1. Mot
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    Mot Member

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    Paedophilia?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Mot, Feb 2, 2013.

    I've trawled the forums for a while now, but I've only just decided to get an account- so, hallo!

    The novel I'm currently working on is set in the late 19th century. Without going into details, the main character is a paedophile and the plot follows his relationships as well the methods he uses to control himself.

    However, I can't help but feel that, being fairly young and female, I'm ill-qualified to write it.

    Opinions?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If you think all pedophiles are male, you are ill-equipped. You have a lot of research ahead of you if you are committed to pursuing this project.

    I'm not sure why you want your main character to be a pedophile, and I wonder if you are up to all the hate to be directed your way if you were to publish such a novel. It is your decision, though.
     
  3. Mot
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    Mot Member

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    I came across Lewis Carroll's diaries, and he was purported to have been a celibate paedophile. The character's sexuality isn't a side plot or feature, it's the basis of the story. Also, I am aware that female paedophiles exist. The fact that they are in the minority is the reason why I chose to make the character male.

    I hadn't considered the hate such a story would spawn, so thank you for mentioning that.
     
  4. DeathandGrim
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    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    Well, Yea such a sensitive subject wouldn't be very popular with many people considering that your genre most likely has an adult readerbase who most likely have kids

    So if you are going to craft such a tale, you better craft it with finesse. True it is something people hate, people hated the Mafia, the Holocaust, Cold War etc. but countless stories can be pushed out about them as long as they're done right. Its just this story would have to be done with no room for error unlike those aforementioned topics
     
  5. Islandwriter
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    Islandwriter Member

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    One of the characters in my book is a childmolestor, in this case the victim is his step daughter. I thought long and hard before writing the paragrafs in which he does what he does. In a pocket book, the part would cover aprox 3/4 of one page. I wrote it because it is an important part which explains why other main charachters in the book do what they do. When i wrote it, i did not go into sexual details. The reader knows he did what he did, and the psychological damage he has done.

    Its a very touchy subject, so if i were you i would write about the psychology and not the act itself. And like Cogito says, do your research.
     
  6. Dragoon119
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    Dragoon119 Member

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    I agree with DeathandGrim.

    Although Pedophilia is a widely disliked topic it can be written about. However, you will be walking a VERY fine line between disgust and recognition. This topic does not leave much room for error but I beleive and seen that it can be done. Using both opposing view points.
     
  7. prettyprettyprettygood
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    prettyprettyprettygood Active Member

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    It's not something that I could write about, but if its a story that you feel the need to tell I agree with the others - quality research is needed.If you haven't already seen it you might be interested in a film called The Woodsman, in which Kevin Bacon plays a paedophile who has just been released from prison, and his struggles to control himself. It was a disturbing film to watch but very well done in my opinion - I believe it got good reviews in general too. Despite that and the star actor it only got a very limited release; understandably it's not an appealing subject.Best of luck whatever you decide to do :)
     
  8. tinylittlepixie
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    tinylittlepixie Member

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    I think it's a difficult balance to achieve. In the film, the idea of evoking empathy for Kevin Bacon's character was a challenging one, but I think that the audience do end up hoping that he is able to overcome his demons. with any controversial subject matter, you're going to get people's opinions polarised, which can be a good thing.
     
  9. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    Portrayal is everything. Lots of stories have had pedophilia as a theme. I've written about it many times, but mainly from the POV of how it affects the victim. It was always portrayed as the heinous crime against innocence that it is. I have no desire to read something that attempts to justify or normalize it. I imagine society is largely still at that stage. We don't want to see it or acknowledge it in fiction, but if we do, we don't want to see it glorified. It's a horrible thing and I don't think anything that portrays it as anything less is really anything I can relate to. I've been rocked by some of the stories of characters of mine who were victims. I went through the pain and healing with them. And I feel that was a worthwhile story. But a story about the pedophile? It's a lot trickier and harder to pull off. Perhaps it might appeal to those who like such challenging content but there are few scenarios I can think of that would deal with a topic from that POV that I'd wanna deal with.
     
  10. Dagolas
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    Dagolas Banned

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    As was once said to me, to write anything well you have to experience it. You should meet up with Zinny here.
     
  11. reginamills
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    reginamills New Member

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    Initially I think you should do a lot of research. In order to write a character properly I believe it's a necessity to get into their mind... You need to learn to understand how a paedophile thinks, even if you fiercely disagree with it, you need to find that understanding. I would suggest you do a lot of reading, watch some films/documentaries etc. I know Louis Theroux did a documentary on paedophiles, I'm fairly sure it's on youtube.

    Chances are you will get hate for it, from some people. But if executed well I do believe it's possible. I have read plenty of books about child molestation as well as a lot of other disliked topics... but, as said before, they can be very good when they're well written.
     
  12. Mot
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    Mot Member

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    I've seen it. Strange is all I am happy to say about it.

    --

    Thank you for all the replies!
     
  13. -NM-
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    To avoid such a backlash about the subject I'd suggest focusing a lot on the internal struggles of the character. Afaik for a lot of paedophiles it is like a sexuality that they cant control and as homosexual people have done and in some cases still do hate themselves for it and want to change, so do they. I'd also consider the similarities to addiction that they feel and the difficulty in stopping their urges. Do lots of research and you should find info on all this stuff
     

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