1. MustWrite
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    MustWrite Member

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    Adult male bullying/persecuting girl without sexual overtones- how to?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by MustWrite, May 9, 2013.

    [Hoping this doesn't belong in the character development part?]
    In my story the male character persecutes the girl because he hates her mother, but can't get back at her so he takes out his feelings on this girl. I don't want to have any sexual harassment/assault stuff involved, yet make him menacing/scary. Any ideas on how to do this? He has a lot of power over the girl as he is a teacher
    in a school where she is being trained as a religious warrior, while she is young she has to attend his class regularly and he has the authority to physically punish, beat etc his students if they are 'disrespectful/not attending to their studies/disruptive' etc gives him plenty of lee-way.
    Any input appreciated.
     
  2. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    Don't have him do anything sexual?

    I don't see how there could be sexual undertones unless he's actually doing or saying something sexual. Bullying doesn't have to involve sexual undertones. This sounds like a revenge motivated power trip. So write it like that and it will be fine.
     
  3. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with Terra -- if he is a teacher and the girl is a student, and there is presumably a fairly big age difference if he's a contemporary of her mother's, there really shouldn't be any sexual undertones. Of course, I realize, especially with so many stories in the news these days, that it is *possible* that there could be a sexual relationship between a teacher and a student, but that is not the norm, and it is not what should be expected. It might be different if the two people were in a different scenario.
     
  4. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    It all depends what the actual problem he has with the mother. People tend to be ironic in their revenge.
     
  5. traceymcl
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    traceymcl Member

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    The worst bullying I've seen in recent years in a classroom happened between the female lecturer and one of the students - a lady in her 50s and around the same age as the lecturer.

    There was no physical violence at all - just lots of belittling the student, asking her repeatedly if she actually meant what she said, commenting that it was hard to believe that she couldn't get what was going on, sighing every time she asked a question. Had a horrible effect on the student in question - she felt belittled and lacking in confidence even though we were in a class to learn stuff that she does daily in her job very well.

    T
     
  6. Anthony Martin
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    Anthony Martin Active Member

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    Nearly all of John Irving's novels include uncomfortable sexual undertones between certain characters--maybe his technique will inspire you.
     
  7. squishytheduck
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    squishytheduck Senior Member

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    As a manual on what not to do? Besides, it might be hard to convey the same effect if author wasn't sexually abused by an older man/woman at a young age.

    This sounds more like the Snape/Harry Potter conflict. You have seven books to go on spanning childhood to early adulthood. Start from there.
     
  8. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    That was my first thought. Might I suggest also that when writing these scenes, picture the girl as a boy, as least as far as the teacher's actions and words. That should take away any sexual undertones (or at least give you a creepy feeling if they show up).
     
  9. Anthony Martin
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    Anthony Martin Active Member

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    No, more as a way to expand perspective--if it becomes a manual on what not to do, so be it.
     
  10. squishytheduck
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    squishytheduck Senior Member

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    That's true. Irving has very interesting thoughts on so many topics that reading him would probably be beneficial to expanding perspective on a whole lot of conflict/character issues. Have you seen the Wikipedia table of all of Irving's themes, and which are touched upon in each of his books? Apparently, The Hotel New Hampshire covers all of them, so perhaps it's the quintessential Irving manual.
     
  11. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    While bullying isn't necessarily the same as abuse, hanging out at your local children's court for a day or two could give you lots of ideas. People who abuse there children seem to find endless new ways to torment/neglect/abuse/belittle...
     
  12. Anthony Martin
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    Anthony Martin Active Member

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    I'll have to check that out (and I don't claim to have read all of Irving's work, though Prayer for Owen Meany remains close to my heart in many ways).
     
  13. squishytheduck
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    squishytheduck Senior Member

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    Awwwwwwwwww >.<

    Yeah, I totally get that.
     

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