Hello, I am currently hard at work on my latest novel, approaching the 40k word mark whilst only having started about a month ago. But my question today is not in regards to this novel, but rather the next one I am already outlining on the side for when I am done. Now the phrase 'controversial' can be up for debate, but I am not talking murder or rape, things that nobody truly objects to in a story (if part of the plot of course). In my particular example I have a character that does the following at one point in the story (my next story, not the current one): He takes holy books (Torah, Bible, Quran) and burns them (or otherwise destroys them, but most likely burn them). Now I am not one to self-censor, but with reactions to novels like "The Satanic verses" I wonder if that has in any way dimmed publishers to this sort of content? You may question my reasons for such a scene, but I assure you that they are not done to purely get a rile out of the religious, it actually serves a purpose in the story. So here I have a scene that is controversial, but I doubt I could cut it, nor do I feel like I want to cut it, just to avoid stepping on toes. But the real question isn't whether I like to self-censor, I know that I don't. But do publishers self-censor this sort of stuff? Would such scenes make it completely impossible to get it published? Has sometimes violent reactions to this sort of content made publishers reluctant to publish this sort of material? How does this sort of content influence your odds of getting the story published? Does it become almost non-existant? Does it only slightly effect it? If the story is good, would it matter? *I always enjoy a good religious debate, but I am familiar with SFF's position on those. For the sake of everyone's account, I hope we can avoid engaging in a debate of that nature. If possible, please try to stick entirely to the effect such content has on the chance of being published. If possible, try not to focus on judging the reaction that people have to such content. I would love that debate, but SFF is not the place.