By Christine Thackeray
Last year I went to a writer's conference where a very prominent writer spoke. When I heard of the millions of books she sold, I was dying to read her. I went to the library and found one of her books, sat in the aisle and began reading. Her first scene was a Pagan ritual which turned into a very graphic sex (not love) scene. I put it down, blushing.
Lately, in my own writing I have been working on a screenplay with a rape scene. It's been a challenge to keep it accurate but tasteful. The line is thin when we are portraying important conflicts and how they affect people, which is the foundation of powerful stories.
I've got a historical novel I am also writing. Last chapter I dealt with diarrhea, another a birthing scene, I have a pagan temple that is little more than a brothel, brief nudity and bloody war.
It's part and parcel with the time period I've chosen but does leave me with feeling that I'm a PG or PG-13 woman. I've prayed about whether I've crossed the line, and that's how I've decided to deal with it. Still, the line gets thin.
That line "Seek ye out of the best books" is my goal. I really want to write one of the best books or movies one day. I guess the key is, if you feel that Christ could read it out loud and you wouldn't blush, then you'd be okay. Heck, the Bible gets pretty darn graphic at times, The Rape of Tamar, Songs of Solomon, David and Bathsheba, just to mention a few. And look at the Book of Mormon where a man is scalped, arms go flying and that great sword fight between Gideon and King Noah.
Still they never describe the oozing blood or body parts, that is left to our imagination. The problem is that my imagination is pretty darn graphic.
So what do you think?