How much of the two components listed above, is acceptable in a book? Should a charcter hack up everyone to fine dust and end up being covered in blood, and bits of meat?
Or should he simply cut someon'es head off, or arm off, and leave the description there...
June 12th, 2002, 10:47 AM
It's like anything else in life, you need a balance. You need enough violence and description in a fight scene that you can imagine it, but of course you don't want to know the exact colour and texture of the bad guy's intestines spilling onto the grass.
It also has to do with the writer's skill. If he or she is good they can adequately describe the violence without resorting to downright gore.
Although maybe some people like gore. I suppose it's a matter of taste.
June 12th, 2002, 11:15 AM
Go rent Braveheart. After watching it ask yourself if it was really neccesary to show all those battles in as much detail... Or can you, in your story, make as clear of a point with as much emotion as when they kill his wife?
June 12th, 2002, 11:23 AM
Hmm. Blood and gore. Well, I believe that everyone has a level of tolerance for these kinda things. Personaly, I have a bit of a low tolerance of these kind of things in books. Now say if it were a video game; I would shoot a guy in the err... lower extremities, and then scatter his brains with a shot to a head.
Now that my sound a bit hypocritical, I know. But, I believe that in a story I imerse myself so much that I nearly forget my physical form. I am out on the battle field with the hero or heroine, seeing the things they see.
In a video game however, I am aware of my true surrondings. Be it if I have mouse and keyboard, or controller. I know that it is not real. I tend to forget that in a book.
Well that is my opinion. Since you brought it up Gabador, what is yours? :p
June 12th, 2002, 11:40 AM
My tolerance for gore is moderate. I don't mind either way, as long as the book is well written.
If the gore level goes to headsplitting, and it describes the slimy brainy trail it leaves behinf, with half an eye flowing out, I tend to laugh. Unless it's realistic. And then it makes me sick(mildly). Even if it does, I like it, because it brought out some feeling and emotions in me. So it should be a balance between having too little and too much. Just enough to think :"Whooa, cool"
Or something like that :D
Seriously, though, I agree Gabador. The amount of explicit description in a scene must fit with the tone of the book and must be competently written. I have read books that absolutely sickened me, but the gore seemed necessary and added realism to, for instance, battle scenes or murders; I have also read books with descriptions that just made me laugh. It depends on the writer, on him/her recognizing when and how much.
June 12th, 2002, 12:41 PM
A very good example of laughable gore is a book by James Gordon White. It's called the Nomad queen. It's so bad it's just funny.
June 12th, 2002, 02:34 PM
When to include violence, blood and gore?
It depends on what you want to show the reader. To what extent you wish to share what your character is seeing, doing or feeling.
Combat. If the characters' are in a battle/fight you don't have to describe the wounds in graphic detail. But you have to show enough to give the reader an idea on what was going on.
This a the view point of commander trying to get refugees into his walled city. A scouting party for the enemy attack.
"Mallory swore, as the second wave of Mor- liedr charged right through the fleeing civilians scattering the human flotsam. The marauders hacked about them, their wide-eyed horses trampling men, women and children into the stubble leaden fields. The riders though did not check their charge, but continued heading north towards the road that fed the Mist gate.
‘Mallory a runner! Tell Del Contrel he has company coming!’ Dlreach shouted.
‘He knows!’ Mallory crowed in delight, as a flash of the days lingering light cupped a knot of horsemen thundering towards the Mor-liedr. The two small forces of mounted men met and dissolved into rearing, plunging mass. Bloodied blades rose and fell, sowing a new type of crop to replace the one that had been already gathered."
A one to one fight.
"For what Rupert was doing was stupid to the extreme. A risk that no sane man would take. But then he was mad, insane with love for his Kingdom and the desire to serve it. On the very edge of his hearing Rupert heard Dlreach bellow. ‘De Canver end it, hammer the bastard to the ground.’
He did not hear Giles’ answer, but Del Mark reacted, increasing the pace of the attack striking across the line of his body, shield turning Rupert’s defending blow. James’ sword screamed as it tore up the buckler the point aimed for Rupert's shoulder.
The King felt the force of the blow tear him off balance, sensed his mail splitting, the sword point entering.
All was still, a slow progression. Each element of the hit forming fragment by fragment in Rupert’s consciousness. The explosion of pain, the blood welling up warm and wet, dogging the sword as it excited the wound. James’ roar of triumph as he stepped forward to finish the kill. The whole line of his body greeting the victory and coming death with exultation.
Rupert pushed the agony away, tightening his grip on my manwy drawing strength from the silvered steel. He stepped sideways bringing the buckler in close. The sword hilt was hard against the inner metal of the small circle, the shimmering length of metal poised.
James spun trying to guard against the attack he knew was coming. Rupert feinted then slammed the buckler into James’ shield arm knocking him off balance. My manwy followed through, edge level, taking Del Mark across his side and back. She bit deep, punching through mail and into flesh. James’ body bucked arching. A strangled scream following, as if it had been forced from the man’s lips against his will.
Del Mark stumbled, rallied, his right foot turning on a half crown; sword slashing at Rupert’s now exposed side. My manwy screamed through the air to intercept the blow. The two swords connected, but my manwy’s upward flight was not stopped.
The weapons blended together before Rupert’s sweat smeared sight, my manwy passing straight through James’ sword. Del Mark’s blade had snapped, a shattered lump of metal falling away from the blighted stump.
James gave a bellow of confusion and thrashed with the destroyed blade at Rupert. The king stepped back, removing himself from the conflict, it was over, and Del Mark was beaten."
Too much blood and gore? You judge?
June 12th, 2002, 02:45 PM
The less I have to read, the happier I am.
June 12th, 2002, 03:46 PM
I concur with Holbrook, the level of blood and gore necessary in a scene is in direct relation with the emotion of the characters and their motivations. In my opinion you can take out the words "blood and gore" from your question and input "love", "sex", "bigotry", "gluttony" or any other emotional lever. The writer and characters must agree on the appropriateness of the characters actions. I believe too much of an emotional charge that goes against the writers MO and the characters established personality will appear forced and out of place.
However, with that said, there are sometimes defining moments in a characters life or a fundamental switch in attitude that may require a high level of emotional charge to swing the pendulum in a new direction.