Writing Difficult Topics and 30,000 Words

Hey guys. I passed 30,000 words this morning and I’m pretty excited. I also got some feedback from a beta reader on what I have so far that was super positive. He helped me fix a few incongruities and spelling mistakes but overall he was really excited about the work so far. There’s nothing like someone telling you they’re eager to read more of your work. He said the pacing was really good too, which is something I sometimes struggle with. Writing is all I want to do and hearing I’m doing well gives me hope that I’ll be able to succeed.

I have a question, though. How do y’all feel about writing difficult topics like rape? Used to be, that would be a manuscript killer but with the rise of self-publishing, writers can get around the commercial roadblocks. Thing is – should they? As a reader, I don’t mind difficult subjects because they are part of life but I realize I’m way outside the norm with my tastes. In the age of safe spaces and trigger warnings, are there still subjects that are too taboo? I write Science Fiction Romance (or at least Science Fiction with heavy romantic overtones)…I wonder how traditionalist my market is. Personally, I think if it’s done with a focus on why the scene is important rather than just the shock value of the act itself, it adds to the story. At what point does it become shock value, though? I’m asking as a completely third party observer with absolutely no personal interest in the matter, by the way…

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