I have a history of using graphic content in my novels, but I’m starting to question my choices. Action and romance can be cheap, unnecessary laughs. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not going to stop using them. With just the right thought and application, these genres can bring meaning to a story. They can even supply insight to an entire generation. I just wonder about abusing them.
Here’s a prime example. To my left is a Jimmy Kimmel experiment that set the internet on fire. A woman, attempting to be “sexy,” falls over and catches on fire. Today, this video has 19.7M views. This is all in part to how people love seeing someone getting hurt, especially someone who “deserves” it. Some people still make fun of this girl, not knowing that it was a social experiment.
We’re all programmed to enjoy graphic content in a very particular way. I didn’t realize how my “thrills” influenced my work until recently.
Barcode: Legend of Apollo
My first novel is littered with curse words, blood, and romance. The main character is a foul mouthed jerk, and Kode is even worse. Characters use vulgarities to draw a laugh out of the reader, and this is often done successfully for my audience. (Not surprisingly, people that hate the novels are not my target audience).
I created the series for readers that like ecchi manga. The image above proves that I managed to reach my target audience. These are suggested readings for people that enjoyed my novel.
When I first wrote the series, I was really into ecchi manga myself (confessions). Therefore, I developed a story that followed suit with what I was reading. However, I’ve changed over the years, and I wish that I hadn’t used this style.
I don’t care if someone is turned off by my style of writing. You can’t please everyone as a writer, and you should never try.
I want to avoid using too much graphic content because I need everything in my stories to have a purpose. Excessive cursing and violence have their place. I wanted people to see that Kode lives a life where he constantly hears and sees violence. It is something that he cannot avoid, so it shapes him. However, I was wrong to force him to live that life. The more creative route would be to turn him completely insane. Kode needs to lash out against his world, not become a part of it.
Try to recognize what influences you when you write a novel.
For me, graphic content is something that I lived every day in America. I grew up in Compton. I lived in violence. I saw it on billboards and in all my favorite movies. Romance was everywhere from late night HBO growing up to music videos now. But now that I’m removed from all of it, I want to be conscience of how I use the bang bang and kiss poos.