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Thread: Sensitive Depictions of Abuse in Fantasy

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  1. #1
    Owns a pen. JohnLine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Burbank, California

    Question Sensitive Depictions of Abuse in Fantasy

    Iíve been working on a fantasy novel, and one of the core motivations for one of the MCs is that he is an abused child. I donít want to trivialize it, so I donít want to pull punches, but I donít want to traumatize the audience or focus on the abuse itself either.

    Itís a third person book, split between two MCs. MC one is a witch, and MC two is her new apprentice, a boy whoís being threatened by his father to steal from the witch (and beaten when he doesnít). So, if I make the abuse too weak, it wonít justify his stealing, but I donít want it to be so bad as to make it a downer of a book either.

    Iíve been writing it so that during the witchís POV she observes bruises and other injuries on the boy. And one scene during the boyís POV where his father menaces him. But I refuse to include any graphic depictions of physical abuse.

    Does this sound like Iíve drawn the right line? Would this turn you off as a reader? Can you think of examples where this has been done tastefully or distastefully? Is this too heavy a subject for the genre?

    Iím about 2 weeks and 21,000 words into it, and Iím trying to figure out whether or not to continue.
    Last edited by JohnLine; 10-10-2019 at 12:25 PM. Reason: suggestion from mccardy

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