1. Stuffthing13
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    Stuffthing13 New Member

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    Should he? Oh, boy...

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Stuffthing13, Dec 5, 2014.

    OK, I've got a story I'm writing (obviously), and I'm on the fence about including something in my main character's back story. He and his wife (their relationship is weirder and crazier than just that, but that's an entirely different post) are persecuted for being Vampires. Not so much "stakes and pyres" persecuted, but more like how Muslims were treated after 9/11. Except the Vampire thing is kinda justified. I mean, they eat people for Christ's sake. Anyway, so one couple takes it too far, kidnapping his wife, raping her and putting a spell on her that gives a slow, agonizing death. Now, he (main character) only thought the man did it, so he goes to see the woman to find out where he was. She ends up snapping, taunts him with what they both did to his wife. Then he snaps. Here's where I'm gonna need some opinions. In both versions of his back story he kills her, that's not gonna change. But I feel like, and keep in mind that he is not mentally stable to begin with, in his blind rage he would rape her, too. That's some heavy shit. It feels right given what she did to his wife and what he's been through before that, but holy shit. I don't know. Part of me feels that it's gratuitous at that point, but another part feels like it makes sense. I realize I just threw a bunch of death and rape at you guys, but if someone can make it to the end and give me an opinion, I'll be really grateful.
     
  2. theoriginalmonsterman
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    theoriginalmonsterman Pickle Contest Administrator Contributor

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    Could you give some specific names, because referring to the characters as "she" and "he" is just confusing me.
     
  3. Bjørnar Munkerud
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    Bjørnar Munkerud Contributing Member

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    If he really is the guy who would rape her in such a situation, I suppose you could include, depending on what audience you're writing for. It seems pretty easy, though, to make up some reason for why he didn't rape her, if that's something you seek (he didn't think if it, didn't have time, was to angry at her to think she was attractive, he didn't find her attractive in the first place, he's strictly monogamous, he finds it morally wrong, he was afraid of being found out, he was afraid of retribution etc.). Or you could decide that he does rape her, but find a way of telling the story so that you don't have to mention it, or at least just imply it, perhaps by stating that he was the kind of guy who would do that (you could use a different example to not give away too much).
     
  4. Stuffthing13
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    Stuffthing13 New Member

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    Sorry, wrote this pretty fast. Main guys name is Xemond. He's the vampire being persecuted. His wife's name is Civlya. The people who killed his wife are Harrison (guy) and Courtney (woman). If you need me clear up anything else just let me know. I'm now realizing it's a bit of a pronoun cluster-fuck.
     
  5. theoriginalmonsterman
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    theoriginalmonsterman Pickle Contest Administrator Contributor

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    So the main character then proceeds to rape the other husband's wife in one of the versions? Sorry I'm trying hard to make sense out of this.
     
  6. Stuffthing13
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    Stuffthing13 New Member

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    Yea, that's about the gist of it.
     
  7. theoriginalmonsterman
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    theoriginalmonsterman Pickle Contest Administrator Contributor

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    This is what I would recommend then. Your main character is doing this, because of what you said "Christ's sake". Given the character believes this is what has to be done, then you would think he would react in another way. Maybe he should instead kill and eat the other couple. Why would should he do the same thing as the people he's up against. That wouldn't make him a better person in anyway (even though he's still pretty screwed up). The idea is to make the main character logical enough that he's believable.

    Also this is somewhat off-topic, but wouldn't the main character be a cannibal not a vampire since he's eating humans not drinking their blood?
     
  8. Stuffthing13
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    Stuffthing13 New Member

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    He doesn't really care about being better, he's just devastated because he lost the love of his life. And he's vampire. Lives forever, he's got the fangs, cravings, some innate magical power, the whole spiel.
     
  9. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    Ghouls eat human flesh. Vampires drink blood, but i think @Stuffthing13 meant eat as in drink their blood.

