I am often confronted with the question by my wife, "Don't you feel bad about...you know, the violence in your book? What if someone GETS OFF to it? Or, what if someone made a movie from your book. Would you watch it? Would you be OK with them showing that kinda stuff to potentially your parents, or kids, or anyone in general, straight from your sick mind?"
My answer? I don't know.
In American Media, violence is much more acceptable than sex and nudity. Why? I mean, wouldn't we want a bunch of sex-o-maniacs running around rather than terrorists and murderers?
Not to say that media makes the choices for an individual--though that is an interesting topic for another blog post.
We censor language more than we do violence. Cartoons often have bloody violence and even if they are less graphic, is graphic really all that matters? What about concept? After all, writing is primarily conceptual. "Graphic Writing" is merely how much conceptual imagery we give a reader from his/her own head. We didn't feed the reader anything they didn't already have available to visualize, because the reader wouldn't have understood if they didn't already have the tools to imagine it.
Or is that my cop out as an author?
If someone goes and...not to give real spoilers...face rapes toothless people because of my novel. Is that my fault? Shouldn't I feel guilty?
When writing anything, conflict is necessary. To show the light, you have to show the dark. As any graphic artist will tell you, contrast is far more powerful than a bunch of bright colors everywhere overwhelming the senses. So, the darker I go the lighter I can show, right?
Though with that logic, why not show all the gore and sex possible to children, just so that they can see how good their life is.
I hope nothing bad comes from writing Murder Genes. Because the truth is that I will feel guilty if something bad does happen. But if something good comes from it as I hope it will--should I feel proud? Is the result the final measurement of a good, ethical and moral use of sex and violence in a book?
Maybe I should have figured it out before releasing Murder Genes. Maybe I'm just irresponsible.
I don't know, you tell me.