I guess I should first define disturbing, but even that is difficult because different people might consider different things as disturbing so I can only give you what I think is a general definition.
A disturbing scene is any scene where something 'really bad' happens.
Personally, 'disturbing' is confined to actions performed by characters (protagonist, antagonist, minor player), as opposed to natural disasters for example. By actions I mean torture, murder, rape, beating, abuse and the list goes on.
Sometimes writing these scenes affects me in the manner expected from the action. I get sick to my stomach.
Sometimes writing these scenes can be a cathartic experience where I'm happy with my writing capabilities and my abilities to convincingly convey gruesome events, perversions and abnormalities. (Which, of course, leaves me disturbed for being able to express it in the first place :).
I have written such scenes from both POVs.
I find that it is by far easier to describe the horrors from the "recipient's" POV. It is also by far easier to describe the recipient's feelings. It hurts, stop, the horror.
Yet, it is when I write from the POV of the person inflicting the pain that I find the writing experience to be rewarding.
Now, from the reader's perspective I also find that readers love to be introduced to dark thoughts and feeling and to be pushed to the brim of the evil abyss so as to stare it right in the face.
How does it affect you? Does it affect you at all? As a writer? A reader?
Categories: writing, plot, process