In my opinion, if the horror serves a purpose, then it’s the right amount. If you’re just being gross to shock us, let’s get real for a minute. We live in the post-Tarantino era. Most of us just sigh at the tedium of violence for shock value.
How can you tell the difference? Ask yourself the following questions: Does the vicious bloodbath serve a purpose? Is it there to move the plot forward? Does it give us a greater insight into our hero or our villain? If the answer to at least one of these questions is yes, then the gore serves a purpose, and therefore, should not be cut. So long as your novel or movie has the appropriate filters attached (i.e. – “contains adult content”), then censoring yourself will do your audience a disservice. There is a big difference between gore implied and horrors witnessed.
It’s important to keep your reader in the moment. That’s why I try to avoid flashbacks and past tenses in my more disturbing scenes. Let them experience the terror as your characters do. The best horror books, in my opinion, spend equal amounts of time describing the blood and guts as they do the emotional reaction to the crime scene. If it’s all action and no heart, eventually we will grow numb to the thrill of the scare. If you plant a visceral response by letting us in on how your characters are negatively affected by every slash, then you’ve got both a visual and an emotional story. In my book, that adds up to a home run.
In a world not divided by race, creed or color, but by blood type, Blue Anders finds herself on the wrong end of fortune’s mercy. Born with a lesser blood type, Blue is raised in The Way, a work camp for A-bloods.
In my experience, there are always at least two aspects to every horror story. There’s the bloodlust, and the resistance to such things. In The Way, the main character, Blue, has a problem. If someone she loves is threatened, she blacks out and goes on a killing spree to protect what’s hers. When she wakes up, she’s horrified when she realizes the scope of the damage she is capable of. She struggles with her destiny of violence, and fights with her brother who reminds her daily that she is not a person, but a weapon. The Way follows Blue through the world of the Vemreaux as she learns to make peace, as well as fight.
Because of her damning A-blood type, Blue is a slave, living in a work camp called The Way. The B-bloods are the ruling class, and Blue must learn to live amongst the elite after being raised in the dregs of society. She attempts to control her aggressive urges as her brother makes plans for her predetermined future.
Mary E. Twomey lives in
with her husband and two adorable children. She enjoys reading, writing,
vegetarian cooking and telling her children fantastic stories about wombats. Michigan