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mindripper
2nd December 2005, 11:13 PM
There has been a proliferation of violence in fics these days, and the question about the extent to which said notion should apply still begs an answer. How much violence is enough to bring a point of genre across, and yet how much edges the line? Does the character make-up affect that decision, or is there a benchmark?

I have also shamefully jumped on the bandwagon, even though I believe I have my points of differences from other people in the business, and anyone who has read my prologue knows what to expect in my fic. No matter the genre, there is still always a limit to the violence, past which the character becomes sterile, much like the theory of the disindustries of scale would work. What then is an appropriate level of violence a character can work with in accordion to his/her personality, being emotionally believable enough to pull off those acts? My main character is rather the artist when it comes to violence, but there was still a limit which I dared not cross, as in I could not make my character superhumanly powerful, killing for the sake of it, but rather reacting like a human in that situation would, if morality and survival compete. Do others share the same view, or does the end justify the mean?

I wanted to ask this question to get a general idea of whether I have developed my main character in an ideal fashion. There will probably be little or no change in the character, but knowing what others think can do no harm.

PS: Mod, please change my thread title for me if possible. I accidentally deleted the "n" in violence and created the thread. I cannot stand the error in the thread name. Thanks.

Kyle of Pallet
2nd December 2005, 11:56 PM
I believe that it depends on the type of fic, they way things die, the graphicness, and the age rating.

In my fic, Evil Monsters die by bursting into flames and returning to Ganondorf. This is a spoiler, so... Also, the Dragons die by turning back into eggs. Then, when the Dragons hatch, they obey their last slayer. My fic has a lot of violence, but it is not graphic, nor is death eternal. My rating s also PG-13 for Colliding Worlds, so the violence factor can be higher.

but I know whta your saying. If there is a lot of violance in a G rated fic, then that is a bit much.

Zerodius
3rd December 2005, 12:09 AM
My opinion about violence is like this: there is no such thing as too much if it is done correctly.

If in doubt, I shall re-upload Chronicles of Darkness. Siryx and NeoBowser are about as sick as they get... and yet, back when I posted the fic, they were considered uber, instant classic villains (and I still consider NeoBowser to be the best villain I created for a fanfic although the villain I created for Rejected is quite deep too).

More recently, Silvera from the Pokemorph stories and 02 from Beginning of the End are quite sick as well. Silvera is a completely insane sadistic and masochist Pichu Pokemorph while 02 eats the souls of live people, their screams for mercy not even making a dent in her eternal state of boredom.

Violence is also present regarding my heroic characters... although I tend to make the heroes a lot less extreme. Mewlt from Rejected is one of my few heroes guilty of ultra-violence ; he is a Shadow Pokemon and when he loses control... well, he loses control and when this happens, things get ugly (and very bloody) usually.

That doesn't mean that blood and gore should fly about in every story ; blood and gore fits when it is logical and well-executed. In my humoristic fics, I decrease the violence level by a lot even when they are R-rated ; gratuitous blood and gore is a pathetic excuse for bad jokes. If you can't make something funny without blood, then you are a bad writter, mister.

In fact, while I am totally for not caring about violence limits in fics... I also believe that although violence can carry the emotion further and make some scenes even more dramatic, if your story, when stripped of it's violence, turns out lame... then the story is bad.

Well, that's all.

Have a nice day.

Wandering Rhythmical Phoenix
3rd December 2005, 1:13 AM
It all depends. Later in my fic, there is alot of murdering by one guy, and it doesnt stop at the Chosen ones either. He's only around for a handful of chapters, but the way he kills is quite intense. Also, the ocasional gunshot wounds, and a handful of deaths. It depends what your aiming for.

Ledian_X
3rd December 2005, 1:30 AM
When you're writing a comic-like story like mine, you kind of need violence for realism. Some can be a bit much. But, if you want the bad guys to really be bad, you need some or ellse it'll be really lame. It just depends on how it's dealt, how much and what kind.

I admit I put a little violence in. I do mention Jenna's rape n the story. I didn't show it but I did mention that and showed stuff happening to Aquita and of couerse the death of the king and a couple other people.

Death's to be expected. Adds realism and so does violence. So, yeah go alongwith what the others said. Too much can be bad but if handled the right way, it can be good. Can't have a superhero story without bonking heads.

LX

The Big Al
3rd December 2005, 1:41 AM
It depends on the genre. L_X super hero comic based fics kind of need violence as they fight. Though even Pokemon fics can have some violence, even between humans. The general idea is that violence is a part of life but their is such a thing as overkill. Also, the story should depend on the violence for the plot.

