1. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    Little Problem

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by jwatson, Aug 4, 2010.

    Jack is a young man who was sexually violated by his guardian when he was a young boy. This happened on multiple occasions. Throughout my book, Jack is shown to sleep around. Rather than just write this part of him in my book for no reason, I did it because in the end of my story I would like to tell the readers that he was sexually violated as a child, and that this violation is the reason for his sleeping around (wanting to prove his sexuality deep down).

    Problem is, he's in love. He's in love with a girl who he's trying to save. He thought she was dead at first, but it turns out she's not, and on the journey which leads to him saving her, I've already written in him sleeping with other girls he meets. So, why the heck would he be sleeping with girls if he's in love?

    Anyone have any excuses for poor Jack? Or should I go back and do a loaaaad of cleaning up?

    J
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Personally I always find when I have a new idea deleting my novel right back and rewriting it is the easiest way to get a seamless story otherwise I find it patched up. Unlike most here I don't even keep the stuff I delete it just clutters lol

    Could it be kept secret from the girl and he exorcise his demons with a therapist? Or just basically he didn't know it was wrong noone had taught him that.
     
  3. erik martin
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    erik martin Contributing Member

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    People can be messed up. I am not saying that to be funny. Promiscuity is a very real symptom of past sexual abuse. Sex and love don't always go hand in hand. Childhood sexual abuse has lifelong consequences, especially if left undealt with. It is believeable that your character has very real feelings for a woman but continues to sleep with other women as a symptom of his own pathology. More than likely, he would feel guilty about his behavior but find himself unable to stop, causing him more guilt, and so on until something breaks--the relationship with the woman, his fragile emotional stability, whatever.
     
  4. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    The therapist thing wouldn't work because the setting is medieval fantasy, and I haven't mentioned a therapist in my world. I don't know if I want to... Possibility, though.

    Erik, I think for now, I'm going to use your idea of just going along with it.
    I like this.

    Thanks very much for your help, both of you.

    J
     
  5. Sang Hee
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    Sang Hee Contributing Member

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    My personal opinion is to make some clearing because you're obviously (from the way you put it) you're way in over your head.
    I also have a character in one of my stories who has a similar problem. Her first 'experience' was actually also forced on her but she had a very good friend who helped her to live and function in a normal society even though it was very complicated and never really made the problem go away. It still worked out for the story, though, and I laid the whole plot easily without any changes right from the start. I usually say that one whole piece holds better together than several pieces glued together.
    In other words, create the character's story in one linear fashion.
     
  6. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    What about a Monk or a mystic then? Priest he can discuss it in confession. Have you read any Cadfael by Ellis Peters? He is a monk with an interesting past it might give you ideas.
     
  7. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Just to throw in my two cents...I think that Elg's therapist suggestion could still sort of work, given the setting...

    Not a career shrink with a PhD and a couch with an office, but even in caveman days there were medicine women or mentor figures or whatever who could listen to problems and act as a therapist....

    so it's still an option if you'd want it to be.

    Personally though, I prefer keeping the sleeping around and having it cause problems, rather than using a quick and easy mental counseling fix to magically cure him of it.
     
  8. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    When sexual abuse victims fall into a patter of a sexoholic to relive and therby handele their experince they often fall into predator/pray roles.

    Either looking for partners that will threat them badly (a young man becoming a prostitute and taking on clients that give him bad vibes) or in to the role of predator them self. Being rough and forceful with this partners (this may or may not go so far into becoming rapist or abusing people them self.)

    If they are sexoholics they need to relive their experience don't stop because they have a loving partner, but they usually continue their behaviour cheating on their partner to do it until they get professional help. The partner can either stand by and support them until they get help to get out of the cycle. There sexual need that tied to the trauma in this case have very little to do with love, while they may whole heatedly love their partner.

    And by the way. Many peoples normal healthy and happy sexuality isn't strictly monogamousness. Loads of people happeily have causual sex with other people while being in love with someone. Research show that swinger couple for example usually have happier and more stable relationships than monogamous couples.
     
  9. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    Hmm, you all have given me much to think about. So yeah, the therapist can work (no PhD involved). Personally, I don't like having a character's story outlined all the way through. I like going at it day by day. I like discovering what he's got to tell me, rather than just tell him what he is from day one. When I write, things just happen. I'm a spontaneous writer, and that's just preference, so if you like planning out your character's story beforehand, I am not saying you should do otherwise, I am just saying I prefer otherwise. It seems I thought about love and sex as one before this post. That's just me not putting much thought into my threads... and yet you all are kind enough to give your intelligent replies! :) Thanks everyone! Very helpful stuff

    J
     

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