Monday, April 20, 2009

How Gross is too Gross?

I enjoy a good gross-out. That doesn't mean that every book I read has graphic autopsy scenes or horrific detailed murders but, yes, some do. In addition to the thrillers, mysteries and crime novels I read, I also enjoy a lot of feel good romances.

Sometimes when I write I need someone to point out that I've gone too far. That the scene I've written is perhaps a little too stomach turning for my particular readership. Sure I don't mind the odd ewwwww comment but I don't want readers turning my books away because they're too grossed out. My editor pointed out a scene in Devil May Ride where I needed to scale things back a bit. It didn't change the story so I was fine with it.

I don't often get that shuddering ewwww feeling when I read. Maybe I have a high tolerance for ewwwww. I remember reading Shadow Man by Cody McFadyen and having a major ewwwww moment. It didn't stop me from reading the book. It was a great story and the scene played an important part in the telling of the tale. However, it did make me shudder with revulsion while simultaneously wanting to read more.

How about you? Have you read any books that you had to put down because you were grossed out? Or do you have a high ewwwww tolerance?


Dru said...

As long as I don't visually see it, it won't bother me too much what the words are depicting.

Wendy Roberts said...

So do you read a lot of those kinds of visually gross stories then?

Tori Lennox said...

I can read gross stuff much better than I can watch it. I'm constantly having to shut my eyes while watching the CSI shows and BONES. Though I can't recall offhand any books I've read that were really horrible.

Dru said...

No, I don't read a lot, but the few that I've read didn't bother me.

B.E. Sanderson said...

Eewww, that picture was too much for first thing in the morning.

If I'm reading along and a story gets too gross, I just skim past that part. I'm the opposite of Tori's comment, though. I can watch gross stuff easier than I can read it. My imagination is much worse than anything Bones can throw at me - although sometimes they surprise me.

wend said...

I seem to be able to read and watch anything although eyes sometimes send me a bit squiffy! I'm a big Kathy Reichs and Patricia Cornwell fan and nothing in their books or yours has gotten close to grossing me out!
other WR