Ledian_X
3rd December 2005, 1:57 AM
Yeah, I gotcha. Violence isn't part of my plot but you know..baddies are everywhere. I don't do overkill. Although, I do have a sick freak in my story that kills, molests and does generally bad stuff.

LX

Faerie
3rd December 2005, 3:16 AM
Hmm. Violence? It depends on the story, really. Some stories don't require violence at all because that's not the idea of the story, but those are usually one-shots. Untamed Serenity didn't have any violence because the plot didn't call for it at all.

However. On the other hand, violence can be used to convey many different things in a story, and sometimes it's actually neccesary or good for the story. Fanfics with villains almost always have violence in them (otherwise the villains aren't really villains xP), and the more the villains are used, the more violence there usually is. I like to have the villains as main characters, usually, so the violence is acually fairly common. I don't like to use it too excessively, but in the case of a story I'm writing, I had to up the rating to PG-15 because of the frequency of it.

Depending on how the violence is used, it can aid in a story or make it just plain stupid. If it's actually used well and aids in the plot, it's fine with me, but if it's just there for decoration it's really annoying. The best thing to do with violence is to give your story a clear rating to show readers what's in it. Violence isn't the kind of thing that can become REALLY ecsessive, but if you use it with at least a tiny bit of sparing it's perfectly fine.

Negrek
3rd December 2005, 3:18 AM
Violence is tricky to do well, and there's a fine line between putting in an amount appropriate to the mood that you're trying to convey and just overdoing it so much that it desensitizes your reader to the rest of the work ("Oh boy, another enemy getting his head chopped off in a stylish fashion? *yawn*").

You also have to be careful to make sure that you have some sort of motivation behind said violence, or else it just becomes gratuitous and boring. Basically, the upper bound to violence is when it becomes ineffective as a way of influencing your reader. When your reader no longer feels anything by it, then you have clearly gone too far with it.

Eternal Daydreamer
3rd December 2005, 4:29 AM
It depends. Like in Not So Sensational. There will be violence in it, but only because the plot seems to be pointing in that direction. As said before, if it isn't nesscary it's overkill.

Dilasc
3rd December 2005, 4:37 AM
In Dust to Deceit, violence in an important theme. Kertonmel is not a happy, prissy land where rainbows and gumdrops happen and only badguys get hurt. In this land, people are slightly more savage, and at a disconcern for what the rest of the world calls 'moral.' As such, there is open cursing and nudity on the public televisions in Kertonmel, and in order to truly adventure, one needs to be immune to death, or else that person is'nt man enough to go into poop infestation of the sewers, and when you leave, go onwards without bathing or brushing your teeth for maybe even weeks on ends. If that's not enough, then think of demons who will eat a man whole and then send him out their back in a bloody rain of shredded pieces. Horrifying, no?

Anyway, I see violence as a powerful force, but it can easily be abused if overdone. Violence, after all, besets more violence, so its best to ensure you avoid getting oo much before it gets out of hand.

Klaus
3rd December 2005, 4:46 AM
Violence-for one thing is something that shouldn't be over done. But, I do agree that you need enough to make it have a dramatic feel. See, in Friends of Legend, there is one scean where Taylor drags a knife across the face of a well liked evil guy. It doesn't cause much damage but it does give enough proof that Taylor has gotten upset over a certain event.

And in Semi-hippies it only has some mild violence in it in later chapters. And, Friends Forever will have quite alot of violence because it involves things that would spoil it.

So, all in all, violence is okay in little drizzels but it you get all *He stabbed the dagger into its leg and began to dig. Blood was seeping out and staining everything...bloody bloody bloody gore gore gore* That's where I draw the line.

As always, be kind to the mime.

xXSaberXx
3rd December 2005, 4:56 AM
D: Lawl. It's funny that in threads like these, PEOPLE ALWAYS USE THEIR FICS AS AN EXAMPLE. We might as well put; ADVERTISE HERE in the title. xPPPPP Sad. :/

Violence is violence. If it's a gory story (RHYMES. LAWL), then there should be lot's. =O If you give no reason for the violence in question, it just ends up like a bad remake of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. No reason, no time, no date, no hate. They just DO IT. xP Kinda like bad romance fics. THEY JUST DO the IT for no reason. o-o;;

Anyhoo, I think it's just all in moderation. You could use violence to drastically upscale a fic in the drama department, give it a little boost from the monotonity of everything else. On the other hand, it makes things more....how do you say....dark. It's a reminder that violence is always there, all around us, and constantly whispers in our ears about reality. So it also brings a bit of reality to the story, I suppose. Watch My Pretty Ponies and you'll instantly know it's basiclly not meant to be realistic cause their's no violence in general. xP Not that talking ponies with ice cream tattos on their butts is realistic, but you get the idea.

