A Mature Discussion…

100% serious here.

100% serious here.

Alright, so I’m assuming everyone on this blog is mature, in their teens, and has seen his/her fair share of the world. If any of those three do not apply, please do not read this post and what follows.

Ok, so if you clicked the continue reading, I’m trusting that you fit into the three criteria I mentioned. Here we’re gonna have a bit of an adult talk. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, and trust me, I mean a lot of thinking. You guys might have already guessed it, or you might not have guessed it, but this is a post considering the addition of adult themes to some of my writing. Currently everything I have written and/am writing is teen fiction. You’re probably all aware of that.

I’ve been thinking of taking one of my stories, Unseen: Right Behind You probably, and making it adult. “What would this entail?” you might ask. Well, three things really: swearing (which has thus far been completely absent from anything I’ve written), sexual themes (also been completely absent), and gore (eh. Depends on your definition of gore). Now, before you get mad at me and scold me down in the comments, allow me to explain myself. You guys are probably all aware that I am a Christian, and so might be saying in quite the admonishing tone, “Michael, how in the world could you propose such a thing?”

Well, let me answer that question, and hopefully I shall do so successfully.

Firstly, I would like to point out that the Bible isn’t exactly a child-friendly storybook. In fact, there are multiple parts in it that could very well be R-rated, if they were made into a movie. So, now that I have that out of the way, let me assure you as to the extent to which I mean to go with the three I mentioned.

Language is still going to be kept at a minimum. The only reason I propose it is because it adds character. Unless every single person in your novel is a Christian with a remarkable control over him/herself, there is going to be swearing. Let’s face it. In this world, the real world, people swear and cuss and use terrible language. It’s part of the way certain people express themselves, and while I do not personally advocate the use of swearing, as I am a writer, and what I am writing is based on the world I see around me, I feel that I am justified in including swearing inside of my writing. Click here for a list of the swear words I could possibly use.

As a writer, my goal has always been to depict the grittier side of life. Maybe I am a cynic. Actually, no, scratch that, I am a cynic, and so I’ve always paid a lot of attention to the darker themes in this world around us. My stories are meant to be realistic, and as I’ve progressed in that hunt for realism, swearing has come up, and while in the past I have been adamantly against it, I’ve come to realize if I am going to write the realistic stories I seek, this is going to come in.

Sexual themes are next on my list. Firstly, let me set your minds at ease. I’m not going to write erotica. That’s not the point. There have been plenty of sexual themes in the Bible and none of them were written with the intent of providing sexual satisfaction to the reader. Rather they are there because that is a very real and natural part of life. I plan on going no more into detail than the Bible does, so you can rest easy in that respect as well. I also refuse to have any of my main characters involved in extramarital sex since that is something that both I and the Bible are adamantly against. I have actually touched on sexual abuse before, in one of my short stories, and you guys seemed understanding then, so I hope you will also be understanding now.

Finally, gore. Gore really depends on your definition of it. I have in all technicality described gore in the past, so this wouldn’t change anything, except that I might get into even grittier detail. To quote the words I’ve used before when thinking about this, “Sometimes I need to be able to describe something with medical precision.” There really isn’t that much more to say about it.

So, I would like to reassure you guys that I don’t mean to just gratuitously put any of this in my writing. That is not the point. The idea is to expand the horizons on a few of my stories (currently I’m just thinking about Unseen: Right Behind You) so that I have a greater freedom to depict life as it is. I wanted to know what you guys think about this, so that if you’re adamantly against it, I will not blunder into a bad idea. Also, just so you guys know, anything with adult content in it will have an adult warning next to the title and a disclaimer in the intro blurb, so rest assured about that. I will also make liberal use of the read more tag, so those who have no wish to see/read adult content will not accidentally do so.

I have a poll below in which you can vote. If you read this post, please vote. If you read part of or ignored the entire thing, please do not vote. If you have any more comments or questions, you can put them in the comments and I will address them best I can.

