Saturday, 17 December 2016

Sex and Violence Themes in Child of Destiny

This morning I received an email from a reader who won one of my giveaways. She had finally got around to reading Child of Destiny and she had some concerns.
She started the email with all the positive things she had to say about the book which I really appreciated and it also put me in the mind set to really hear her concerns. I need to learn that skill; I don't think I'm good at it AT ALL. I mean well though.
Anyway so she said that the book grabs you to begin with but then she wasn't prepared for all the 'gratuitous sex' and stopped reading. Now you would think that since this is how the book begins, it would have occurred to me to maybe wonder if it was too much or maybe that I should place a warning. Probably a trigger warning because the sex is in no way consensual.
But I didn't.
I didn't think.
So I really want to thank +Toinette Thomas for pointing it out to me.
I want you to be prepared when you open the book.

The email came in the wake of some feedback I'd gotten from a writing group on +Facebook where two people point out that I have three punctuation errors on the first page of the book. The question I had asked was why more people don't leave reviews so that really threw me.
Is punctuation that important?
I was dubious.
But then I remembered that yeah, I always notice when tenses change when I'm reading something so if I've made such mistakes I'd like to correct them.
This weekend I'm editing Child of Destiny to see if I can catch those. It really made me wonder though; is that really why y'all haven't reviewed the book?
- Are you unable to get past the sex to see the story?
- Are you put off by punctuation errors?

Tick the box which applies to you.
I want to talk about the sex and violence a little bit. Give a little background.
Child of Destiny begins with a sex scene which has dubious consent AT BEST. I want the reader to decide for themselves what they feel is going on.
It's stark.
It's in your face.
You'll probably be embarrassed and/or turned on and/or triggered and/or put off and/or disgusted. It's not gratuitous. It's essential to story progression and it's also a subject that tends to be glossed over to 'protect sensibilities' and yet it's an issue that plagues many girls in the world, of that age.
Including me.
I wrote the beginning from two perspectives; jumping from Mya's head to Leo's. The same Facebook page and many people before have said that that's confusing. But it's essential for you, the reader, to be in both their heads. To follow their trains of thought. To come along with them so that you can understand what is happening. To write it any other way is to make it gratuitous.
I am accepting all emotions but I want you to go in there prepared for what you'll find.
So if you've read it, or started reading and abandoned it, talk to me. Help me to help you. Whichever means you use, I'm listening.

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