I hope.

x3

Dilasc
3rd December 2005, 5:34 AM
D: Lawl. It's funny that in threads like these, PEOPLE ALWAYS USE THEIR FICS AS AN EXAMPLE. We might as well put; ADVERTISE HERE in the title. xPPPPP Sad. :/


I wll respond to this, but I warn you... but still don't judge me wrongly by this. I simply wish to bring up a counterpoint.

When I too have people lining up to read the things I post, I'll probably not bring up my precious babies in every subject... as vigorously. This rant was not meant to be harsh, I'm just sticking up for those guys who 'advertised' their works, and hope to get more people to do the good Samaritan thing and build them a large fanbase. Sad, isn't it?

Now, back on topic, with absolutely NO attention paid to the part above at all. Violence is usually not brought on for no reason. Everyone has a motive, from the simple 'MEAT! ME HUNGRY' that comes from killing gazelles and the ever delectible space mutant to 'Hey Huns, let's sack Rome for riches and glory,' that drives conquest. Basically, an act of violence, even from a crazy man, has its reasons. No person, or living creature at all kills for no reason whatsoever. There is always some reason why they done the dirty deed. As such, violence needs to be explained, and if random, it simply will not work very well at all, even if its for a humor story, it's not very funny.

xXSaberXx
3rd December 2005, 5:44 AM
I wll respond to this, but I warn you... but still don't judge me wrongly by this. I simply wish to bring up a counterpoint.

When I too have people lining up to read the things I post, I'll probably not bring up my precious babies in every subject... as vigorously. This rant was not meant to be harsh, I'm just sticking up for those guys who 'advertised' their works, and hope to get more people to do the good Samaritan thing and build them a large fanbase. Sad, isn't it?

Then again, this asks for your OPNION on violence, not about the violence that happens in your fics. That should be saved (descriptions and all,) for places like the Fanfic Commercials thread, or Spread the Word! It's appropriate. Although I do not mind people using it to compare, most of them don't. They just state things about the violence in their fics. This thread is not labeled; SHARE YOUR FIC VIOLENCE HERE, therefore, it should be mentioned minmally/in comparison with the subject itself/used as an example to back up YOUR OPNION on it.

People lining up? Trying people getting on your a** to write. It's stressful. Please don't assume it is all fun and games and glory. Glory is overrated.


Now, back on topic, with absolutely NO attention paid to the part above at all. Violence is usually not brought on for no reason. Everyone has a motive, from the simple 'MEAT! ME HUNGRY' that comes from killing gazelles and the ever delectible space mutant to 'Hey Huns, let's sack Rome for riches and glory,' that drives conquest. Basically, an act of violence, even from a crazy man, has its reasons. No person, or living creature at all kills for no reason whatsoever. There is always some reason why they done the dirty deed. As such, violence needs to be explained, and if random, it simply will not work very well at all, even if its for a humor story, it's not very funny.

Then again, you could very well have a crazed madman who kills for no purpose. Madman/madwoman, it dosen't matter. There could be absoulutly NO REASON for someone to kill, and they'll still do it and actually, in some cases, it can be accepted. Does skill play a part in this as well, maybe?

Another Fan
3rd December 2005, 9:39 AM
I read some stories were the author seemed to want to stick in a much violence in it and that disgusted me.

I mean the most violence around is maybe someone punching someone else. I can't imagine how people end up writing about molesters and killers and still enjoy the story. I mean if it is horror then it is fine but just having a character that is violent in a story that doesn't center on it then it is a bit strange for me. Also, it seems like it will be overdramatised and most people don't have the experience needed to write these things realistically.

At least that is what I think.

Elemental Charizam
3rd December 2005, 11:12 AM
Well, fics can be used as examples of the violence levels you think acceptable. There has been much more blatant advertising in other places in the AC (where it shouldn't be). At least people didn't leave links.

