“Abuse” in Literature

I’m probably going to ruffle some feathers today. I don’t personally care. In the world of fiction, fiction means it isn’t true. It was locked away in some author’s brain and he/she chose to write a prose that lit people’s fire to complain.

A lot of books are taking the hit. “Carve the Mark,” by Veronica Roth; “The Outlander Series,” by Diana Gabaldon;  “Fifty Shades of Grey,” by E.L. James.  I can go on and on, and list a variety of books. Even my own books has some shades of abuse, or where someone is forceful with another character. Instead of allowing other characters to correct the abuse, people feel outraged! “How dare you write this drivel! It’s abuse!”

It’s fiction. It isn’t meant to be true. Those authors owe you nothing. I owe you nothing. If you’re taking fiction to heart, you might want to switch to nonfiction. It’s like coffee. Decaf may be more of your flavor. To censor authors, demanding authors to write YOUR story is a bit naive. My antagonists, in my series, does some horrible shit in the future to my protagonists. I’ll be damned if someone tries to tell me, I shouldn’t write my series to be so violent. I’m making it a point to say that these are horrible antagonists. They kill because they can. The worst death will be in book 4. It’s a terrible way to kill off a character or characters. Here’s a piece of advice, don’t read my books. If you can’t handle gruesome deaths, my series isn’t for you.

On that note… I have read a lot of books. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Scarlet Letter” has an abusive spouse in that book. It’s considered a classic and many schools still distribute this book. “Romeo and Juliet” by, Will Shakespeare… suicide.

Demanding us to take abuse out will backfire. That promotes a form of censorship. Abuse is put in the books, so you can be made aware of traits. Traits that an average person would avoid. Anything goes in fiction. If people feel the need to take our books as gospel, they need a mental evaluation. Seriously! I’m reading “G-Man,” by Stephen Hunter. It isn’t a politically correct book. It will be offensive to certain races when it’s released. The time period, although unfair, is 1934. There will be offensive language because that’s what that time period was about. Mr. Hunter is an elder author. I doubt he’s going to give a fuck that you find his book offensive, or not. It is a high-octane read. There are guns, and squashing of brains. This is a “manly” read. And even though the grammar is a bit off, I still enjoy this book. I’m allowed to enjoy any book. We have that pesky first amendment, and thank goodness we do. Unless you live in a country that doesn’t allow “Freedom of Speech.” For that, I hope your country changes their minds.

Pfft… “You’re an advocate for abuse!” No. I know what abuse is like. I lived it and survived it. No, I’m an advocate against stupidity. And it’s been known that in the past with historical fiction, those things did happen. They did beat their women before the 1980’s. Domestic abuse was rampant for the time period. You cannot apply 2017 thinking into the past generation. People complain about Jamie from “Outlander.” “He took a belt to Claire! That is unacceptable!” But what they forgot to mention is that Claire grabs a knife and told him, if he ever belted her again, she would cut him. They are only focused on the abuse of Claire. When did the book take place? 1940’s and Claire travels back to the 1780’s. If that’s a time period to avoid, it’s the 1700-1900’s. Women were treated like property back then. You didn’t have rights or opinions. I’m amazed the author made Claire so mouthy. If we had spoken like that, we would have been hung, stoned, or torched. You didn’t mouth off back then as a woman. They killed your ass. Expecting 2017’s morals to inflict on a time period of yesterday is a joke. Those rights didn’t exist for women. Abuse and rape did happen. It wasn’t something to be swept under the rug. Diana is showing you how horrible those time periods were. She isn’t doing it for a thrill. No author writes something to get a thrill out of abuse. We do it to make a point.

As for E.L. James, it was her duty to study BDSM. She failed at doing that. After reading “Grey,” she made her case even worse. The manipulation, the beatings, the abuse. Any normal woman would have left Grey. That didn’t happen. But then again, she owes us no explanation. Like she cares anyway. She’s raking in the millions. I can imagine her swimming in money on her bed. I would, if I was her. I would pile that money on my bed and swim in it. I don’t believe she knew it was going to take off the way it has. It probably shocked her. I don’t know and I can’t speak for James. When people pointed out about the abuse, she successfully avoided the conversation. What I believe is she had an “oh shit” moment and has nothing to say. Not smart enough to avoid Twitter, but smart enough to dodge those questions. I would write a book in the opposite direction, if I were her. But I’m not James, so I can only guess. She still got your money. And as annoying as her series is, she was still entitled to write this series. Freedom of speech, remember? No, I’m not a fan of hers. I didn’t care for any of her books. It took me 3 months per book. That’s how long it took me; due to errors. Gross errors. But I can also see why, people love her series. It did make people read again. I can at least thank James for making people read books. Hopefully, they will trickle into other great books. James, an excellent marketer, but a terrible writer. Random House UK, still published her novels. Proof that you don’t need an excellent editor. Or how about the author who recently published, “Reasons to Vote Democrat?” His book is number 1 and it has nothing in it. You don’t even need to write words in a book these days!

As for Veronica Roth, she did write a lengthy post about “Carve The Mark.” A FICTIONAL book that has self-cutting and apparently racism. I haven’t read the book, but I will. If those are your triggers, avoid it. Don’t buy this book, if it triggers you. Frankly, if something triggers you, you’re not properly healed. You need help. I mean that with the utmost compassion. Veronica has something she wants to show you. What is she trying to show you? You jumped all over her for this first book. Let’s see what she does with the rest of her series, before we jump the gun. I have this feeling she’s about to show us something important in future books. I don’t believe Roth has a mean bone in her body. I don’t believe she’s racist and woefully ignorant when it comes to cutting. If she is… she needs educated. She wanted to tell a story, and I want to see, before I make my final judgment call. She is writing fiction, so it wasn’t meant to be treated as gospel. Even in nonfiction, there has been some gruesome scenes. No author is exempt from coming under fire.

People might point out some “issues” in my novels. Spike’s temper in book 2. In his defense, he had his heart, broken. He’s scared to have it broken again. A lot of men have been burned by bad relationships. I’m showing you that people can heal. People can change. Is he meant to be a dominant character? Yes! He is an alpha. Telling me I shouldn’t write about an alpha male, doesn’t sit well with me. He’s trying to keep Rosalie alive. There are antagonists that want to kill her. He will do whatever is necessary to keep her safe. The same with William, Ian, Raziel, Gabriel, and the other Enforcers.

We can call into question of my first book. Ian drunk-texted Jeannie because that was the only way, he could deal with the pain of losing her to William. When you’re 20, you tend to type shit, you shouldn’t type. Of course, you don’t see his side yet because I’m waiting for his side of the book. You don’t see that he’s drunk. You don’t see the guilt, after he sent those messages to Jeannie. And I left that off purposely. I’m still within my rights to write “said” novel. If you’re so against abuse in literature, write your own book. If you’re not up to seeing how other fictional characters deal with abuse themselves, write your own book. Don’t come into my yard and demand me to answer. I’ll simply say it’s fiction. It wasn’t meant to be true. I’ll defend my series to the death. There are wonderful characters and dynamic plots. I won’t change my terrible antagonists to suit your agenda. Going after fiction; you need to invest your time on other important issues. Life isn’t meant to be a bed of roses, rainbows, and unicorns. Life is messy and a difficult road to travel. There are many forks in the road. You have to decide your own path. Authors are NOT responsible for your “safe” places. We are making you face life. Let our characters choose what is and what isn’t right for them; before you tout abuse.

 

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