    Pretty good symbiotic relationship though for two predators...one gets the blood the other the flesh *shrug*. Back on topic though. If your character is really that unstable, he could choose not to rape the woman, but if he's twisted enough and would kill her then he could do it in any creatively violent manner. Now, if these vampires are similar to your cliche ones (super strength, speed, hate the light, etc...) in any way then he could use said super strength and, if he had them, use his "claws" (long nails, i always imagine vamps with those...) to shred her body, and dislocate and mangle several limbs. Vampires only die via decapitation or their heart being stabbed by a silver object, so that....eh I'll leave your imagination to do the work. Needless to say she'd be in a heck of a lot of pain before he "offed" her.

    And before anyone gets wide-eyed I deal with creatures similar to werewolves. Gotta study up on your predators.
     
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  10. Stuffthing13
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    Stuffthing13 New Member

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    Holy crap, was there a lot of information in one post. Yea, I'll look up some more lore and whatnot on vampires, but this is a different world. Making my own rules and such. So, these vampires are immortal, they hate sunlight (doesn't kill them but it's irritating), and they do drink blood but, y'know, you drink some blood, you get hungry, there's some dead meat just lying around, things tend to go a certain way. Thanks for the advice. Where did you get your info? Is there a book or site you use?
     
  11. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    I actually gather most of my information from other books that I have read, as well as common lore and myth. I'm just the kind of person who could hear something completely random and end up storing it in my brain until way later. Hmm...though I might think of a few...As for Twilight (now ppl before you start hatin' hear me out), I got an interesting fact that Vampires could drink the blood of animals to survive, so your book would be plausible with the lore you have set up. Then again, yes, it is your world and you can do as you please. Other things i have picked up is that vampires, depending on the belief system, either think they are a more evolved form of humanity or were descended from Cain (God marked him so he would not be killed, but in the end he was, now what form could that mark have taken...?). Other things I have picked up is that a vampire's bite could be painful or pleasurable for their prey. If it was a person who they wanted kept alive and that they liked, the person experienced a feeling of intense heat from the source of the bite. For those where it was painful....yeah you can guess those results. However, that effect only applied to humans. Other vampires only feel pain.

    Oh, another thing: the human has to drink the vampire's blood to become a vampire, not the other way around.

    I don't know much about ghouls, but from a book i read i got that they have to eat human flesh once a year at least, and are made by filling the heart cavity of a corpse with the blood of a vampire (however, the process is dangerous, doesn't always work, and only very powerful vampires can do this). So in a sense, ghouls are the sub-spawn of vampires. They can only be killed by decapitation, unlike a vampire's two weaknesses.

    And possibly one of the reasons i know a lot about vampires is because I took a lot of time to come up with a creature called the Veekrine. It's pretty much the predator of vampires. Only needs to drink once a year and they live in small groups called packs. They have bat-like wings, fangs like a vampire, and horns. They look human to passerby, but vampires can see their true form. When angered or excited, a Veekrine will trigger their "active" form, which can be seen by all. This covers their body in blood-red scales that flare out like armor and crest along their head. It's kind of hard to describe other than that... oh well. And i probably shouldn't give much more information about them until ive written the book ^^

    Anyway, hope this extra information helps.

    Edit: Also one thing i just reasoned out today is that a vampire needs that extreme strength and speed to pin prey and hold it still. Otherwise their fangs could easilly be broken.
     
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  12. Stuffthing13
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    Stuffthing13 New Member

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    Thanks, that's great stuff. You ever read American Vampire? Stephan King and Scott Snyder have a world with hundreds of different species of vampire and a new one evolves in the American Wild West.
     
  13. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    Nope. have heard of it though i need to find a copy of it...
     
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  14. Stuffthing13
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    Stuffthing13 New Member

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    Yea, they sell it digitally but you can probably get it at barnes and Noble or any comic shop (don't get it if you don't want it, I'm not gonna push shit on people).

    Anyway, thanks for the info. Gonna do some research and some editing.
     
  15. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    It seems like if he just snaps, he'd just kill her. Maybe dismember her. If he plots a more methodical revenge against the man, maybe he could rape the man and then kill him.
     