Saber, mebbe you shoulda thought before saying you wanted to follow in the footsteps of authors here. Careful what you wish and all that ;)

But I agree with Dilasc, there has to be some kind of motivation. Now, if the character's insane or so forth, their motivation could simply be boredom, or the fact they love violence. If it can happen IRL, it can usually happen in fics if well written. What most people don't seem to realise though is the sheer shock and pain of being hit around the head with a club, for example. An unexperienced trainer of about 12 wouldn't be standing up, no matter how brave they were. They'd probably be unable to get up due to dizzyness, possibly even paralyzed by shock =/

mindripper
3rd December 2005, 12:45 PM
Actually, a lot of people are missing the mark IMO. Without going too far, I should just say that violence is often a mindset that is cultivated through time, and not something which is triggered instantaneously. Violence is an offshoot of basic human survival. When we strip away all aspects of technology and culture, as well as human courtesy, what every organism on this planet is either prey or predator. Jungle Law decrees that one either kills or be killed. If we were to be placed in such a situation, human nature decrees that most people would do what they need to survive, and this extrapolates into violence. The notion of violence is something that is imbued within everyone, and it is merely a matter of how we react and suppress it, or see it as a vent to inner frustrations.

Another problem is that the term violence has a negative context. Pokemon battling each other would also entail violence, and if we were to strip away civilities from these battles, we would see violence in a purer light. Sadistic violence is completely different, and is inculcated, rather than being seeded in individuals.

Pinecone Tortoise
3rd December 2005, 2:07 PM
Well, as you probably all guessed by now, I'm opposed to violence. I'm a G writer and proud of it. I basically feel that violence in fics - although realistic and mirroring reality - just helps to desensitize people to it.

Criminals not criminals unless they're violent? Not at all. You have corporate criminals, internet criminals, frauds, theives, smugglers... etc. Maybe it's just me, but I personally find people who can write off your assets, job - even your official existance - with the stroke of a pen or phone call a lot scarier than someone in a dark alley with a baseball bat.

Apart from being opposed to violence, simply on moral grounds, I also don't like the apparent 'prestige' it adds to a fic. If the 'great' or 'talented' writers load their fics with violence (however 'well done') it gives newbies the sad and false message that fanfiction 'celebrities' are like a packet mix where you 'just add violence/gore/death/etc'. I personally would like to see more people write quality non-violent fiction, if only to set an example for the impressionable newbies.

The point of this? Fic violence desensitizes people to the realities of violence even as it drags a bitter taste of reality into the fics. I'd say any but the tamest form is too much violence.

I know people like to have violence in their fics and read about it, but I'd like to see the flip side of life portrayed a bit more. think about it - if you're going for true realism, how much violence have you personally suffered?

Piney.
;204;;324;

Dragonfree
3rd December 2005, 3:02 PM
Well, I like to make my battles violent, but that's just me. I don't really mind whether others do it when I'm reading, though. But I generally prefer fics where somebody dies, whether it has actual description of violence or anything.


Maybe it's just me, but I personally find people who can write off your assets, job - even your official existance - with the stroke of a pen or phone call a lot scarier than someone in a dark alley with a baseball bat.
Admittedly, I do have a soft spot for that kind of thing too - it might really all just boil down to that I like the villain to be drastically more powerful, with an overwhelming advantage and generally the main character feeling that kind of extreme helplessness in their quest. I love helplessness. Sometimes I get the feeling I want to write whole fics about the feeling of being completely tied down to be absolutely unable to move while somebody is about to do something horrible...

Another Fan
3rd December 2005, 3:22 PM
Yeah, I agree with what most people said that, especially what Elemental Charizam said. Since, most people I know would react like that. Shock would make them stop moving and then they pass out or get killed by whatever scared them. Either that or go dilusional, like trying to convince themselves that the situation they're in is fine and so on.

However, if even simple common things in the pokemon world such as battling have to be potrayed violently if they want to be realistic. I mean a battle for example with a dodrio and a kadabra would be a bloodfest. And one of the pokemon will loss an eye if the battle continues till one passes out.

mindripper
3rd December 2005, 4:24 PM
Yes, as I said, when you strip away all notions of technology and civility, what we are invariably left with pertaining to violence is simply self-preservation, either through self-protection or eliminations of threats. Sad, but true.

As for the reality of the situation, it really depends on the characters involved. The human body constantly evolves and compensates. For example, a practitioner of Muay Thai has extremely high resistance to pain in the shins, both as a result of the death of some of the enrve cells in the legs as well as the body compensating for this need. It really is evolution on a smaller scale, for those who believe in Darwinism. Someone who has been conditioned to take such blows on the head would react better than someone who is unconditioned, regardless of age, which is why the term "shock" is used in this context. Although primarily caused by the dropping of blood pressure or overloading of the brain's synapses through emotions or pain, a blow to the head could result in partial unconsciousness, ie dizziness, but this hinges on the individual as well. Of course, there would have to be reality woven into the writing. Anyone who has been shot or stabbed in the leg is not going to be moving for a while at least. The same thing happened to me when I scraped a layer of flesh off my shin while climbing a wall; was not moving for a short time. As long as an act of violence is carried out in a manner that is not unbelievable or unrealistic, it is partially redeemed.

