals - lead the reader into scenes where he or she has a strong feeling of where it is heading, and then don't take it there after all. Too many of these lose their impact, but a small number of them will heighten the tension.

    When you get to the climactic scenes, try to let the reader's imagination fill in most of the gory details. He or she will pull the real horror from the echoing black pits of the mind, far better than you can paint a picture in blood and scraps of flesh.
     
  5. illuminati
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    I think that you could write a 2-page preface that has an equal shock impact as the actual dark scenes later in the book. For example, someone sitting in the park looking at a swan go by on the pond as she licks an ice cream. She thinks about her up n' coming engagement party and what she still needs to--

    -- She jerks forward and coughs violently. A thin trail of blood escapes from her mouth and she has enough time to wonder what's going on when the alien rips through her stomach from the inside...

    The above scene is just an example. Your scene should be related to the overall story and be showing the reader what is happening instead of telling it like I did here...

    From there the story could take 2 fluffy chapters before it gets dark, but the reader will not feel "cheated" because he/she has the preface scene lingering at the back of their minds. Nothing sucks like expecting Harry Potter and then ending up with Hell Raiser or something similar, regardless of how well-written it is...

    Good luck ;)
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Fluffy chapters are never a good idea, in my opinion.
     
  7. Neo
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    As an amateur psychologist, I can't help but laugh when I see someone, talking impersonally about something they've written, saying, "There is incest, rape and murder in the novel and it does get pretty graphic."

    Does it? Hmm...well, you're in control of what goes in. I always wonder what drives the impulse to include such material...;)
     
  8. FantasyWitch
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    FantasyWitch Contributing Member

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    lol Neo trust me I'm not a psychopath :p

    It's just apporopriate for where the story is going.
    Thanks for the advice! I think I'm putting enough of the mood in the first few chapters to make it a shock when there is suddenly blood and guts and such-like :p
     
  9. PipeandPen
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    PipeandPen Senior Member

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    I have to agree with Illuminati. I would feel really weird and somewhat cheated by the novel if it starts out like "Harry Potter and ends up as Hell Raiser," as Illuminati typed. Another thing to consider is that you can lose the reader's attention if he or she is expecting Hell Raiser, and begins reading Harry Potter.
     
  10. FantasyWitch
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    FantasyWitch Contributing Member

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    Ok now I'm worried.

    See it does start out like an angsty teen horror, then it blows up into serious fantasy, and purely human violence.
     
  11. Lucy E.
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    Lucy E. Contributing Member

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    Hmmmmmmmmmmm...that's a difficult one, FantasyWitch. Providing you hint at darker things at the beginning of the novel, you should be okay. But if there's absolutely nothing to suggest that your story is going to get darker, readers may be disappointed and/or feel cheated.
     
  12. PipeandPen
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    PipeandPen Senior Member

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    One potential way to remedy it would be to start out with a dark and/or violent scene (or put it near the beginning), then continue to the angsty, teen horror that progresses into all the fantastical human mutilation and mayhem. :D
     
  13. BillyxRansom
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    I would suggest straying as much away from the teen angst-y thing altogether. That isn't going to convince your more mature readers so much, which it seems like you're gearing towards attracting. Teens are into... well, teen angst. Some, more twisted, teens are into the horror thing. Most, though, just want something they can relate to. If you're going to go horror, go horror. But be subtle about it, and honestly I'd take a light combination of most of the advice here.
     
  14. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Everyone seems to have different opinions here, Fantasy, so you should probably just write it, and then consider the problem again in the context of the whole story. It might work, as a whole, or it might not, but you can always make the necessary alterations.
     

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