This post was inspired by The Nerdwriter’s video on Movie Violence, and I cannot recommend it enough. Here’s a link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKiQs1dE0Tc
How Can You Use Violence?
This was a question that was posed halfway through that video I recommended, and now I can’t get it out of my head. Violence is common place in pretty much every single story told, but I never really thought about how it was used. As I reflected on how violence was used (Particularly in film) I noticed that violence was only every really used for two reasons.
To add tension.
I then thought about the video, and how the director mentioned (Shane Black) uses it. Which is all explained in the video. Then I thought…
How Do I Use Violence?
And I came to this conclusion. Violence is not only messy in my work, but also dehumanising. I discovered that I use violence to distance the character from the reader. To make the character less human as the story progresses. To challenge the reader. To make them question whether they should feel sorry for the character or terrified of them.
This was mostly apparent in my novella EVICTED. The main character is not only built up as misunderstood, but also as some sort of monster. He does some of the most gruesome things I’ve ever put in a book, but he also expresses the most emotion, and as the story progresses he slowly starts to change.
Another example is in a major project of mine, but I won’t go into detail.
I think understanding how you use graphic content is crucial to understanding yourself and your view on the content itself. This doesn’t just mean violence, it also means sex, language, drugs and anything else you can think of.
So I ask… How do you use violence?