Tours yruly

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16 thoughts on “A Mature Discussion…

  1. Gore is not usually a problem for me, as long as it’s not needless (which I highly doubt it will be in your stuff). Sexual really depends, but from what you said, I’ll be fine with how you’re using it. It’s really extramarital sex that bothers me because, like you said, the Bible is so clearly against it. Swearing I’m not as okay with, mostly because I think you can say that a character swore (i.e., writing “He cursed and said, “blah-blah-blah”) without actually using the words themselves. I think that gets the point across just as well as if you actually wrote the words, and it protects the reader. However, it’s not going to make me not read your stuff. I think you’ll do a good job of using it appropriately. *nods* #twocents

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    • Yeah, I get what you’re saying about the swearing, but to me it’s almost like an accent. You know, you could say he speaks with a rustic accent, or you could actually put the rustic accent into the dialogue. Depends on your style I guess. Thanks for the input! 🙂

      ~Michael Hollingworth
      Disce Ferenda Pati – Learn to endure what must be borne

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not usually bothered by encountering any of these things in books, as long as they don’t go too far. I haven’t used swearing in my writing (or at least not yet), but I do agree that it sometimes has a place. Gore is fine as long as it is needed for description and it isn’t the only kind of description given. As far as sexual themes, I believe that Christian writers should mention them to show their readers a Biblical perspective of sex.
    As long as you spend time in prayer about this (which you say you have) then I think it should be just fine. So that’s my long and probably unnecessary opinion.

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  3. I would not be against it. I am not in the least bit a sensitive reader, and having spent time in a military academy, I’ll tell you that these swear words are quite tame. As for sexual situations and gore, I’ve heard enough of that to not come close to offense, so I trust your judgement on that. I see that this content will be used quite sparingly (which doesn’t matter much to me anyways). I don’t see any problem with it, and I would probably still follow you even if you took a more extreme line. You write well, and that is all that matters to me. Gook luck with your endeavor!

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  4. Mike

    I am overly mature beyond teen and seen enough bad.

    I understand where you are coming from.

    I just wish you would depict more wholesome stories like Just David.

    Please pray before you write, otherwise, it’s a waste of time and effort and will hurt many. Keep in mind that your readers will not all have had Christian upbringing.

    Pray, Mum

    >

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    • Thank you for your feedback. I understand where you are coming from. Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. The stories I plan to write are not unwholesome, but they do take a look at the darker, grittier side of life. Know that I do not plan to demonstrate any un-Godly activity in the main characters, the role models. As I clearly mentioned, none of my main characters will participate in extramarital sex, or any other un-Godly activities. The only reason that statement might change is if the character does it in the beginning, but then has a change of heart throughout the story and turns away from his/her sin. Other than that, the role models of the story will be setting good, Christian examples.

      I do pray.

      ~Michael Hollingworth
      Disce Ferenda Pati – Learn to endure what must be borne

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  5. Go for it. You gave fair warning in this post and will do so in future posts, so nobody will come to harm. The real world is a complicated and oftentimes ugly place, and depicting that realistically in fiction does amazing things for the readers, squeamish or not.
    Anna B.

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  6. I personally think it’s completely fine; I’ve used all of this in my own writing. I’ve actually never had an issue with using language [in writing] under the right circumstances. I mean, of course there are boundaries, but like you said, in the real world these things come up.

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  7. You probably know that I don’t read your work (yes, I’m sorry, but life is crazy and I’ve got to order my priorities), but this is what I’ve got to say:
    If your conscience is fine, and if you don’t feel like you will provoke the Holy Spirit by writing adult things, then go for it. But if you feel disturbed and hesitant, I would suggest considering it more.
    That’s my two cents. *hopes it helped*

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    • Yep. I’m aware you don’t read my work. =P Two/three thousand word chapters aren’t the easiest things to find the time for. My conscience is fine, which is why I proposed this in the first place. I spent a lot of time in prayer and thought before posting this. Thanks! Your feedback has really helped. 🙂

      ~Michael Hollingworth
      Disce Ferenda Pati – Learn to endure what must be borne

      Liked by 1 person

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