Booking Through Thursday

How do you feel about explicit detail in your reading? Whether language, sex, violence, situations and so on … does it bother you? Faze you at all? Or do you just read everything without it bothering you?

It depends on lots of things. When I was younger, I grew bored with epic fantasy because of the interminable battles which didn’t have anything to do with character development and even less with plot. They felt like computer game battles where it’s expected for the characters to win without any serious injury or any consequences. I also tend to avoid detective stories with lots of gore, so I’m bothered by too much violence. (Yet, I often eat while watching Bones. Go figure.) I’m also far more bothered by violence in real life than fiction.

Swearing doesn’t bother me. It also doesn’t impress or fascinate me, unless it’s actually inventive, rather just repeating a few well-know words.

Sex scenes also depend on the context and what my expectations are.

As for other descriptions, it depends on the context and my (possible) emotional connection. I’ll happily read long descriptions of, say, USS Enterprise-D or Sherwood Forest or the economics of Ankh-Morpork. But if I don’t have an emotional connection, I’m far more likely to just skim it. So actually, in story which has new to me places or characters I’d first have to know something about them before I can appreciate descriptions.

And my dark secret as a reader is that I tend to skip long descriptions of clothing or poems. Why, yes epic fantasy, I’m looking at you and your way too long descriptions of, well, anything. 🙂