I am not sure if the idea that there cannot be too much violence is acceptable. The confines of human behaviour have it that a normal person is very much governed subconsciously by a set of values, even when consciously opposing them. It is only on constant desensitisation of the mind, as well as a possible outside stimulus, that causes a knack of excessive violence in a person. If not, violence is merely a way to survive, and there is nothing, noble, and yet nothing ignoble about that notion.


I basically feel that violence in fics - although realistic and mirroring reality - just helps to desensitize people to it.

I agree and disagree with that. I agree because games like Manhunt already have copycat practitioners in real life, and because logic has it that people are invariably influenced by the various forms of media available.

I disagree because we live in a practical world, where information and digesting of said information distinguishes people. Being shielded from the realities of life is akin to ruling atop a glass throne/ Always better the devil you know, than the devil you do not. Just like for the HIV virus, the crux of the matter is not so much a medical cure, but the finding of a moral cure. We do not seek to address the issue of violenc by simply turning a deaf ear to it, but by embracing it, and morally siphoning and filtering whatever information we receive.


Criminals not criminals unless they're violent? Not at all. You have corporate criminals, internet criminals, frauds, theives, smugglers... etc. Maybe it's just me, but I personally find people who can write off your assets, job - even your official existance - with the stroke of a pen or phone call a lot scarier than someone in a dark alley with a baseball bat.

Again, we see the negative context that "violence" is cast in. Violence is simply any aggressive act, being possibly defensive, neutral or otherwise in nature. The argument once again is not whether a criminal is so classified just because of the inherent violence of his acts, but in fact is just the opposite, that the criminal defines violence, and not violence defining the criminal. When we look at the Maslow's hierarchy, we see that self-preservation ranks highest, and that is the gist of violence, for if any matter cannot be solved in peaceful manners, then the step up to violence is undertaken. Violence is just as apparent in defence as it is an attack, and is merely a form of human nature, once we look past the criminal mindset, the negative context, as well as the layers of civility that all societal humans have.


Apart from being opposed to violence, simply on moral grounds, I also don't like the apparent 'prestige' it adds to a fic. If the 'great' or 'talented' writers load their fics with violence (however 'well done') it gives newbies the sad and false message that fanfiction 'celebrities' are like a packet mix where you 'just add violence/gore/death/etc'. I personally would like to see more people write quality non-violent fiction, if only to set an example for the impressionable newbies.

Well, I cannot say too much about that, but that quality of work should not be undermined or determined by genre. It does not add prestige, but only a sense of earthly reality, because the world simply is not such a great place in which there are no suicide bombers and crazed murderers. I would guess that a pokemon attack would hurt much more than depicted in the anime, and I would say that it would add reality, albeit in a sanguine fashion. Fic writers can also use that medium to convey the uselessness of violence. I hate to seem as though I am advertising, but when I wrote my fic, I wanted to utilise violence as a direct tool for my character (not the ebst, but the most direct), and allow him to slowly realise that violence in life does not always solve everything. It really is subjective, for if a person includes violence for the sake of the shock factor, it would already be apparent that said author does not have many literary tools, and thus falling under your argument that good writers utilise vioence to get to their status quo. The author defines the story, and with a tool like violence, only the best can keep it under control most of the time, and newbies who jump on the bandwagon but who do not validate themselves would be justly criticised, and they would soon see the futility of the inclusion of violence without quality control.


Maybe it's just me, but I personally find people who can write off your assets, job - even your official existance - with the stroke of a pen or phone call a lot scarier than someone in a dark alley with a baseball bat.

Bringing us back to this point. You forget that it is the animalistic portion of human nature which sunconsciously remembers that aggression is the greatest threat to survival we have. The notion of another using corporate tools simply cannot inspire that kind of primal fear, as it was never inculcated in us through the million years that humans have lived, but rather only for the last fifty years or so. A good example would be how dogs still turn three times before they sleep, due to them subconsciously remembering their days in the wild, when they did so to soften their bedding. Or about human selection of mates. All that is simply primal instinct, and so is violence, and that is something that modern living cannot erase, no matter which avenue holds more water in today's context.

BTW Piney, I am not picking an argument with you, but I just do feel that in life, we have to be realistic, on top of being moral. That is something that modern day living HAS done to us.

Chibi Pika
3rd December 2005, 4:36 PM
Didn't we have this topic before??? oO;;; Okay, so the last one was specifically asking if it was a turnoff, while this one is just in general, but still...

