Some authors thrive in graphic content and are accomplished R-Rated storytellers. It is one thing to do what you choose to, but if you think such content is mandatory, you will want to reconsider. Whenever I hear of people adding violent or sexual content out of gratuity or to make their story more marketable, I feel sad.
Storytelling can include a lot of darker themes and sensual tension – if you wish to have such elements in your story – without going past PG-13 rating. I had some people tell me that I shouldn’t pull the curtain on some intimate scenes between my characters, but this is something nonnegotiable for me as an author. I am not comfortable writing and publishing sex scenes, nor am willing to tackle certain subjects any other way than my characters mentioning them or dealing with the aftermath. There is plenty of darkness for my characters to deal with, but I won’t go beyond PG-13. I have author friends who do as much and I respect their choice and I consider them talented writers, but I recognize this isn’t for me.
In the end, the rating and the content in your stories should remain yours. Regardless of what you do, you won’t be able to please every single reader under the sun. So if you have boundaries in your writing, honor them.
What about you?
- Do you have boundaries in what you write or want to write?
- Can you think of themes or types of content you wouldn’t want to write about?