Violence in Literature guest post Pavarti Tyler
There's No Sex in Your Violence - by Pavarti K Tyler
When Suzanna suggested writing a post on violence for her blog event I thought, sure, I can do that. I love me some violence. I mean hell, I've written some of the most detailed, visceral violence out there (just as Steven at SNM horror or my friend Candace who blames me for her recurring nightmares). But is there a point where enough is enough?
I don't believe in censorship. I believe in pushing the boundaries in every way possible. You want cannibal porn? I've written it. You want your favorite characters killed off? I've done it. You want rape, dismemberment and ocular ooze? I'm your girl. Something about it just gets me off.
What I do believe in is the visceral connection between reader and story. When my friend Rachael told me: "Man, you're one fucked up cookie. When can I read more?" I knew I was onto something. The violent, graphic and raw nature of my writing did not turn her away, it pulled her in. When the content of what you are writing is superfluous to the story you are telling it becomes more about shock than connection. That is when it becomes too much.
So there's my line, too much violence happens at the exact moment when the reader is pulled out of the story. This point will be different for each reader and as a writer you have to judge for yourself how far you are willing to push. You may loose some readers. I've had many people pass on reading Consumed By Love, because it is erotic horror. But I'm ok with that. In fact, I'm the first one to tell interested bloggers and friends: "You know its erotic horror and pretty graphic. If you don't want to read it I won't be offended." But never have I doubted the content of my story.
Violence, like sex, is only offensive when someone is offended. Porn is only different from art when someone defines it so. We all love to see the bad boy get the girl. When he holds her hands above her head, making her struggle against him as he moves in for that first stolen kiss the excitement and violence of the moment titillate the reader. Does she continue to struggle? Does she fight back and beat him to a bloody pulp? Does he soften and allow himself to be the good man she deserves? All of these thoughts are what makes that moment so exciting. Where you take it from there is between you and your reader.
Bio: Pavarti K Tyler is an artist, wife, mother and number-cruncher and has been committed to causing trouble since her first moment on this Earth. Her eclectic career has flirted with Broadway, Teaching, Law Firms and the IRS. Currently she is hard at work establishing her Indie Publishing Company Fighting Monkey Press and enthusiastically working with her Author’s Co-op Escapist Press.
Pavarti K Tyler's debut novel Shadow on the Wall is scheduled for release in November 2011. Shadow on the Wall is Book One of The SandStorm Chronicles, the saga of Recai Osman — businessman, philosopher, Muslim and . . . superhero.