Sex and Violence

In most genre books I skip the sex scenes and the fight scenes.

All the fight scenes tell me is you the author have watched The Matrix (or MMA matches or Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) enough times to describe it.

All the sex scenes tell me is you have an internet connection.

Having just finished a Western (Valdez is Coming* by Elmore Leonard; I recommend it) I saw it wasn’t these two things but the lead up and repercussions from them that made things interesting. It’s only that people are obvious and put pages of dueling MMA wizard anal elf sex in their books for some reason. If you love it, then hey, that’s great. But for me, it feels like I’m reading the fan fiction for the RPG supplement you wrote in novel form.

* hardeeharhar

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8 responses to “Sex and Violence”

  1. Ahimsa says :

    I agree almost entirely, especially in a genre where there is nothing at stake–you know the characters have too excellent of plot armor to actually ever die.

    On the other hand ” pages of dueling MMA wizard anal elf sex” is a pretty compelling elevator pitch!

  2. Ahimsa says :

    Maybe not too harsh. I was thinking how much I hated to prop of love triangles, and then I realized how violence is just as artificial a construct, just one that I am much more blind to. There’s definitely some really good room for conversation here.

    • Justin says :

      It’s not the existence of love triangles or violence that’s the problem for me, but how they’re described. And that’s what I want to be particular about describing. So when I say, “I don’t like this thing”, I can then say, “Here’s why…” I suspect it’s related to immersion level, but need to think on it longer.

  3. kaneofmelnibone says :

    I like violence, especially gritty violence. I’m indifferent to sex (it bothers me more in movies, I hate romantic bullshit). Anything that can be described as genre fiction, though, is generally terrible shit (likewise, anything advertised as a film). I have a very low tolerance for tropes, cliches and moralizing twats. Why the fuck would anyone read Dragonlance when there are a thousand better fantasy stories? I’ve read some dumb books in the past, but that was before I had the Internet. Anyone who thinks I’m paying for Raymond Feist when Howard is free is a tosser.

    • Justin says :

      Tropes are inescapable. It’s what you do it with them that matters. Gritty violence however is often as lame as most other described violence.

      • kaneofmelnibone says :

        Tropes area inescapable, and they’re not bad, I just don’t like how most people use them.

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