I keep most of my New Pulp writing in the PG-13 range but I’ve been known to cross “the line” on occasion… some of you may remember when Sun Koh mutilated a rapist in an old Peregrine story, for instance. And my novel Rabbit Heart is basically a study in excess! Whenever I thought that I might be pushing the envelope too far in that book, I went ahead and tore it open.
But when is it *really* too far?
I’ve kept hardcore sex and violence out of Lazarus Gray, for instance, but there’s an element of subjectivity there, as with all artistic endeavors. When I wrote The Damned Thing, there was a scene early on that involved oral sex. To be honest, I’d forgotten about it by the time it saw print — it was just a brief character moment and believe it or not, not every scene sticks in the mind of the person who wrote it (I write a lot of scenes…). So when it came out, I had a reader who went on and on about that scene and how much it disturbed them. I didn’t even remember what they were talking about! See, for them, that was shocking and extremely memorable. For me, it was no big deal. So you never know how folks will respond.
But there are times when even I know that I might be going into territory that would be best left undisturbed. I’ve mentioned before that I started writing a sequel to Rabbit Heart — it was going to be titled Starstruck. In fact, I wrote about 12,000 words on it, meaning it’s about 20% complete. But even as I was writing the opening scenes of Starstruck, I knew that this probably couldn’t see print. Despite how far I’d gone with Rabbit Heart, I went a lot further into the disturbing territory with just the first 12,000 words on Starstruck. There is at least one scene in there that I think would be hard for people to get out of their heads when they thought of me… and I’m not quite sure I want to go there.
Nobody’s read Starstruck – not even people who’ve really begged & pleaded! I’ve thought about finishing it but it’s so dark and if I didn’t publish it, what would be the point? I’ve considered completing it and then sticking it in a box with a note to say that it could be published after I was dead & gone but then I’d miss the perverse pleasure of seeing people freak out!
On the other hand, I don’t want to tone the story down, either. If I’m going to write disgusting smut then by God, I’m going to write disgusting smut!
Anyway, I think that I’ll continue staying on the PG-13 path for most of my New Pulp work – I often try to craft stories that will appeal to adolescent boys the way that classic pulp did me when I was that age. A little titillation is fine but I try not to veer too far into adult territory. Of course, sometimes the characters demand their course of action (like Sun Koh did in that Peregrine story) and often what I consider PG-13 isn’t what someone else would. In fact, I had one lady tell me she’d never let her 15 year old son read my books because they contained too many “demonic” elements.
In the end, the work puts whatever restrictions on itself that feel appropriate. When I’m writing The Peregrine, there’s a certain feeling to the world that lets me know the basic parameters, even if I sometimes bump against the guard rails.
Creating New Worlds
An Outrageous, Egregious, Preposterous, take on the legal issues of Seinfeld
The Official Website of John F. Allen writer.
Toys | Games | Movies | Comics and everything else in between
The Future of Pop Culture Writing
What's your distraction?
Old Movies. Fresh Takes.
We love comics.
Singing the praises of things that slip through the cultural cracks
Comic book and movie reviews!
Marvel and DC comics and community
Horror, Science Fiction, Comic Books and More
Fantasy and film reference writer.
Library of the Odd, the Obscure, and the Occult
Scribbler & Scholar
Art and Books
Pro Advice For Freelance Writers
Adam West’s Updates
"I'm a whole lot better and a whole lot worse than you think I am."-The Choir
Once a foster child, Always a foster child
Fantasy and Science Fiction Book Reviews and Discussions
T.V/Movie News & Reviews
This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees
The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.
"Find what you love and let it kill you." – Charles Bukowski
The Fantastic and Mundane Chronicles of an Aspiring Writer
1939 Dodge D11 Deluxe Luxury Liner
Defending the planet from bad science fiction
Movie critiques by a popcorn enthusiast
Writing is human communication tool and it brings out the real personality in you as a person.
Fresh takes on retro pop culture
I am the mistress of this blog and this is where I channel my inner domestic goddess
The collective writings and thoughts of that guy in the site title.
News, reviews, and commentary about superhero prose fiction
Geeky News, Reviews and Rants from a Working Class Super-Villain
A daily selection of the best content published on WordPress, collected for you by humans who love to read.
Worlds and ideas from my mind
Speculative Fiction Book Reviews and Sundry
A blog about the writer of THE NIGHT LAND and HOUSE ON THE BORDERLAND
Magazine of Thrilling Adventure and Daring Suspense