1. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    How can I write this without it coming off as cliched or trope-ish?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Ryan Elder, Jul 24, 2016.

    For my story, it's about a man who is raped by a serial rapist woman who is on the loose, doing it to others as well.

    I want for the man, the MC, to have his gf find out that another woman raped him but I thought she would react the wrong way, and have the wrong feelings about it, thereby ruining the MC's relationship, thereby causing him to want revenge even more. Perhaps the relationship gets repaired later in the story, but I haven't decided that yet.

    I was thinking of ways she could find out he was raped. My first way was to have him be taken hostage, tied to the bed, and raped at his house. Then she would come in see him there, but think the sex was consensual, and that he was cheating on her with some rough bondage type looking situation. She would then storm out mad, not realizing he was kidnapped and being raped.

    This would cause him to be furious with her, and put more conflict within him. However, I was told by a couple of readers, that this comes off as a cliche or a trope, cause there have been countless stories, where a woman will walk in on a man and another woman, and mistaken it for something that it is not.

    It is true, that has been done many times, and I even called out that cliched while watching a movie with a friend once, so maybe I have to put to acknowledge the cliche myself now, so to speak. Should she find out a different way, later, where he would tell her, or maybe the rapist would tell her?

    Or would she not react in a way, that would cause conflict, if she loves him, and would care if she found out, or saw such a thing. What do you think?
     
  2. Mumble Bee
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    Mumble Bee The writer formerly known as Chained. Contributor

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    Here's what you do:

    He was cheating on her before, but he stopped. She knew, but they worked through it. Now she comes in, and she sees the signs again, and has more than enough reason to not believe him. Sure hes angry at her, but hes even more angry at himself for giving her a reason to not believe him.
     
  3. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Oh okay. You think that he really needs this prior history for this to work then?
     
  4. Mumble Bee
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    Mumble Bee The writer formerly known as Chained. Contributor

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    This is just one way of thousands to make this work.

    You could have the guy start sweet talking his rapist, in an attempt to get her to let him loose, and his GF hear him. He could even be a recovering sex addict, whatever you want to move the story forward.
     
  5. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. I think a lot of it will have to do with how the gf finds out though. Is her walking in a cliched that should be avoided? Cause if so, that can determine their background. Or should I come up with the character background first, before the pay off?
     
  6. JennaPeterson88
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    JennaPeterson88 Member

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    If the girlfriend walks it, she'd have to leave very, very quickly to misunderstand what's going on. Unless he's gagged in some way. If he saw her (or anyone) during the rape, wouldn't he yell for help? There's also the fact that a woman would pretty much has to be on top in order to rape a man. If it didn't look like rape to someone walking in, it would look like rough sex with the woman taking the dominant role. Is this something the girlfriend wouldn't think twice about seeing, or would it strike her as odd (even if she realizes it an hour later or something).
     
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  7. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Well I wrote it so that he was too speechless and traumatized to ask for help. But I was told that it makes the innocent gf look stupid for mistaking such a thing. So if that's true, I could have her find out after, like him telling her or something, and her not walking in.

    Or maybe she can just come home and hear the rapist orgasming while he is gagged and mistakens his noises for consensual rough sex noises, and then leave, and then she can confront him on it later.
     
  8. Caveriver
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    Caveriver Active Member

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    Of the two options you just gave, I see the second as more plausable and workable. This avoids the issue of the reader expecting him to/wishing he would call out to her. If she hears what she thinks is consensual sex, but he never knows she was there, you are covered.

    I am personally drawn to the idea of having the rapist tell the girlfriend (seems very villain-y) , but I haven't read your characters. I suppose it depends on whether you have more interest in another level of twisted pleasure for your villain, or are looking for the emotional journey it would take for him to bring himself to tell her what really happened (bringing it up himself). If he really is so traumatized he can't talk about it, I see all the right doors opening to kill all your birds, so to speak:
    Man raped -> Girlfriend overhears what she assumes is a betrayal -> Rapist deepens her victimization of this man by gloating of the rape to Girlfriend, perhaps thinking she is tearing them apart, when really she is opening Girlfriend's eyes -> Girlfriend asks Victim about what Rapist has told her, thus opening the door for them to communicate about it (I don't see this as a plot killer, or a premature climax, if done right. Just because Girlfriend knows, doesn't mean this fixes anything, or diminishes his need for revenge. Maybe she doesn't know how to react without pity, and he can't stand that... and so the rift between them deepens? Just spitballing.)

