Writing about Uncomfortable Things

By K. Trian

Just a little bit of light in the darkness.

Okay, different people have different comfort levels, but I’ve noticed over the course of our “writing life” that T and I tend to veer towards rather uncomfortable things in our writing.

Sometimes this makes me nervous.

Just yesterday we came up with a new sub-story line to our current WIP, but already I’m wondering how other people would react to it. It’s about a woman who coerces a man sexually. This is a subject little discussed. A man can’t be raped right? Definitely not by a woman because women are so small and weak, right? It’s a difficult subject, and in Solus we wanted to take different angles to (sexual) abuse.

In fact, our sci-fi WIP, Solus, is turning into an uncomfortable juggernaut in other ways too. The science part of it is not pretty, the portrayals of human greed and corruption in the space colony of Solus don’t warm my heart whenever I’m writing or thinking about these subjects, and sometimes I feel like crying whenever we write the most damaged characters, the victims of the abuse from above, from people who have more power. I know I want to discuss these subjects, and I want to tell these stories, but sometimes they make me so uncomfortable, I start to wonder if there’s any sense in writing like this. Should we really carry on?

We always do, though. It’s like we owe it to the characters who are trying to survive in the dark and hostile world we’ve created. If we never finished the story, I’d feel like I had forsaken them there, in the dark.

Sometimes I’m afraid what others, possible future readers, will think. Will they misunderstand everything? Think the content is gratuitous? (I know it isn’t, but as said, people are different) Question our sanity? (likely). But here we, T. K. Trian, just have to trust our writing and vision, tell the stories we think should be told. And it’s not all doom and gloom either. There’s lots of humor and romance as well. But especially with Solus, I feel the uncomfortable is always there, hanging heavily above like a storm cloud, or out of sight, like a poisonous river running underground.

What types of uncomfortable issues have you addressed in your writing? Have you ever found yourself biting more than you can chew?