What’s shocking to you? Poor customer service, a restaurant sold out of your favorite dish? Maybe dust in your hotel room?
A fellow writer asked me yesterday what was ‘better’ in terms of a story-line. A step-father abusing his step-daughter or a father abusing his daughter?
Well, that’s easy. A father of course.
Ewww! That’s disgusting. How could you say that? Why would anyone want to write about that?
Because it’s shocking and disgusting of course. People love that.
Do they? Yes, they do. Maybe sad, but definitely true.Some of the worlds greatest author’s (and not so great) have used the topic of incest. – Shakespeare, Sophocles, Ovid, Daniel Defoe to name but a few – see here for The Observer’s ‘Top Ten’.
It’s not just incest of course. Extreme violence is also a firm favorite, even just the implication of it makes for a great read –
Gary: I need to see some I.D.
Jack Reacher: I’m not showing you any I.D.
Gary: Well, I need to see something.
Jack Reacher: How about the inside of an ambulance?
When I was younger my brother and I were aficionados of a film genre called ‘Splat’ or ‘SplatStick’. Although it’s now more used to refer to higher quality horror films made by certain directors – The Splat Pack – back then, (late 80’s early ’90’s), it was more related to films that contained a lot of extreme deaths and two-tone tits.
We once went to a Troma ‘All-nighter’. 6 films in a row produced by Troma Entertainment.The most famous of their films is perhaps The Toxic Avenger – also made into a musical! My own personal favourite was Rabid Grannies.
Who thinks Sir Peter Jackson is a great director? Although more famous for The Lord of the Rings series you really should check out his first film – Bad Taste. No way he would have received a knighthood for that one. (Although IMHO he should have) 🙂
So shock is not only a very important factor in film and literature – it can make you extremely rich and famous!
Bring on the guts … (preferably without the incest but that’s a personal choice …)