1. Meteor
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    Meteor Active Member

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    Wasn't sure where to post this, but how much gore in writing is too much gore?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Meteor, Oct 21, 2012.

    Hello everyone and thank you for your time reading this and posting on it as well.


    I'm here to ask about fictional combat writing and how much gore is to much gore when writing? I've read a lot of R.A Salvatore's Novels about Drzzit and personally felt they were all great works. I see that he has some gore there, but it isn't like some of the other forgotten realms books that I've read. Some of them I actually put down because they were so outlandish with their level of gore and description of blood/death. Some of them went as far as to dedicate an entire two pages to just depicting how someone dies along with all the detail. I want to be a fantasy combat writer, but I want to make sure I avoid the excessive gore in my writing so it isn't just an empty story with nothing aside from death, blood, guts or all the other stuff some writers go into. So exactly how much is to much?
     
  2. James Berkley
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    James Berkley Banned

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    IMHO as a not published writer

    i think you can do about a paragraph at a time. that is what i find when i am reading and writing works. have you ever read "The Hunt for Red October"? the part near the beginning with the neck getting snapped ( i don't want to spoil) i think is an excellent example/
     
  3. Meteor
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    Meteor Active Member

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    I can't say that I have, but I'll have to look into it sometime, thanks :)
     
  4. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    It depends on your audience. Some readers won't accept any at all, others will consider any sentence not dripping with blood to be a sentence wasted.
     
  5. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I think you said it best if you're uncomfortable reading it - don't bother writing it. Nobody is going to be disapointed that you didn't deliver tons
    of gore not even if you write horror. I've read lots of non-gory horrors and some of those authors have sold millions of copies. There is always a
    market for the alternative - if the story is good it will hold it's own.
     
  6. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Depends on your purpose. I have a couple pages typed to the suffering and passing away after a battle to show how 'war is hell' and hammer it home to people that the battlefield isn't a glorious place like shown on TV or Movies and some books. Then there's a page or two of response from my MC as she realizes how young the soldier she killed was. All of it fit into the above statement.

    However, it also fits into the ultimate theme of the novel "What makes us human?" and whether is who, or what, we are.

    CK
     
  7. Youssef Salameh
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    Youssef Salameh Active Member

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    In our opinion what matters is not how much sentences you write, but rather, the meaning that the writer intends to convey, or express.
    May writers used to symbolize an idea by incarnating it into character. For example, The great writer Edgar Allan Poe, symbolized death as a human person; as in his great story "the mask of the red death".
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Know your target audience. Some markets will tolerate very little, others expect (practically demand) bloody bits dripping from every wall at least once per chapter.
     
  9. Kinch
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    Kinch Member

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    This is a territory where knowledge of audience is crucial. I will say one thing, though. You may want to avoid gore for the sake of gore.
    In this regard, gore in literature is kind of like sex in literature: there are cases where it's the only way to complete the picture, but when it is used in excess, it ends up unraveling itself in all the worst ways. It's a story-by-story thing, however.

    I hope I helped.
     
  10. maidahl
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    maidahl Banned

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    Some thrift-priced paperbacks in random alley bookstores did I behold. And quite an eyesore, they were. Much to be deleted, quite disgusting, quite hilarious.

    Seriously disgusting little buggers, they were. Filled with gross sexual images in that genre, most likely catering to a creepier audience than most mainstream creepster novels.

    Too much gore and the book is probably not on track to gross more than 60 million, like the film version of Dragon Tattoo made.

    Good old Alfred did it right. Quite cocky, he was for his ability to discern "too much" from "appropriate pioneer and envelope-pusher".

    Gross. Gross.
    Alfred. Cocky. Mwahahaha.

    If you can't discern too much from the standart, maybe a reality check is needed. Maybe relate more to your ideal reader and see what turns them off, as well as researching how much of whatever you're working on they can handle.

    Ew. My last sentence felt inverted too.
     
  11. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Write exactly the amount you want to read.
     
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  12. Snyder80
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    Snyder80 Member

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    I guess it depends on the market you're targeting. Can pornographic writing be too graphic? I doubt it, although, there are varying degrees of it. Personally, once violence is taken to an unrealistic level I become bored.
     
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  13. maidahl
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    maidahl Banned

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    Some people are severely lacking common sense and supposed inherent propriety/discernment. Morals, guys. Some manuscripts should NEVER be written. What is wrong with the universe? What kind of sorcery are some of these published authors cooking?

    I browse Amazon books, weirdo obscure section. It is madness, I tell you, MADNESS.

    Meh... Gore Vidal is bananas
     
  14. Fivvle
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    Fivvle Contributing Member

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    I agree one hundred percent.
     
  15. maidahl
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    maidahl Banned

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    Rip off "write what you know" and other writer's process intros. Fundamental. If you explain further, I am not disagreeing. Anywhoot, cool to see how you word your opinion. :) I agree 50.1percent. But some people are wackjobs. Take their pens away.
     
  16. James Berkley
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    James Berkley Banned

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    how much worse then the people on 4chan can they be?
    the flip side is one persons mild is another super violent.
     

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