I know most writers want to write stories that would please people, but quite honestly, I find that a very much creativity killer.
I fully believe that people should write what they want to write, what they want to express. If you wanna write a one-dimensional Mary Sue character in a love sextant in a space vampires setting, go for it! Because at the end of the day, you should enjoy what you are doing. You cannot please everyone, and it’s best not to want to do that a lot in the first place. I’m not saying do not listen to your readers, but you should take their advices and ideas at face value and go with your gut, with your own creativity. It’s your story you are putting in display for the others to also enjoy. If they don’t like it, then they can click the little door at the corner of the scene and find something they would like better.
As for writing stuff with mature ‘problematic’ themes, I find it concerning that:
- fictional stuff keeps being treated as if they are real
- fictional stuff is a reflection of your real self
- people think so little of each other that they are not capable of telling fiction and reality apart and observing the content they take in with a critical eye: if you have a problem with differenciating fiction from reality, you had that issue long before you read that Gang Leader Romance story, and you are in need of some serious mental help.
There is also the fact some people use fiction to cope with their traumas and experiences, so by demanding that people delete their stories depicting rape, abuse, and violance, you are invalidating those people’s experiences, and you are denying them an outlet through which they express themselves.
Even if you don’t have any trauma to cope with, you know what? People’s minds are fascinating. You cannot be faulted for wanting to observe it through fictional means that are safe and harms literally no one (let’s not act like under-18 kids are morons, people. They are just as capable of forming their own opinions and criticising the content they take in as us adults are).
Simply use warnings, people. Let the readers know what they are dealing with here. After that, you know what? You are not responsible for anything. If a person still takes in a content that upsets them despite the warnings and the knowledge that those themes upset them, it’s on them.