Monday, January 16, 2012

A History of Violence? Only in Fiction

My blog has suffered, weighed down by holidays, job responsibilities and lots of time spent on writing my second novel. It's time to break through the malaise.

Do other authors who deal with violence have trouble writing those scenes? I have to be honest: I am no Stephen King. I don't feel comfortable with a parade of situations in which somebody gets whacked. However, as an author, I have to occasionally write such scenes. And when I write such scenes, I find myself with two realities. The first is that discomfort in facing the situation. The second is that the scenes are very easy to write once I enter into them.

Go figure.

I just completed a scene with a high level of violence. It's not Hannibal Lecter-level violence, but it concerns circumstances that will make anyone wince. Why? Because the principal antagonist in my second novel is that much of a bad ass. I have to prepare a counter to my antagonist in order to provoke tension and set up all the "black moments" that are ahead for both characters. The funny thing is that both my protagonist and antagonist are seasoned killers. They simply do what they do for vastly different reasons, and with vastly different moral foundations. One can be accepted by a vast majority of readers; the other will provoke hate.

Go figure.

What am I reading now? "Through My Eyes" by Tim Tebow. My son Mike gave me the book for my birthday, and his timing couldn't have been better. A Denver journalist getting an inside look at the most popular and reviled figure in the city these days is very worthwhile. To me, Tebow is very understandable once you know his background. Tebowing isn't show. It's as basic to him as breathing, and I respect him for standing up for what he believes and taking shots from those who don't accept his choices.

What's next on my agenda? I will send a query to one agent who caught my eye. I think I have found a kindred spirit regarding my approach to writing. Wish me luck.

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