Monday, August 6, 2007

Too Taboo to Write About?

Is there any subject matter that you consider to be off limits when it comes to your writing? I can honestly say I write about everything. Rape, murder, lynching, slavery, genocide, kidnapping. I've written about it all.

In a historical and present day setting. I've never considered any subject matter too taboo to write about yet...I received an email. For the sake of the person's anonymity I won't divulge what was in the email but I will say that she was concerned about my use of slavery and the genocide of Native peoples as subject matter.

I realize not everyone is going to like what you write or how you write it but...I don't know, I was just a little bit troubled by the email. After all history is history and it's not something we can change or even hide. Brutalities occurred here and everywhere else on this planet so why would we ignore the past? I know I can’t even if it does make some readers uncomfortable.

So what do you guys think? As authors is there anything you try to steer clear of?



Blogger Cassandra said...

Hey girl! The thing is, If it's added for bam factor or if it is an integral part of the story. Too much of what I read is for "bam," for titillation, or to add controversial buzz factor, and not because it has to be there for the story to make sense or have a logical progression.

I'll explore just about anything if the story warrants it.

Of course, I write mostly romantic comedy, so I don't think I've written anything too controversial so far. :)

August 6, 2007 at 2:00 PM  
Blogger rgraham666 said...

I think if anybody has a problem with your writing it's their problem.

A lot of horrible things have happened in this world. Closing our eyes, sticking our fingers in our ears and going, "lalalalala! I can't hear you", isn't going to change that.

If anything horror will happen more often because there will be fewer people to stop the horror.

August 6, 2007 at 2:03 PM  
Blogger Shelli Stevens said...

You know, you can't please everyone. And if you cater to every reader who might be offended by the history of the world, well... you'd be writing futuristics.

August 6, 2007 at 3:05 PM  
Blogger Eva Gale said...

So, she's offended by something that happened? Do wars offend her too?

Tell her to go read 1491, or Becoming Evil.

Maybe because in the States it's not practice to teach those truths in HS, only college, and only if you had a good prof.

You know what? Emotion from a story, either negative or positive is a good thing. You made her think, and there ain't nothing wrong with that.

And no, nothing is taboo.

August 6, 2007 at 3:40 PM  
Blogger Emma said...

Hey Cassandra. I don't know if the story has a "bam" factor. All I know is that the heroine was who she was and the same goes for the hero. Their lives played out a way a lot of peoples did back in those days.

Hey Rob. I was angry when I first got the letter. I truly went to a dark place while writing this book and it took me about 8 years to get the courage to see it through. It's a dark book and a lot of bad things happen in it but hell a lot of bad things happened everyday.

Hey Shell. I don't regret anything about the book except part of the dedication but now I can't even bring myself to regret it all that much.

Hey Eve. I've never read 1491 or Becoming Evil. I'll be looking both of those up though. I read a lot of non fiction and my mom encouraged it from the time I could read nothing was off limits. And I think that's the way it should be with writing too.

August 6, 2007 at 3:56 PM  
Blogger Ericka Scott said...

I think it's important to delve into the dark themes as well as the light ones in order to bring life to fiction (if that makes sense)

August 6, 2007 at 4:22 PM  
Blogger Eva Gale said...

American Holocaust was another incredible one. Very tough reading, and it took me MONTHS to read American Holocaust (gut wrenching), but I think I'm a better person for it. Wiser, that's for sure.

August 6, 2007 at 5:10 PM  
Blogger Emma said...

Moreover, the perpetrators of the American Holocaust drew on the same ideological wellspring as did the later architects of the Nazi Holocaust--an ideology that remains dangerously alive today.

Wow. Eve. I've scaled back some of my non fiction reading. Some of the things I read hurt so bad, I don't know how to react. I remember reading Celia, A Slave... That was one brutal book.

And I know working through Make Me Remember bought up a lot of issues for me and I kind of felt weird mourning for people I'd never met, that may have never exsisted.

I've not faced much adversity as a child or an adult. I was blessed to live in an area where people didn't pay much attention to race and all that so getting through this story and allowing myself to grieve really took a lot out of me.

August 6, 2007 at 5:44 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home