X is for X-rated

XI’m thinking here not necessarily of explicit writing, but of writing that you’re scared of, or shy away from. Is there anything you’re too afraid to write about?

There is one book that I found too upsetting to re-read. It wasn’t a Stephen King book, although there are some of those that I found too much to read once I had kids. Those I expect to have the punch they have. The book I’m thinking of was by one of my favourite authors, Orson Scott Card. It’s called Lost Boys, and it’s about the narrator’s children, particularly one of his sons.

Now I have a vivid imagination: any time a member of the family is even a few minutes late, I’ve come up with a whole anthology of stories to explain their tardiness, most of them unpleasant. But there’s no way I could bring myself to write that sort of story. It feels kind of like tempting fate – that to imagine it enough to put it into words is to encourage it to happen. 

So how do authors bring themselves to write tough, unpleasant situations where people are in danger? Do they disassociate themselves from their writing, to protect themselves? or do they throw themselves into it, purge their emotions and survive intact? surely they can’t write about these subjects at full intensity and come out the other side unscathed?

If you spend all your time imagining and writing about evil, surely it has to leave its mark on you? or do you channel it onto the page and cleanse your soul in the process?


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  1. robbear13

     /  April 27, 2013

    Somehow, writing violence, especially violent sex, would not be my cuppa. I’m sure there are those with strong intestinal fortitude who can do it, and do it “well,” but not this Bear.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!
    Bears Noting
    Life in the Urban Forest (That’s my poetry blog)

  2. I don’t have any idea. I found that writing fiction of any kind taxed my creativity beyond its limits. I have worked too hard to train myself not to lie, and writing fiction seems like one big lie to me! Mind you, I love to READ fiction, but couldn’t seem to figure out how to write it!


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