1. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    Character Raped.

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by KhalieLa, Jul 27, 2016.

    I have a character who ends up drugged & raped, after which she wants nothing to do with her attackers and goes to great lengths to aviod them. Tonight I was told my character is inconsistant because she was frienly with then, now she's not and I never gave a reason for her change in attitude. I thought being raped was reason enough, especially since she later killed one of them and is planning to kill the other. Do you really need to have a character explicitly state, "I no longer like Jack because he drugged and rape me."
     
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  2. Spencer1990
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    Spencer1990 Contributing Member

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    That's silly. If your character is drugged and raped, any fool with half a wit could put that together.
     
  3. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    As long as she isn't friendly with them after the rape . . .

    Don't worry, some people just don't get it and no amount of explaining will help. I found that out the other day when someone asked what my novel was about. When I said it involved domestic terrorists, she said, "Why would you want to write about that?"
     
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  4. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    seriously woman, leave that horrid writers' group you're part of already!! What's the point when all they ever do is make ridiculous statements and make you doubt yourself for no reason at all!?
     
  5. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    No, of course you don't.

    However, I don't know what you mean by 'I was told.' Was this a group of people critiquing your writing, a beta reader, or just somebody who had heard about your plot?

    From what you told us here, it appears your criticizer is way off the mark. BUT ...if they said this based on reading your story, perhaps there is something in the way you wrote it that doesn't quite give off the vibe you intended.

    See if you can get to the bottom of why they said what they did. If they have a habit of being negative about your writing for no good reason, and can't offer any helpful information about why they think your character is still being friendly, then I'd dump them PDQ, as @Mckk suggested. Nobody needs mindless critique-givers who are always picking fault for no reason. However, if they are usually genuine about your work, and you can get them to be more specific on this occasion, it might help you tighten up your story.

    Maybe focus a bit on how your character feels after the drugs wear off and she realises what has happened to her. She must feel horribly betrayed if they were her friends beforehand, or if she thought they were. And maybe she's afraid of them now, so if they approach her and pretend nothing happened, she might let her anger and horror show? Or maybe she feels partly responsible (she's not, of course, but some rape victims feel this way) because she didn't protest at the time, or went along with things until it was too late to stop?

    If you can get her feelings and thoughts out for the reader to see, then that might solve the problem of 'inconsistency', if the problem actually exists. If you're just showing the reader what she does, rather than how she thinks, that might be the source of the confusion. No insight. Make sure to give your reader insight.
     
  6. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Did the crit giver see the rape as a rape? I can't imagine anyone being surprised by someone being angry over rape (not even someone in your legendary crit group!) so like @jannert, I'm wondering if there was something lost in translation somewhere.

    If not? Seriously. Drop the crit group, or start completely ignoring the critiques from the wackier members. I cannot imagine anyone on this board (or on the sane parts of this planet) is going to agree that rape isn't a completely obvious reason to drop a friend group.
     
  7. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    That person is clearly dumber than a sack of bricks. Really, anyone with two brain cells to work with can see that if someone were drugged and raped, they ain't gonna like that person anymore!! I can see their daily life now:

    “My hands are wet because I stuck them into this pot of liquid stuff. Whhhyyy??”
    “Whaaaaaa, my eggs won't crack like they should because I smash them onto the table! Whhyyyyy???”
    “Oooh! Look at the glowy hot thing in the brick cave-thing! Let me touch-OWOWOWOWOWOW!!!!!! IT HUUURTSS! WWWHHYYYYYYYYYY!?”

    OK, quasi-cruel mocking aside, um.... Yeah, I've no other words. :/
     
  8. halisme
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    halisme Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's only cruel if the person could understand it.
     
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  9. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    The comment just seems off, and that's putting it mildly. There's certainly no need at all to explicity state her reasoning. That should be obvious enough from circumstance and context alone. If this person was the only dissenting voice, I'd just ignore them and plough on. Some folks just live to find fault. If not, I'd be looking a further explanation as to why they believe it to be the case, and put what's said to good use.

    Don't let one person's opinion drag you down and make you second guess yourself. No one person should hold that amount power over you. :)
     
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  10. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    HAH! Good one, they'd probably think I was complimenting them. Like one would a toddler who had their first successful night of not wetting the bed. :p

    @obsidian_cicatrix is correct. Anyone that tries to hold that power over you, tell them they may properly fuck themselves. But then again... That'd assume they had the reading comprehension of a 3-year-old child.
     
  11. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well - it's a critique group. The person was giving a critique, not trying to "hold that power" over anyone... I mean, just because we disagree with the critique (as it's been presented to us) doesn't make the crit-giver a villain or power-hungry or whatever.

    We don't consider people power-hungry when they give crits we agree with, do we?
     
  12. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Everytime I critique, I gain power and life force. Provided the rodent I've captured for the process doesn't get out of his little circle of salt before I'm done.
     
  13. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I know, I know. I'm just trolling that critic for not putting together context clues of:

    - Jack was my friend
    - Jack drugged and raped me
    - I want nothing to do with Jack
    - I killed Jack
     
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  14. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    If I were in this writing scenario:

    I would ave one of your MC's so-called "friends" say the same garbage your critic said, and for a split second your MC would want to murder their false friend for taking the rapist's side (before reminding herself that the rape apologist hasn't actually done anything and/or she would be more likely to get caught if she starts adding to her hit list too quickly).

