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Destinyrae
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎09-03-2009
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Animal Violence in a Romantic Thriller

[ Edited ]

I posted this discussion elsewhere and got some very surprising feedback. I thought I would try here as well.

 

I'm currently writing a romantic thriller that is pretty edgy. I received some feedback that surprised me from an editor. She said that I would lose readers that are animal lovers because of a scene with an animal? Is that true?

I'm also an animal lover. I don't want to offend anyone. Honestly, it never occurred to me that it would be a problem. It's a work of fiction. It's not even like a movie where a real animal is needed. The scene isn't overly descriptive or graphic.

What are your thoughts? Would you read this story or not?

 

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dhaupt
Posts: 11,865
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Animal Violence in a Romantic Thriller

I myself would read the novel if the story was good and the cruelty wasn't too off the charts, but I have a friend who won't read anything that has anything  to do with animal cruelty, And I find that amazing that we can read about people doing unspeakable things to each other and that's okay, but involve a rabbit or a cat or dog and watch out.

I hope I answered your question, and if the story is a good one I can't wait to read it, I love Lisa Gardner and her thrillers so I do like the genre.

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Destinyrae
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Re: Animal Violence in a Romantic Thriller

Debbie - Thank you so much for your response. You did answer my question. You bring up a very good point. We don't blink at eye at hurting people in books. I guess the difference is that animals are innocent, but I'm so glad to hear that you would still read the book. Thanks so much!

 

Destiny

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TiggerBear
Posts: 9,489
Registered: ‎02-12-2008
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Re: Animal Violence in a Romantic Thriller

You know it really would for me, depend on what is being done.

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becke_davis
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Re: Animal Violence in a Romantic Thriller

I'm at a mystery conference, and oddly enough, I overheard someone talking about this today. A woman was saying she'd never read anything by this particular author (naming no names) because a dog died in one of her books. I'd avoid it, if at all possible.

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Destinyrae
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Registered: ‎09-03-2009
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Re: Animal Violence in a Romantic Thriller

Tiggerbear - I understand. It's hard to give an answer when I don't give the details.

 

Becke Davis - I'm so glad you told me about that. I appreciate the advice.

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Melanie_Murray
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Registered: ‎11-16-2007
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Re: Animal Violence in a Romantic Thriller

Interesting conversation here. I have to say that I don't like animal violence in books, and I haven't often read it when it's absolutely necessary to the story.

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becke_davis
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Re: Animal Violence in a Romantic Thriller

Are you in a writer's critique group? You might ask your critique partners to read the scene, see what they think. As Melanie said, if it's right for the story it might work, but I'd definitely think twice about it.

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Melanie_Murray
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Registered: ‎11-16-2007
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Re: Animal Violence in a Romantic Thriller

Even with the feedback from this very small focus group, it seems like a thing best avoided, no?

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dhaupt
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Animal Violence in a Romantic Thriller

Yes I agree with the general consensus here, even though I wouldn't personally be put off by it.

And especially if you're a new author you wouldn't want to put off any of your focus audience right off the bat and you even mentioned that it wasn't overly descriptive or graphic.

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1AnneB
Posts: 848
Registered: ‎08-03-2009
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Re: Animal Violence in a Romantic Thriller

Hi Everyone - Interesting questions.....I recently finished one of the Harper Connelly books by Charlaine Harris and there was some serial killings and it explained the development of a serial killer that sometimes begins in childhood with the torture and killing of animals and then sometimes moves on to humans. I think that in that context (and psychosis) it doesn't offend me because it is integral to the storyline.  I'm not sure if that provides an answer, but it is what it is....

 

Anne

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Destinyrae
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎09-03-2009
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Re: Animal Violence in a Romantic Thriller

Very valid points. Thank you.

 

Anne - You hit the nail on the head. Anyone that does research in serial killers will run across the fact that they often start with violence against animals. I've learned the same thing.

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dhaupt
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Animal Violence in a Romantic Thriller

You know it's funny that we discussed this last week and this weekend I received a book to review by

Mark Nykanen called Primitive it's an Eco-Thriller that has dramatic animal abuse in it, however saying that it is intricate to the story and even though it was disturbing the animal suffered no long lasting effects. The novel could have survived without it, but it really added validity to the story. 

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becke_davis
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Animal Violence in a Romantic Thriller

I'll never forget this book. It was very well-written, but upsetting:

 

 

The Plague Dogs