The Promise of Violence

Apologies for the delay; wedding planning. I’m married in two weeks!

Moving on. Last night I caught myself writing a similar phrase that I’ve written in every one of my books, one that seems a little too direct to the reader: the promise of violence.

“Two for flinching” is about as boiled down as I can be concerning this. The most tense of situations, in my story, surround promised and realized violence (which, I’m sure, is a very masculine trait). Old guys raising shotguns at petite women, seductive ladies telling my MC they’re going to mess with him at night, and especially everything in my book Red Wing Black: even his mind is attacking him. I think, on varying levels, every novel’s plot is pocked with this dance. It’s the distilled definition of “conflict.”

Yet the phrase “Promise of Violence” feels different than this rudimentary push forward. It encompasses more than simply a creation of conflict: it’s a realization of an individual’s core values, personality, and motivators. I don’t actively dissect what I write, step by step, because if I did it’d turn into some molasses-slog of self-actualization and perfectly-understood movements. I like the messiness of writing a character who fights himself, the world, his friends, etc.

I personally believe that whatever this is, it contains the DNA for the story. Everything else, while important, won’t make or break the story the way this movement does. Even absolutely cerebral stories–especially these stories–hinge entirely on the promise of violence. Romance novels even incorporate this. I can’t imagine a genre of story that doesn’t.

I feel this blog post is terribly laid out, and poorly researched. I’ve just been working on so many different things, I’ve neglected my duties as a good writer: write. Any other writer out there, if you’d be interested in sharing, I’d love to listen.




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