Hello, I’m looking for some advice on a certain topic. I don’t normally plan out my characters, just go with the flow and what I think right away. Anyways, I have this one character in one of my stories that his past just came back. This book is not mature, the rating I can give is like PG-13. I am not dark. But the character has a dark past abused by his brother I can give that out. The abused level I want is like in the high ratings. I guess, what I’m asking is, should I go with my gut feeling and write what I am thinking? I also go with a lot of detail and I’m afraid it’ll be too dark. The other thing too is, to be on the safe side, should I put a warning up on the chapter? That way the readers will know what the chapter contains? Hope to get feedback! And if I do, thanks for the help!
Never be afraid to write what comes to mind, even if it’s dark. Actually, don’t be afraid that it can be or will be dark.
So yes, go for your gut feeling.
For the warning, though, that’s up to you. You can, if you want, but it’s not required. Personally, I don’t give warnings on chapters because reading is more of a “read at your own risk” kind of thing. Published books don’t come with warnings, and yet, there’s many dark stories that are out there still being loved by readers.
Let the story tell itself and then determine the rating afterwards. Every story has a mind of its own.
Write what comes naturally and just let it flow. Putting in a warning at the beginning isn’t a bad idea, depending on the extent of darkness that occurs in the chapter. You can always edit later.
The thing about this popular cliche is that people tend to over exaggerate the level of abuse in order to make things snap.
I’ve been abused plenty in my life but you don’t see me making a big deal out of in my writing. But I’ve also seen my mom being abused worse and that isn’t something I would care to put into writing because it’s something that still haunts me to this day.
The common belief that abused people make for better character tropes is a bit alarming and misleading. People who have suffered tons of abuse at the hands of others or the person they thought they loved is not romantic or worth digging up–in my opinion.
A healthy relationship is much better.
EDIT: I have an ongoing series that shows one of my characters being abused in the third book and the fourth, she’s abusing and tormenting another. What I’ve shown in both instances is not romantic but disconcerting and sometimes horrifying.
And it is pretty dark. But I am able to do this because I’m not pulling any punches or having any allusions that this is going to get any better before it gets worse.
And I’m not doing this to elicit more reads from the general public. I’m showing a side to my character that even I didn’t think was possible. But in the state she’s in, all bets are off.
Write what you think is best. I’m of the opinion that warning on chapters are unnecessary (though sure, put them on the book) because I think there should be no major surprise if it gets dark. If the story starts off light and grows dark quickly, then sure, there’s a reason for that. But if the story is two thirds of the way through and all of the sudden the tone shifts completely, then it is jarring. The audience that picked it up was not expecting something like that, and possibly didn’t want it either. The audience that would like it might not have given the book a chance because the beginning didn’t interest them. Also, when suddenly going dark, it is very easy to appear like you’re just doing it for shock value.
Basically, write what you want. Experiment how you want. Consider how you’re pacing the story and its tone when deciding how dark or graphic to go. If you’re unsure, open your story up to constructive criticism. Listen for reader feedback on whether or not it worked for the story. Then you can adjust accordingly.
That’s what I do too! And I realized that with public. I just think, that if I write it too dark Wattpad will make the chapter private or something. That’s what happen to a friend of mine, last year. Until she took out a few details, it went back to being public.
That is true. Thanks for the help! That’s what I do for my, I don’t write a whole plot. Or the characters. What happens, happens. Even when I have to rewrite to make it sound sense.
Thanks! As I said in my first post. I just had a character that his past is coming out and he has to tell. I wrote a little nightmare scene, but after that I’m like okay, now I’m worried about the level I should keep. After reading yours and everyone else I think I’m going with my gut feeling.
I wasn’t expecting the character shift either. I had three characters that people know a bit of their past know, and three unknown. I wanted something different, after reading a lot of stories. I rarely come to a decision that I’ve made. Thanks for the help!
Just don’t go too crazy, okay? Keep it simple, short, with as much “impact” as you can muster that will make things fall in line with both the atmosphere you’re trying to create as well as the said reactions of those characters. (By keeping it in character, y’know? Neutral status, author objectivity, stuff like that. Don’t make it personal unless you absolutely have to.)
Write! Sleep on it, then tune it up. Maintaining a stable ranking then adding warnings sounds like the best thing to do
Not sure if people are still replying to this chat but I need help/advice about writing a book description. There will be so much in my book but I feel like my description really takes away from the content.
Does anyone have advice?
What is your book about? That’s that first question I think of right away. Talk to me about your book, then put that into a small description and then go from there. That’s what I do. That and if something happens that is big, talk about that. If need an example, I can give you mine. Another thing to, if you don’t need a book description right away, do a sneak peek of your book. Something that screams for the audience to read. That way they want to read and it’ll be the first thing they’ll see.