The policy for adult themes on this blog.
Biblically, the Bible is not a child-friendly book. Many parts of it in fact would be rated R if they were made into a movie. The reality of it is in life there are adult themes, and as a cynical writer who works on the darker side of life, these themes become unavoidable at some point. I don’t plan on using these themes any more than I feel the story calls for, but at the end of it, it’s all subjective, and if something offends you, do not continue to read.
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 so that I have a greater freedom to depict life as it is.
The Three Aspects
There are three aspects to adult themes (at least that I can think of): Language, Sexuality, and Gore. My policies on each are as follows.
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 an idea of the swear words I could possibly use. Most people would actually consider that mild, but I feel that’s all one needs to express what I seek to express, and the more– colorful swear words can be left to the imagination.
As a writer, my goal has always been to depict the grittier side of life. 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.
As a sidenote, I will not shirk from using “harsher” words if I deem them appropriate (ex. bastard, whore). Some of them might be derogatory, but they are never meant to degrade any particular race, species, gender, or ethnicity. Rather, I use them because I feel that the story calls for it. Once again, this is subjective, and if you’re ever offended, go right ahead and stop reading. No one’s forcing you to keep going.
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. The level of detail to which I go into it will be at my own discretion, but like I said, I’m not seeking to make pornography. I understand that sometimes the line can be blurred, and really it depends on an alliance between the reader and the writer. As a writer, I am going to write something which I know will not cause me trouble with sin. If you know that you struggle with sexual content, then please, I beg you, do not let my content cause you to stumble. Just don’t read it.
I also refuse to have any of my main characters (assuming they’re good. If they’re bad and I plan to have a character arc change that, or if they’re the “bad guy,” this could possibly change) 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.
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.
- I will always put a warning in the title indicating that it has adult content.
- I will always have a short blurb at the start of the post briefly talking about what kind of adult content is present.
- I will always have the post hidden in the feed by a “continue reading” tag.
- Once you as the reader click on the “continue reading” tag, I am no longer liable for your sensibilities.
- I will never write with the intention to create pornography.
I set up a poll a while ago to hear your guys’ opinion on this.
How I Deal with Adult Themes in Other Books
At this point some of you might be curious about how I deal with adult themes in novels of someone else’s creation. Here’s how. Note: This is my personal way of dealing with it and it’s what keeps me at peace with reading these things. I am not suggesting it is the only way to do it, and I am not suggesting everyone else follow it, it’s just how I deal with it.
Language has never personally bothered me that much. Of course, if it’s prolific and used literally every other sentence, the book becomes unreadable, and I put it down, but at the occasional cuss word in an appropriate situation, I remain unfazed. That being said, I used to give authors a hard time for using language, but I’ve since then changed my opinion on it.
I guess this is the biggie huh? I’ll start out by saying I have no issue with intimacy between the protagonist and the obvious romantic interest. If they start going polygamous on me though, I usually have to put the book down. I cannot stand stories in which the protagonist is constantly getting with another girl/guy. That’s a thing that bothered me with The Hunger Games. Petty as it might sound, the fact that Katniss shared kisses and intimate moments with both Peeta and Gale bothered me. I also recently stopped reading another book because the romantic interest willingly got naked in front of a bunch of other guys. To be fair, it was for a ritual that was vital to completing the quest, but it upset me, so I quit reading.
Dark sexual themes like rape and sexual abuse make me sad, but they don’t bother me either. I won’t put a book down because it includes rape and sexual abuse. Of course, if it’s the protagonist doing that then that’s a different matter entirely, but I’ve never encountered a book like that.
And finally, extramarital sex between the protagonist and the romantic interest. I don’t know that my way of dealing with this is exactly “correct,” but it allows me to resolve the issue without getting upset. Basically, in my mind, I portray the protagonist and the romantic interest as already being married, and that’s how I treat the story. I treat the two as a married couple. Note that this is very different from accepting extramarital sex. I am and always will be adamantly against it.
Considering I have a morbid fascination with dissection and how things work, this probably has the least effect on me. I’ve even watched surgeries just to do research for one of my stories.
That’s it. I’m out.