1. Esther says:

    My thoughts…this article was too short, haha. I always look for the “how to”, and while I do see that the questions are good for us to ask ourselves when writing, I would have appreciated some specific examples.

    What scenes have you discarded in view of these considerations, and why? What scenes have you chosen to include that were hard-hitting? How does one make a violent scene edifying? etc…

    • See thoughts below the next comment about making violence edifying :).

      Desiring to edify my readers has taken a lot of forms in my own writing. In one story, it led me to explore a villain’s motivations and make him deeply sympathetic, because I was trying to tell the truth about human nature. In other stories, I’ve used villains that were flatter–just more pure evil–because I think we need as Christians need to recognize that pure evil exists and is worth fighting with all our hearts.

      At times I have cut certain language or graphic tendencies because I knew my readers were going to be young and I didn’t want to help peel away their innocence before the natural time.

      But actually, more of my thoughts on this come from experiences as a READER than as a writer. I have read books that tore my mind and heart in pieces, and I had to spend years (yes, years) putting them back together. I have read other books that presented God and human beings in such a light that brought healing, and strength, and courage to me.

      I want to do that for my readers. Still figuring out the ins and outs of how :).

  2. Royce says:

    I seem to remember a very violent climax to C. S. Lewis’ Perelandra. I find kicking Satan’s butt very edifying.

    • Comments like these make me wish I could install “Like” buttons for each individual reply (there may be a way to do this, but perhaps it would add too much clutter).

      Presenting evil for shock value, or just to get at them annoying fundies, isn’t edifying. To show evil getting its butt kicked — especially by God — is certainly more edifying. And apparently God Himself though so, when He Himself permitted rebellion in this world.

      • Exactly :).

        And that’s actually a good answer to Esther’s question on how violence can edify and show love to readers. It can do so by presenting in a true context, not as something glorified or there just for shock value.

  3. Kaci says:

    I have nothing to add: Lovely post. 0=)

What do you think?