*Cough* anyway, I don't feel like giving a full response, so here's the condensed version.

Violence just for the sake of having violence is bad, but if there's actual true meaning and purpose for it, then I don't mind how much. The Pokemon battles in my fic can get mildly violent, but that's just for a smidget of realism, since makes no sense that there wouldn't be any bloodshed in a clash between two monsters.

With Legendaries in the mix, I kind of go off a bit more, though. There's this one scene where Raikou stabs an Ursaring with its saberteeth. And then this other scene, the most graphic I've ever written, Team Rocket finally finds the headquarters of a rebel force, but because there is no plausible reason for them to take prisoners, their goal is to exterminate everyone on it. I suppose it's up to the reader whether it's too much or whether it desensetizes, but the fic just plain wouldn't work without it, and I was particularly trying to go for showing the true colors of Team Rocket in my fic.

Also, as far as violence with antagonists goes, the main character's reaction can either hurt or help as well.

~Chibi~;249;<?>;rukario;

xXSaberXx
3rd December 2005, 8:54 PM
I am not sure if the idea that there cannot be too much violence is acceptable. The confines of human behaviour have it that a normal person is very much governed subconsciously by a set of values, even when consciously opposing them. It is only on constant desensitisation of the mind, as well as a possible outside stimulus, that causes a knack of excessive violence in a person. If not, violence is merely a way to survive, and there is nothing, noble, and yet nothing ignoble about that notion.

Now, I get what you are saying here...and about how if you strip away the confines of socieity and what not, you are left with a kill-or-be-killed situation. However that is something you rarely do see in ficitions, you see it more often in novels and action movies. You could say that the Law of the Jungle could be the purest form of violence, (be it whatever you prefer to call it), but if that is the pure form, then do we need to apply the pure form everytime we write violence? Isn't is also subjective to the matter and situation into which we inject it? To take that even further, if there are different forms of violence, why are they defined as different?

Perhaps it does, as everyone else is saying, rest in the mindset of the perpertrator. Is he killing because it's for his country and he thinks it is right? Does she need to kill to recieve money for her next meal? Does it, in fact, boil down to the HUMAN'S situation and feelings? Can violence truly be justified? Can it be both evil and good in the eyes of many? While it may be moral to one, then again, it will, more likely than not, be horrendous to another. Just a thought.


Even if there is that primal feeling, and albiet, it is a strong one, would anyone in the human race be steely enough to either; a. supress the feeling entirely, or b. submit to it? Though we are all human, lumping us together in the catergory that we will ALL subject to the Kill or Be Killed Law is probably true and very right, but there is always an exception. Though the Jungle Law is not applied in most ficitions here, (I don't think...someone correct me if I'm wrong), then therefore we are left to determine what violence is 'good', persay, and 'bad', even though violence can never really have a solid definition.

o-o Now see, I'm rambling. But if you can decipher that, Mindripper, I'd appreciate some clarification because I am confused. xP

ELEMENTAL CHARIZAM!!!!!!!!: O.o Hahaha. I was a noob back then. What can I say? Touche though. Still. Glory is unsettling more than it is comforting, if you know what I mean. o-o;;; Nevermind. You don't have to know what I mean. o-o I don't even know what I mean! Heehee.

mindripper
3rd December 2005, 9:24 PM
You could say that the Law of the Jungle could be the purest form of violence, (be it whatever you prefer to call it), but if that is the pure form, then do we need to apply the pure form everytime we write violence? Isn't is also subjective to the matter and situation into which we inject it? To take that even further, if there are different forms of violence, why are they defined as different?

The Jungle Law is not the purest form of violence, but is instead the purest form of life, which denotes that the strongest survive, and that the weak are eliminated through natural selection. Every living organism, from the arrow frog in south america to the tarpans of old, has an inbuilt instinct to survive, and to do anything within power to survive. Humans are basically the same, and yes, if you strip away the effects civilisation have on us and if we are again faced with a kill or be killed situation, there will inevitable be aggression, which thus leads to violence. The purest form of violence is thus derived from actions that are not pre-meditated and excessive. For example, if we were to rewind the days to pre-technology times, violence in its purest form would be the attritional fight for survival that all living organisms face, and the aggression thus shown to your competitor.

Violence, IMO if done tastefully and skilfully, covering that primal portion of a human's makeup, is very acceptable, as it shows us that we are and always will be part of nature, and thus subject to her laws. No matter the situation, no matter the era, this notion always shines through.


