I skimmed over a few pages of the topics here, so my apologies if there was a similar topic I may have missed. I've been lurking a few sections of the forum here, and I have to say I find the advice given quite strange on occasion! More like, people are suggesting to prioritize the comfort of the readership before the expression of the story. Frankly, this is not something that ever would have occurred to me. Although I am one of those writers that likes to cross lines and damage psyche--I take comfort in my audience's discomfort. I make avid use of dark humour, abstract concepts, common fears, gender-neutral pronouns, second person perspectives, and all lowercase. And yet... I've heard I should avoid this! Why? I don't aim to appeal to a specific demographic. I write something that I'd want to read, and if anyone else would like to read it, well, good for them! I hope they enjoy it. But I would never, ever sacrifice creativity for a socially acceptable story. I'd rather have three people read and thoroughly enjoy my "uncut" story than three million thoroughly enjoy one I had to revise in order to form a general appeal. I was under the impression this mindset was common! So, my questions to you... What do you put first: the expression of the story, or the appeal to readers? Which is more important? When? How do you know? Do you truly write for yourself or for others?