    Over all, I am hooked on this plot, just from the few things I read in your threads. Would love to read it.
     
  9. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Oh okay thanks. Well the MC is not necessarily too ashamed to tell her what happened. But he is not wanting to tell the police. The MC is a cop as well, who is on the trail of a serial rapist/killer, type villain, not knowing who it is though. As he gets closer in the investigation, he becomes the rapist's next victim.

    And the rapist has taken precautions to get away with the crime, such as eliminating the DNA evidence, and all that, or at least making it look like it wasn't rape. Haven't fully planned out how she gets away with it yet per say. But once she has taken steps to eliminate the evidence, the cop can do two things:

    1. He can tell his superiors that he was raped, and therefore he knows who the rapist is that they have been tracking after. However, if he does this, he does not know for sure, if the police will be able to charge her with raping him, since she has gotten rid of a lot of the evidence, and the other victims do not have much evidence to go on as well. Would a cop's word against her be enough to charge her with rape?

    2. If the cop reports her crime against him, then he will be taken off the case, and re-assigned. He will have no control over what happens. So I thought he could not report it and still stay on the case, and get revenge on her somehow, by planting evidence or framing her, perhaps even killing her and making it look like self defense while investigating, etc. This gives the cop more control, over a more possible final outcome, but maybe reporting the rape to begin with gets more guaranteed results, instead of the cop having to stay on the case, but having to do illegal things to reach the goal.

    What do you think? I asked the same question to some others and they said they felt that the character would be illogical and counter-productive for not reporting it.
     
  10. Caveriver
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    Caveriver Active Member

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    1. A cop's word good enough to charge her? Possible. Good enough to convict? Iffy. I see the defense going to all sorts of lengths to discredit the cop, and unless you have written him as positively squeaky clean (how one dementional is that :supersleepy:), I see reasonable doubt all over the place. If she does her work well enough, the evidence might even look like he raped her, and add that to the stigma attached to a woman-on-man rape (convincing a jury it happened, to a cop no less-a person they would much rather believe is invincible), I see the possibility of her walking. Yes, it logically follows that he would tell the other cops who it was, and possibly even how it knows it was her (in the interest of not being illogical and counter-productive), HOWEVER

    2. Unless he reports this only to his uber-loyal partner who agrees to keep it on the DL until they have nabbed her (or...a superior with a similar relationship to him) then realistically, yes, he would be taken off the case. So unless you see him working to bring her down outside of the law (which, to be fair, may actually free him up to a few senarios he wouldn't have while on the case), I would arrange it so that he only tells someone who will help him without ratting him out up the ladder. This keeps him from being counter-productive, and allows him to still work on the case. (Maybe they have better evidence against her on another victim anyway- an epiphany reached because of something she did while raping him, remembered later, and suddenly he sees how to bring her down.)

    Also, it comes to mind that a lot depends on how he handles himself during the rape. Is he 1) trying everything he can to get away, but fails, and resolves to endure the rape as bad sex while concentrating on the details in order to catch her later? A very copish thing to do, and I would guess, much more plausible for a sexually active adult male police detective than someone of another description. Or 2) So seriously creeped out by this wench that he is really messed up by the encounter, resulting in guilt, shame, the works (running deeper than professional embarrassment). If your answer is 2, then I would say is it very plausible he would react in an illogical, and possibly counter-productive manner, if only because his emotions dictate it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016
  11. FireWater
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    FireWater Active Member

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    Another option is that she could drug him.
     
  12. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. I thought about her drugging him but if she wants to get away with the crime, she would be throwing him a bone, by drugging him cause he can just get tested for drugs after the rape, in order to help support his accusation against her. So would drugging him be throwing him too much of a bone, if she is to lie and say it was consensual sex, or lie and say he raped her?

    The way I have it written is that after she hides a lot of the evidence, she then goes to the police first, and tells the police that the MC threatened, saying he was going to frame her for being the serial rapist, he was chasing unless she ends up helping him on the case, for another reason. So then later when he comes to rebut her accusation, the cops do not know who to believe. Does that work?

