A couple years ago at RT, I visited with a horror writer who introduced me to the term "gorn." It was his word for "Gore Porn" -- gratuitous gore that just goes for the gross out and isn't intrinsic to the plot. Sort of like gratuitous sex that doesn't advance the plot or deepen the characters. IMHO, it needs to be cut.
Today, my friend Elisabeth Naughton is talking about how she differentiates between mindless blood and violence and B & V that is important for the story. My blog is now yours, Elisabeth.
Thanks so much to Emily for having me here today!
The other night The Saw was on TV. I’m not a fan of gore, so this movie holds no appeal for me. My husband, on the other hand, has watched every Saw movie out there and always wants to “share” what he’s seen when the movie is over. He asked me recently – “Why don’t you want to watch it? I’ve read the stuff you write. Remember, RT called your last book ‘bloody and violent’”. Okay, that’s true. RT did call ENTWINED “bloody and violent” but they also gave it 4 ½ stars so the reviewer obviously didn’t have a problem with the battle scenes in the book. Of course, my husband’s comment got me thinking – what is the difference? Isn’t violence and bloodshed, well, simply violence and bloodshed?
The answer is probably dependent on your personal violence threshold. Yes, there’s a lot of action, suspense, and yeah, quite a bit of bloodshed in my recent Eternal Guardians book, ENTWINED. But it’s not gore for shock-value sake. It serves a purpose, as does every scene in my book. And in the end, readers walk away with an impression of a great love story amidst an ongoing war – NOT the specific violent scenes within the book.
I love movies that have graphic battle scenes – Gladiator, Braveheart, Lord of the Rings, Saving Private Ryan – so long as the characters are fighting for a cause. Violence and gore that holds no purpose – only to show the twisted mind of the villain – isn’t entertainment in my opinion. For me it’s all in how it’s presented and what the characters are after that keeps me riveted to my seat. And that’s not to say I don’t like psychological thrillers. Just a few nights ago we watched an old 90’s movie, The Copycat Killer, with Holly Hunter and Sigorney Weaver. The killer was gruesome and ruthless, and from the psychological aspect, it rivaled The Saw. But the film maker didn’t have to show the gore to get the suspense across to the viewer, and I had no problem re-watching that movie beginning to end.
For me, bloody and violent isn’t a bad thing. It just depends on how that blood and violence is presented. It also depends what else is going on in the story and what I’ll remember when it’s all over. How about you? How do you feel about violence in books and movies? I’ve got a copy of ENTWINED, book 2 in my Eternal Guardians Series to give away to one winner today! And for those of you who didn’t hear, MARKED, book one in the series, is a free book download from Barnes and Noble right now, so pop over and pick up a free copy of this book!
Thanks so much, Elisabeth. And thanks for letting us know about the free read! Here's the link for the free download of MARKED. You don't need a pricey e-reader. This'll work with your computer.
Be sure to leave a comment or question for a chance to win a copy of Elisabeth's ENTWINED!