For some reason, sex and violence are always bracketed together as malign influences in literature. I’ve never seen sex as malign, as long as it’s consensual. As for violence, you only need to read the newspapers to discover things are much worse than most people can imagine. However, the best seller charts are full of sex and violence, so I’m going to write a book featuring lots of both. Historical sagas seem to be perennially popular too, so that’s the genre I’m aiming for. And it’s going to be long, a massive saga sprawling across thousands of years.
I’m going to have lots of warring tribes beating the crap out of each other, sacking cities, stealing animals and crops and gold and precious stones, putting things to the sword and the flame, subjugating and enslaving the men of entire enemy tribes. Lots of vengeful kings and warlords stomping all over the place, leaving no part of the land unravaged.
Lots of revenge killings. Those work. Fratricide for personal gain, always a big seller.
Then the sex. Lots of kings and generals sneaking around at the dead of night, impregnating the wives of others, including those of other family members. Lots of gratuitous sex. Queens getting laid by servants and slaves and great warriors. Lots of rape after the massive pitched battles. Loads of bastard offspring scrapping it out for the right to inherit. A bit of incest, that’s going to draw the punters too. Sons fathering children by their mothers sort of thing. Controversial, but I think it will work.
Loads of natural disasters. Volcanoes, great storms, earthquakes, floods, failed crops, disease and pestilence sweeping across the world.
It’s a winner isn’t it? Surely it can’t fail? Who wouldn’t want to read it? Something for everyone, fun for all the family.
Damn! I forgot! It’s already been done. It’s called the Old Testament. Now that’s a book you don’t want your children to read.