So let's talk writing.
My current project is a romantic suspense set in the exotic locale of the Republic of Congo in 2004. My heroine is a doctor in the Doctors without Borders program and living in a village in the rain forest. My hero is a mercenary hired to bring in her brother and the rough, uncut blue diamond he stole. Instead, he finds my heroine.
As a writer, I know that story is conflict. We are encouraged to put our characters through the wringer, and believe me, I do. I know I've got a great scene full of emotional angst when I'm crying right along with my character while I write it. But how far can a writer go before it's too much for the reader?
I'm contemplating adding some nastiness that the heroine, as a doctor, is privy to when it comes to how the villain in my story treats women. If she remembers this incident while being forced into the antagonist's control, is the reader going to stop reading if there is a graphic scene or is it needed to show the depths of this man's depravity? How much is too much?
I would love to hear your thoughts. As a writer, do you share my dilemma? As a reader, how would this type of scene affect your reading experience with this story?
4 hours ago