Friday, February 24, 2006

The "EW-w-w-wwwwwww" Factor

I have been writing merrily away this week on the new book--and sometime yesterday, I realized that at least two of the elements have a very high "ewwwwww" factor.

These are elements in the book that have a very high likelihood of making a large number of readers who read them go either EWwww or Ick! This is not the same as a squick factor, which tends to involve sex of some sort or another. The Eww Factor tends to involve disgusting things. Like blood-guts-and-gore. Or used condoms. Or spit. And I had two of these kinds of things in the book.

Both things work very well in the story, make logical sense and create story tension and even some conflict. But they are pretty Icky. And after thinking about it, discussing it with my daughter (who thought one of the things I didn't think rated the Eww Factor was icky), thinking some more, and sleeping on it, I took one of them out. The ickier thing. The other's still kind of gross, but it's not quite so eww-y, and I just can't make myself take both of them out because it messes up the story logic too much.

I still have 37 pages typed in, and about 10 or 12 more written. I've almost got that proposal done...


Brenda said...

oooh!! Ewww-y stuff!
That's the stuff of 'brave' and 'visceral' writing. Don't be afraid of getting your hands dirty, Babe! As Johnny Cash said, "walk the line".


Rowena Cherry said...

We're a pretty brutal society.
After Fear Factor, how Icky is too Icky?
I have my hero trying to make my heroine eat live grubs and drink blood. (She doesn't). And my editor said she doesn't want to cut a word of it (so far).

IMHO, readers are ready for a nod to realism. Grit is good.

Good luck.

SpecRom Joyce said...

Gail --

Some of us thirst for the EW-w-w-wwwwwww Factor.

In fact, some of my favorite books are on the favorite shelf because of the author's creative, creepy, masterful and most of all gross-me-out handling of all sorts of things. :)


Raine McIntyre said...

I haven't been around (anywhere) for awhile since my first book came out last month. I never realized how much work the "non-writing" parts of writing are.

I must admit that I have no idea which of my writing is good & which needs work, but I know there are times I can write some scenes & times I need to concentrate on backstory or something. It's a mystery to me.

Happy St Patrick's Day to ya'll. It's my favorite day & not just for the drinking part. It's the one day that I can display all my Irish pride out loud. Besides, my favorite color is green.

Raine McIntyre

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