Perhaps it does, as everyone else is saying, rest in the mindset of the perpertrator. Is he killing because it's for his country and he thinks it is right? Does she need to kill to recieve money for her next meal? Does it, in fact, boil down to the HUMAN'S situation and feelings? Can violence truly be justified? Can it be both evil and good in the eyes of many? While it may be moral to one, then again, it will, more likely than not, be horrendous to another. Just a thought.

Violence cannot be truly justified in today's world. It is only justifiable in its purest form, ie with the only notion at hand being survival. When I learnt self-defense, I emerged with the mindset that the best way to win a fight is to never have one, and that theory can be applied here as well. The point is that violence in fics, as well as other medium like the television, is often not portrayed as a tool of survival, but rather as a tool of a power struggle. If done tastefully, it can send a message that violence is crude and solves little, and that is partially what I aim for when I write my fic. To ignore violence is to delude oneself,w hile to glorify it is to break free from societal values.

There is also no concrete right or wrong situation, as these are based on perception and perspective. One man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter. Violence is usually justified in the perpertrator's mind, and that is all that matters, even though it is obviously wrong in the eyes of others. That is what I hope to achieve through my writing, and that is what people who utilise violence in writing or visual media should do.


Even if there is that primal feeling, and albiet, it is a strong one, would anyone in the human race be steely enough to either; a. supress the feeling entirely, or b. submit to it?

We are then brought to the horrors of warfare, which is arguably the closest one gets to the Jungle Law. It is easy to suppress our more primal instincts when we are cogs in society's machine, but once a situation like war arises, and it is a choice between life and death, you will find it remarkable how fast some people can shake off their suppression. Even in movies like Saw do we see that primal side of man, whereby we usually choose self-preservation above all else.


Though the Jungle Law is not applied in most ficitions here

The point is that because most fictions do not use this law, the message of violence is thus flawed, and these fictions then become a good tool to send a positive message about violence to the readers, about its fallacies and the like. That is what I partially aim to do, even though I will focus on revenge instead of animalistic instinct.

Pinecone Tortoise
4th December 2005, 12:36 AM
Someone who has been conditioned to take such blows on the head would react better than someone who is unconditioned, regardless of age, which is why the term "shock" is used in this context.

People need to read about violence to improve their reaction when met with the real thing? Possibly. But as you teach people how to respond, it sends the message that violence will happen to them, it's just a matter of time. Normalising violence is abhorrent. But violence does happen which leaves us with the tricky question of how to deal with that.

Perhaps people could be better taught through lesser forms of violence how to react with a higher form? As in, tone down the examples but build in systems of coping based on the principle?


I agree and disagree with that. I agree because games like Manhunt already have copycat practitioners in real life, and because logic has it that people are invariably influenced by the various forms of media available.

I disagree because we live in a practical world, where information and digesting of said information distinguishes people. Being shielded from the realities of life is akin to ruling atop a glass throne/ Always better the devil you know, than the devil you do not. Just like for the HIV virus, the crux of the matter is not so much a medical cure, but the finding of a moral cure. We do not seek to address the issue of violenc by simply turning a deaf ear to it, but by embracing it, and morally siphoning and filtering whatever information we receive.

Hmmm. I hear what you're saying and it's very true. Colour me biased, but I truly feel that wherever the topic of violence is raised, it should be accompanied by a deliberately constructed message to convey to the listeners/readers that it is wrong. Be careful with how you portray violence lest people think that you are glorifying/in favour of it



Fic writers can also use that medium to convey the uselessness of violence.

^^ So true. Of course, including violence is not the only way to demonstrate its uselessness.


It really is subjective, for if a person includes violence for the sake of the shock factor, it would already be apparent that said author does not have many literary tools, and thus falling under your argument that good writers utilise vioence to get to their status quo.

My argument that good writers use violence to get to their status quo? As much as I think it might help them, I do give the 'good authors' credit that their writing skills had a role to play with that. I've been convinced for a while that the reason they get such a readership is for their style, an easy to read mix between humour and seriousness, believable characters and quality but not excessive description (etc...). There is a notable trend in some of these author's subject matter... *coughgoreviolencedeath*... but that's a secondary issue.

My gripe is with people who include violence under the mistaken impression that it lends maturity or prestige to their writing, whoever they are.


The author defines the story, and with a tool like violence, only the best can keep it under control most of the time, and newbies who jump on the bandwagon but who do not validate themselves would be justly criticised, and they would soon see the futility of the inclusion of violence without quality control.


