crime fiction: does it not just add to the sum total of gratuitous & casual violence of the world?— Margie Orford (@MargieOrford) January 20, 2013
I saw Orford's tweet via Irish crime writer Declan Burke and wanted to expand on my reply here.
Reading fiction is gratuitous and casual in that it's a hobby. For writers, violence has a purpose, and the best writing doesn't exceed that purpose. A good story can be told with little or no violence, but depicting violence can also show how writers feel about it. That is, they don't create it so much as comment on its reality.