    As for the two options on how the cop would react afterward, I would say mine is more like #1, but I could make it the #2 one as well, if that's better. Perhaps it could start out as #1, but then become #2 after she accuses him of threatening to frame her.

    If he is taken off the case though, and has to get her outside the law, I still want him to be part of the action. Like if he is to frame her, for revenge as an example, he would need access to the case still for how I wrote it. Basically I wrote it so that he frames her and gets other police to come after her, but I don't want him to sit at home, hoping that it all goes well. I want him to be part of the action too. The police can call for back up to go get her, and he can pretend to be responding as back up. But if he has been removed from the case, because he was raped, then him pretending to be back up, happening to be close by, in the right place, at the right time, looks suspicious too his plan if he was taken off.

    I was told by a cop that this could be a huge legal conflict of interest problem, with suspicion alone. So if that is the truth, then should he still make the decision to say she raped him, and be taken off?

    As for the MC's girlfriend I still cannot decide if she should overhear things and get the wrong impression, or if she should find out from the rapist, or if she he should tell her himself.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016
  13. FireWater
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    FireWater Active Member

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    How smart is she supposed to be? If she's smart, then yes, it would be throwing her a bone. But lots of rapists drug their victims, and they tend to not think about the testing part.
     
  14. kim&jessie
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    a skywriter
     
  15. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    But since the MC is a cop, the idea of him getting test would occur to him, wouldn't it?
     
  16. Caveriver
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    Caveriver Active Member

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    I feel like drugging him is a bit cliche, and it does seem sloppy on her part. I wouldn't got that route, for all of the reasons you mentioned.

    As to how he handles himself during and afterwards, I would say that depends on him. If you want him to come across as tough, self-aware and in control, even when he isnt, then option 1. If you want him to feel like deeply violated victim, the option 2. Some blend of the two, of course, would be very readable, and more realistic, i.e.

    If you are really seeing him staying in the action, the I would keep it simple. Find a believable way to create a realationship with a cop character he can tell, but who will agree not to tell the people who would take him off the case. (Brother or former partner is his cheif? Current partner will help, but won't tell?) This is doable, so long as they connect the dots with the evidence in order to nail her coffin in the end. If they can get her on the other rapes, the law would never have to know that HE was raped, and this would solve your conflict of interest issue.

    As for the girlfriend, I would definatley have the rapist tell her what happened. Any form of walking in on the act is going to feel a tad cliche, to some extent. And, depending on your male charater, maybe he should tell her. One or the other.
     
  17. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Yep that is what I was thinking, get her on something else. If the gf walking in comes off as too much of a cliche than I won't use it. Thanks.

    As for how the MC gets her, I have two options so far:

    1. I already wrote it so that he tells another cop, and that cop starts to go out of his way to poke his nose further to see what he can find. The cop gets killed when getting too close, but there is no proof to link her to his murder either.

    So the MC decides to plant evidence and frame her for the murder, even though she got away with it. He also frames her in a way that makes her look real bad, and this causes other cops who are friends of the dead cops to come after her out of revenge, to plant more evidence on her to get a warrant for an arrest. But when those same cops come to arrest her, they decide to kill her out of revenge and make it look like self defense, in case the planted evidence does not hold up. If she survives the attempted killing by any chance, than they can still use the planted evidence. But the planted evidence, is there to give the cops a reason to arrest her, so they can kill her and make it look like they legally had a reason to be there.

    2. The cop who decides to poke his nose on his own, as a means to find justice for the MC's rape, does not get killed and lives, but he decides to work with the MC and either fake his death, or fake that the villain kidnapped him, and is holding him somewhere as a means to get the other cops to come and find him. Or he can fake his death for the other cops to avenge him, and that is his and the MC's plan. But would other cops avenge an officers death, if they make it look like he was killed by the villain, but there was no body, even if the evidence they plant to make it look like she killed him was still strong? Then when the cops avenge the fallen officer, and kill the villain, the fallen officer pretends to be kidnapped by her, and pretends to have escaped, but not before the other cops kill her, which would be part of his and the MC's plan.

    I guess that's technically three options, but which one do you think is the best way to go for the MC? Should the other cop die, or live and work with the MC?
     
