1. Thinking back through this post, I think it would be valuable to add something my father-in-law is fond of saying: “All truth is God’s truth.” Fantasy (and really all Art in general) is a symbolic representation of truth (in some way or another).

  2. You’ve made some interesting points. In my own writing, I’ve struggled with the dilemma of knowing how much detail to add for fight scenes and how much should be left off-page. Oddly, the only complaint I’ve had about anything gruesome was from a very short description of a man burning. It isn’t even that graphic in detail, but I guess that thought of someone burning dredged up details in readers’ minds. I think that sometimes readers complete a picture more graphically than we write.

    • Totally agree. It’s hard, and I think the best option (most of the time) is to err on the side of caution. I believe I did that with Cain, but still have gotten bashed by reviews from older female readers complaining it was “so gross” that they “couldn’t finish dinner.” Honestly, I have a hard time believing we read the same book, but I think your point that sometimes readers complete a picture more graphically than we write is spot on. Once you put your work out to the world, you can’t control how it’s perceived. That’s the nature of Art! Blessings with your writing!

  3. HG Ferguson says:

    Brennan, thanks for boldly speaking out and being true to the pictures the Bible paints It’s significant you lead off with the verse from Philippians, which is often used a pretext for dismissing anything the user doesn’t like. But for me, that verse means: “Whatever is…TRUE,” i..e, REAL. If the depiction of violence in a story isn’t real, then nothing else is either, including the very truth we wish spiritually to portray, and this is one reason so many non-Christians think Christian stories are lame — is because they’re not REAL. You don’t have buckets of blood on every page of the OT (or the NT), but neither does God avoid it. Whether we like it or not, God wrote His story with some pretty colorful bloodletting here and there, and you are 100% correct that this is the biblical model and how far an author takes that is between the author, the scriptures, and God. Each case is different and unique. My story’s not REAL (as in my novel Jezebelle) if I show a guy hurled by an outraged ghost from a multi-story building onto unforgiving asphalt and his corpse is only mildly bruised, if even that. That’s not what would REALLY happen. No, he’d be well never mind :)..God desires our writing to be REAL, to be TRUE in EVERY way, because HIS is. And thank you also for reminding us how we shall all give account. God bless you and your work, and your commitment to following the way God does it.

  4. My first novel (Refuge) was about Cain, too. You’ve written a great piece here about violence. Well done! The tension needs to be examined and pondered.

What do you think?