Bringing us back to this point. You forget that it is the animalistic portion of human nature which sunconsciously remembers that aggression is the greatest threat to survival we have. The notion of another using corporate tools simply cannot inspire that kind of primal fear, as it was never inculcated in us through the million years that humans have lived, but rather only for the last fifty years or so. A good example would be how dogs still turn three times before they sleep, due to them subconsciously remembering their days in the wild, when they did so to soften their bedding. Or about human selection of mates. All that is simply primal instinct, and so is violence, and that is something that modern living cannot erase, no matter which avenue holds more water in today's context.

True, but if we weren't able to move beyond that, we wouldn't be having this discussion. Obviously, we have the potential to deliberately avoid and leave behind violence. Why not do so? Might be a tad hard to erase 'primal memory' or whatever, but with a bit of deliberate mental conditioning, I reckon it's do-able.


BTW Piney, I am not picking an argument with you, but I just do feel that in life, we have to be realistic, on top of being moral. That is something that modern day living HAS done to us.

^^ No offense taken or whatever. But I just do feel that once we become realistic, we have an obligation to CHOOSE what we want to believe on the basis of what effect that philosophy will have on our lives and behaviour. I chose awareness and a form of denial - I see and do not kid myself that violence happens, but I choose to believe that the world is an essentially great place and that no one is truly bad. I believe that so that I act on it - with trust and respect and friendship for everyone. However corny that sounds, I reckon that if more people did this, the world would be a better place, as is our duty to make it.

So violence in fics? Ideally, it would be avoided to help construct this world view of peace that we may act on and believe in it. But if you do include it, do it in moderation so those who read it are not 'scarred' or whatever. And how you portray it? With great care and a mind to showing its inherent bad qualities. This is my opinion.

Piney.
;204;;324;

mindripper
4th December 2005, 9:16 AM
People need to read about violence to improve their reaction when met with the real thing? Possibly. But as you teach people how to respond, it sends the message that violence will happen to them, it's just a matter of time. Normalising violence is abhorrent. But violence does happen which leaves us with the tricky question of how to deal with that.

That portion was not with regard to your points. I was referring to the effects of shock on a person.


Colour me biased, but I truly feel that wherever the topic of violence is raised, it should be accompanied by a deliberately constructed message to convey to the listeners/readers that it is wrong. Be careful with how you portray violence lest people think that you are glorifying/in favour of it

True, it should be accompanied by a message that lets people know that violence is wrong. However, your last sentence cannot be permissable, because the very notion of a person understanding the presence of glorification of violence already makes it clear that said person understands the negative usage of violence in that context. It cannot be used as a point.


My gripe is with people who include violence under the mistaken impression that it lends maturity or prestige to their writing, whoever they are.

I bring you to the fact that nine out of ten bestsellers do not have violence based themes as a majority. When was the last time you saw a horror novel reach the heights? Novels like the Rule of Four have scenes involving violence, but to not include them and turn a deaf ear to reality is insulting to the reader. As you so conceded, the world is not full of rainbows and carebears.


True, but if we weren't able to move beyond that, we wouldn't be having this discussion. Obviously, we have the potential to deliberately avoid and leave behind violence. Why not do so? Might be a tad hard to erase 'primal memory' or whatever, but with a bit of deliberate mental conditioning, I reckon it's do-able.

The discussion is about the level of violence accceptable and reasons to justify said level. Your point is that violence should not be a part of fics. Conditioning the body is one thing, going against your psyche is another. There is a marked difference between the two. The proliferation, though not exactly success of horrow movies merely proves the point which everybody knows subconsciously at least, that although financial acounting can be a much scarier and realistic proposition compared to a crazed murderer, humans still have an ingrained fear of what we cannot control, and what we do not know. If not, horror movies today would be about oily haired accountants who freeze assets. Denying this point would merely prove it.


No offense taken or whatever. But I just do feel that once we become realistic, we have an obligation to CHOOSE what we want to believe on the basis of what effect that philosophy will have on our lives and behaviour. I chose awareness and a form of denial - I see and do not kid myself that violence happens, but I choose to believe that the world is an essentially great place and that no one is truly bad.

As I have said, it is easy to be peaceful in times of peace. Lao Tzu once said that humans are born with the seeds of goodness in them, and I do not discredit that notion. However, your point about this world being a great place and all applies only within a confines of society. Place a person outside those confines, as I have done throughout my posts, and we will quickly see this person return to his primal roots, or be destroyed. Yes, as long as there is no danger in conforming to society, believing in the goodness of others is a real possibility, but when thrust into an altogether more cutthroat world, it is truly either kill or be killed. When you fight a war, you do not make peace signs at the enemy, even though war in itself is deplorable. The enemy is unlikely to respond other than sending a bullet in your directon. Blanket theory.