Skip to main content

Is There Something Wrong With Authors Who Write Dark Scenes in Novels?

Hello all,

I hope you're doing well. I recently received an email from a reader who finished my latest novel, PAWN OF THE GODS. He seemed quite upset about how dark it was in places, and even implied that only a bad person could come up with some of the scenes in my story. So, let's set aside the fact that it's listed under the Dark Fantasy section on Amazon, and disturbing scenes should not be a surprise in this genre; I tried not to take the accusation personally. This reader didn't know me and his opinions were based solely on conjecture. However, it got me to thinking about how many other people might have similar thoughts when reading a novel. I decided to briefly explain my process when writing dark and disturbing scenes.

As an author who tries to write authentic characters, I'm often forced to consider what would go through their minds, particularly in the case of a villain. Then,I put that character's thoughts into action. If I were writing about a serial killer, I might focus my research on past crimes and learn all I could about the murderers. Then I would create a character who was a composite of them. I'd probably include a stalking scene where the character justified his reasons for being a nut job.  I might have him/her brutally kill someone, then show them smiling and whistling as they chopped up the body. Or maybe I'd go the opposite direction and make the character remorseful, depending on the situation. If I were writing about a racist, I might include a couple of expletives in his/her speech, because that's what I would expect from such a person. Anything outside of these realities would lack authenticity, IMO. Does this make ME a bad person? No, I'm merely tapping into a character's mind, just as an actor must do.

This said, I wonder if other authors had similar experiences. Are there any readers out there who want to chime in about their views on dark scenes? I'd welcome your feedback.

  

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

ISWG Are Online Whisper Groups Bullying YA Authors Out of Publication? What's an Author to Do?

t's time for another installment of the Insecure Writer's Group hosted by the illustrious Alex J. Cavanaugh. To learn more about this supportive group click on the host's name.

I feel very strongly about what happened to this author, and I fear it could happen to the rest of us if we don't stick together. 

Recenty, SCMP reported that after signing a seven figure book deal for the Fantasy, BLOOD HEIR, Chinese author Amelie Wen Zhao was forced to pull it from publication due to allegations of racism.  

The premise of the highly anticipated Fantasy trilogy was a retelling of Anastasia, except Zhao's adaptation used blood magic. Critics felt the story had racist undertones because of the cover blurb's description of a "World where oppression is blind to skin color and good and evil exist in shades of gray."

Many criticisms came from a whispers online group, which, from my understanding are sort of the gate-keepers to approving YA novels.  I'm sure this is…

ISWG Writing Myself Into a Corner

It's time for another installment of the Insecure Writer's Group hosted by the illustrious Alex J. Cavanaugh. To learn more about this supportive group click on the host's name.

First and foremost, happy New Year!!!!
Now, onto the subject at hand, LOL. Currently, I'm writing a Young Adult Fantasy that transports the MC to ancient Carthage in 216 BCE.  The pacing is pretty fast throughout with a few rest spots for the readers. While I like what I've written so far, it wasn't until chapter 28 that I realized my MC hadn't spent enough time in Carthage. She walked through the city as a prisoner, was captured by the God Ba'al Hammon's guards, spent some time in the temple and was then set on her journey. While this is well and good, my heroine has to make a choice that will affect the fate of the Carthaginian people. To accomplish this, she needs to be invested in them, to care about them. Needless to say, I was pissed off that I left such an important …

Holiday Hoopla

Hello everyone, it's time to write another post for The Insecure Writer's Support Group, hosted by the gracious Alex J. Cavanaugh,   I hoped to publish this earlier today, but as usual, my hectic schedule interfered.  Best laid plans...

Although Andy Williams describes Christmas as "The most wonderful time of the year," there are occasions when  I forget the reason this is true.   Long  lines filled with frustrated customers suck the joy out of shopping.  In addition, I feel overwhelmed by the whole gift giving process. It's difficult to find gifts that everyone will like.  All the hoopla during the holiday is draining.

Today, while standing in the mall and stressing over who to buy what for, my attention was drawn to the sound of carolers at the lower level.  Without haste, I made my way to the music, and as I stood there, listening to the joyful sounds, my spirits were immediately lifted.  In those moments,  it occurred to me that I had focused so much on the…