How Much Violence Is too Much in Fiction?

A recent discussion on a Facebook group I’m a member of asked a similar question to this.  I saw a variety of answers.

The typical answers said that as long as it contributes to the story, any amount is fine.  Other people said that they didn’t like violence and avoided it like the plague.  They couldn’t bare to read it.

Novels like A Game of Thrones shows an incredible amount of violent and graphic violence and deaths.  Is it necessary?  Well, considering that the world is similar to the medieval world, and that was a violent time with wars involving swords and gruesome deaths, it’s completely justified.  War is not pretty.  It’s very graphic.

I’m currently reading Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind, and while it started off like a typical fantasy story, it soon proved to have an incredibly sadistic antagonist.  Some of the things he does is sickening.  Is it necessary?  I think so.  It shows how insane he is and what he’s willing to do to win.

Those are only two examples.  My opinion is that violence is often quite justified.  That includes extreme violence.  It doesn’t turn me away from a novel, unless it’s completely out of place and makes no sense.

What do you think?  Do you have a problem with violence in novels, or are you fine with it?  Please leave a comment.

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