  18. Caveriver
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    Caveriver Active Member

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    I like the idea of him living, and working with the MC. I also like the idea of faking a kidnapping... seems plausible and original. Faking a death and planting evidence with no body would be a stretch. Not that you couldn't do it, but it would be touchy. Your premise of the woman-on-man rape is very original and enticing! I feel like a fake kidnapping with a web of lies and teamwork to entrap her would be a nice follow-up, and ultimately a nice arch- to the rape. There are SO many cop dramas out there, with cops dying, avenging eachother, etc.

    One thing that occurs to me is a secondary mini-arch of the friendship between your MC and your other helper-cop. If they actually didn't get along at first-pick your controversy here- but then the other cop finds out by accident that the MC was raped, and then they have to come together as allies, and eventually friends, to solve the case...
     
  19. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Oh I see. I thought that by the MC framing the villain for murder, and manipulating other cops into getting revenge on her, that it would not be a cliche. I have never seen it done before where the MC plants evidence to manipulate the others. Usually it's just the others doing it on their own accord without being manipulated as part of a bigger plan, isn't it?

    I was told by another person that he thinks it's better if the MC gets revenge alone, cause it is more of a conflict, when no one agrees with the MC's rape, and he is alone in his revenge. Is this true? If so, is having the other cop live and help him out, take away from that?
     
  20. Caveriver
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    Caveriver Active Member

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    As I've said, I havent read your characters, so this is all guesswork. I am not against killing characters, if they need killing, and if that death serves more of a purpose than to simply get that character out of the way. I can see where having the MC work alone would be less work for you. It does simplify the senario. However, I would argue you need to have some redeeming qualities for your MC, OTHER than the sympathy in the fact he was raped. (A partner or character with which to work/interact with could offer this.) Think about how far your MC will travel down the rule breaking/lying/scheming/do anything, including crossing the law (things he believes in) in order to get revenge. Without some glimpes of humanity/hope of finding his way back from this road in the end... really, you are just creating another villain, and showing the backstory of how his traumas created the calloused revenge mongrel he will become. Which... I don't know... maybe there is something to that.
     
  21. Caveriver
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    Caveriver Active Member

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    Ultimately, it really looks like you need to spend some quality time with your characters, and make some of these decisions. When you really know who your charcters are, and how they will react to things, the rest will take care of itself.
     
  22. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Oh okay, so you are saying that the other cop would provide a road for the MC to find his way back on, you are saying? I thought that maybe the MC's gf can do that, but maybe he can too. I think I will have to figure out the method of capture for the villain for first. It depends on what is more important. The method of capture, or how the MC's humanity quest is determined.

    In order to get to know my characters, different occurrences can cause my characters to react differently, and change. So I feel my characters are determined by which occurrences I pick. But I guess I have to decide if I want the MC to learn a lesson get back on his road, or become a revenge obsessed villain in the end.
     
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  23. T.D. Dixon
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    T.D. Dixon New Member

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    Hello Ryan. Im brand new to these forums so if you currently have a WTF face about it, I completely understand. That being said...

    I read your post. I have a few suggestions but I'd like to know a bit more about your story? Is it just the act of rape or is there a deeper meaning to it? How does this situation occur - how does it happen? Is it simply the act of rape that turns your MC's world on its head, or is this perhaps an act of revenge or an obsession the rapist has for the MC? Being frank, the act alone doesnt seem to carry enough weight to it. Even in a fictional telling, there's no way your MC is going to be able to explain this heinous act away unless the rape has a deeper meaning. That deeper meaning will give your MC a goal to strive for and possibly give him an opportunity to win his girlfriend back. It will also get rid of the cliche' itself.

    I strongly suggest you create the backgrounds first - flesh your characters out. Learn about them. That will tell you exactly how the MC, rapist and girlfriend will respond in that moment.
     
  24. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. But what happens if you flesh out the characters but then it turns out that the build into pay off that you do not think is good? Shouldn't you decide on the pay off first, to avoid that?
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2016
  25. T.D. Dixon
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    T.D. Dixon New Member

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    Honestly I flesh out my characters first. Everyone has their own method when creating stories, however by knowing my characters intimately it rewards me by not having to spend so much time thinking of how they'll behave or act in a particular situation. I also beat out my story after I create my characters. Again, I can always lean on that information through-out the entire development process. Whatever way you feel comfortable developing your story is certainly up to you though.
     

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