  16. AlannaHart
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    AlannaHart Contributing Member

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    I'd say don't have him rape her because there doesn't sound like there's any point to that.
     
  17. Lae
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    Lae Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah i kinda agree, not much point. Also no matter how angry you are there isn't a 'point' where you're so angry you'd rape if you get what i mean, so angry you'd kill sure but either you have the capacity to rape or you do not. In my opinion ofcourse, im no expert on the matter...
     
  18. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    I was reading an article that was linked in another thread on this site (the article can be found at: http://io9.com/10-science-fiction-and-fantasy-stories-that-editors-are-1566121756)

    Basically the article is a bunch of interviews with Editors about Sci-Fi/ Fantasy tropes they are tired of seeing. One of the sections is entitled "Edgy Stories", and I quote: -

    But stories feel especially forced when the author "adds in some extremely dramatic event in order to bring conflict and drama into the story, such as rape, incest, suicide, etc." When VanderMeer sees edgy stuff thrown in for no reason, she starts to suspect that the writer doesn't know how to hook the reader without using these tricks. VanderMeer sums it up: "false drama = bad story."

    Just thought I would share that.
     
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  19. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    That doesn't make sense. Lions, polar bears, cobras, crocs - they don't have extreme strength and speed and I don't think they all end up with broken teeth lol. They're only stronger than humans - that's not the same thing as extreme strength and speed. Speed, either way, does not contribute to whether your teeth would be broken.

    Strength neither, come to think of it. Sounds more like you'd just need proper good bone structure lol and lots of calcium!
     
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  20. tonguetied
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    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

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    Or like a shark, just grow new ones.
     
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  21. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    If you look for motivations for rape, you will have a clearer idea whether your char will do it. If you feel it fits, go for it. People do terrible things, including rape, just be careful you don't just glue it on to shock or disturb readers.

    Vampires or ghouls don't exist so can't we just add our spices to them? Like there are kishis and estries that are quite different from Twilight anf Buffy vampires. We have floating head vampires. Why isn't a flesh chewing vamp plausible? What makes a story implausible is changing the rules within the story for no other reason but a necessary plot twist, imo. Sure, if you called a creature that isn't compelled to live off blood a vampire, it'd be weird, so commmon sense does apply here too.
     
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  22. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not clear on why the first, much less the second, rape happens. I think that for both, you need to have a reason other than, "Because I want to show how horrible they are."

    For that matter, I'm not clear on the reason for the slow, agonizing death, as opposed to just destroying something dangerous. I need more detail here.
     
  23. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, using rape as a tool of male character development is a pretty widely criticized practice.

    It's your book and you should tell the story the way you think best, but you'd almost certainly lose me a reader if your MC was rapist. You might lose me just for using rape as a way to torture your male character.
     
  24. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Depends on how it's done, no need to use it as a tool (or if it can't anything else, then I guess I'm not one of the critics). I've read plenty of books that detail the terrible things the protagonist has done and for what they have to repent. While unsettling, it can still be very interesting. I don't think it has to be done frivolously and/or insensitively, which would make it in my book a criticizeable thing. It's ok to take the point of view of the perp, it's just going to be next to impossible for the reader to take their side, I think (I would still read it if well done). Sure, if it's Dexter and he only kills baddies it's easier. Or if you do the soul thing like with Angel; we sorta kinda forgive him his crimes 'cause surely he can't be held responsible. Anyway, that's just me.
     
  25. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    But Dexter didn't rape, did he? I didn't really watch Angel all that closely, but did he rape?

    My point is, fictional rape is a different sort of crime than fictional murder, at least for a lot of people. I think mostly because it's so overdone, and so often used as a way to demonstrate something about MALE characters. It's one more way female characters are treated as props.

    Also, a significant number of readers are rape survivors, or work with rape victims, or are in other ways really sensitized to depictions of rape - if you write rape, you should do it very thoughtfully and carefully.

    In the scenario outlined in the OP? The only reason to include the rape is to be 'gritty' and to show something about a male character. As a reader, I wouldn't like it, at all.
     

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