    It's not like the reaction "just because he tortured you doesn't mean you have to be rude to him!" is unrealistic. There was a cheerleader at a Texas High School who got tortured by the school's star athlete, but when the school kicked her off the team for not wanting to be part of singling him out for celebration, the courts made her family pay the school $45,000 as punishment for complaining that the school took his side.
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    She's not; she doesn't want anything to do with them afterwards. See more detailed explanation below.

    It was a member of a critique group.

    Yes--I showed what she does rather than having her explicitly tell them what she thinks. So here's the background for the scenario:

    Jill and Darrel are engaged. They are working/traveling with Larry and another Darrel. They are also traveling with the Darrels' Uncle Jack and his buddy Andy. Uncle Jack is a powerful politician. Jill's friend Amy is his campaign manager. Jack & Andy drug & rape Jill. When Jill comes to and figures out what happened she's mad and upset. The Darrels' won't leave Uncle Jack's campaign, even though he raped her. Jill ends up killing Andy and is on the run. Jill has no intention of ever working on the campaign again or interacting with any of them unless she is in possession of a gun, a knife, or poison. However, Amy still knows how to contact Jill because they were friends and Amy has some pretty good insight into Jill's mind. Amy insist that Jill return to Darrel so that all looks sunny and bright in wonderland. Jill refuses. Jill is planning to kill Jack.

    I was told I didn't give a reason for Jill leaving the campaign, or a reason why she left Darrel, and this seemed inconsistent because they thought she loved Darrel, after all they were engaged. I was also told they didn't understand why she was now spewing vitriol at Amy when Amy seemed like her lifeline to getting her back with the campaign.
     
  16. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    The woman who gave me this critique just signed a 4 book contract with a traditional publisher, in the same genera I write. I tend to weigh her comments more carefully before dismissing them. However, one of my gripes about her writing is the lack of female characters and their superficial nature when they do appear. It's a bit like reading Tolkien; elves and magic, sure, but where the heck are all the women?
     
  17. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Was the rape clearly presented, or was it sort of glossed over so maybe your reader didn't realize what had happened?

    I mean...?
     
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  18. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Was it with a good publisher?

    If so, I'd agree that you should pay some attention to what she's saying... so maybe ask her straight out whether she realized the female character was raped. I really can't see anyone who knew it was a rape not thinking the character would be angry.
     
  19. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    I did something like that. She didn't understand why the MC got mad at the "friend."

    And that second bit is terrible. I hadn't heard about that. Here in Idaho a developmentally delayed black boy was raped by his white teammates. (They shoved a coat hanger up his ass and made him sing the KKK anthem. The insistent perforated his rectum and he ended up hospitalized.) Everyone in the town was outraged that the black boy's parents pressed charges because "it was just a case of boys being boys."
     
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  20. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    @BayView The feedback I received on chapter with the rape, was that the scene was too graphic and uncomfortable to read. So I figure she realized it was a rape. I also assumed a rape scene should be uncomfortable to read. BUT, in the same breath, I was told she didn't see how the rape fit into the plot and that it should be removed. My thinking was, "The rape is the plot." I assumed that would become evident in a couple of chapters.

    As for the publishing house, IDK. I can't remember the name, just that it was out of Montana.
     
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  21. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    I think you misunderstood what I was saying. I didn't say that person was trying to wield power. What I was trying to say, is that one person's opinion doesn't matter a toss in the grand scheme of things. It only matters if you let it get to you. You can't change the opinions of others, but you can change how you choose to react to their criticisms.

    But, that said... I have seen crits that amounted to little more than personal attack, so that actually isn't beyond the realms of possibility. People will be people.
     
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  22. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I would love to ask them what sort of monstrosity they're raising. Would they be singing the same tune if the same thing had happened to one of their own? Their son, brother, father maybe? What kind of monsters do they think boys/men are that something like that would be taken as something so ordinary!?
     
  23. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    If this critic person of yours come from the same state that said of rapists "Boys will be boys" - then I'm honestly not surprised she thought nothing out of the ordinary had happened and thus, the girl should be still chummy with the rapist.

    It kinda looks like you need opinions of people outside your state? Remind me never to go to Idaho. And take the opinion of anyone from Idaho with a grain of salt, or just dismiss it altogether. They don't seem real. (sorry just still outraged at the "boys will be boys" thing)
     
  24. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I'm wondering if the problem lies with the fact that Darrell wasn't one of the rapists, and the person giving the criticism thought there should be more of a reason why she's dumped him without any confrontation. Not saying she shouldn't have done, by the way. Just wondering if that's why the critique giver was taken by surprise here.

    I didn't mean your character should tell other characters how she feels, by the way. I meant if she is your POV character, the READER should be aware of her feelings.

    I'm trying really hard to consider the story aspects of this issue, by the way, not how rapists behave or how people should react to them. I'm just concerned that this person who gave you this rather odd take on what looks like a straightforward matter might be missing your point. And if she is— sorry—you might want to look carefully at why. Don't dismiss somebody's opinion because they didn't pick up what you intended to convey. There might be a weak spot in your story that you need to strengthen.

    I'd say get a bit more from her. Tell her you want to fix the problem (even if you don't, lie like a rug! :)) and ask if she could pinpoint why she feels the character's behaviour is inconsistent. She's an author herself, so she ought to be able to zone in on the problem.

    If what she says makes sense, take it on board. If it doesn't make sense, or is coming from a prejudiced point of view, then let it drop.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2016
  25. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I was replying to Link - he's the one who mentioned the power tripping.
     

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