WARNING: Discusses sexual violence: Do my villains have to have a tragic backstories? - Page 6


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Thread: WARNING: Discusses sexual violence: Do my villains have to have a tragic backstories?

  1. #51
    That would make sense.
    I would follow as in believe in the words of good moral leaders. Rather than the beliefs of oneself.
    The most difficult thing for a writer to comprehend is to experience silence, so speak up. (quoted from a member)

  2. #52
    Well one reader said that if any of them are mentally challenged, it wouldn't be believable that they could co-conspire to outsmart the police and get away with it though, if that'st true...

    So what you are saying is, is that the defects such as a physical disfigurement or a sociological disorder, will help explain why they are involuntarily celibate then, and thus help to explain the villains better?

  3. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    Well it's just the thing is, is that it's not really a character a study, but more of a suspense thriller. If you watch a movie like Seven or The Silence of the Lambs for example, they do not have an entire backstory on the villains like that. The police learn of a motivation for why they are doing what they are doing and that's it. So how come it works in the movies that you do not have to explain an entire origin story for the villains, and the audience is okay with that, but not with mine? Why is mine a special exception to the rule? If I can figure out why mine is being seen as the exception to the rule, then I could figure out how to handle it properly I think maybe.
    Because you're the one starting a thread asking about backstories. If you don't think backstories are important, than why are you asking about one? Oh yeah, because 'people' have told you.

    Nobody here is telling you that. So do or don't do, up to you.

  4. #54
    Oh okay, well I can not listen to the readers who say it is important than and just not have it then. But as far as a motivation goes, is the involuntary celibacy still not workable, even if they have things like disfigurements or sociological disorders or defects?

  5. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    Oh okay, well I can not listen to the readers who say it is important than and just not have it then. But as far as a motivation goes, is the involuntary celibacy still not workable, even if they have things like disfigurements or sociological disorders or defects?
    I mean, if they're Elephant Man levels of ugly I can just about believe the involuntary celibacy angle, but it would have to be very extreme.

    If you wanted and are serious about this you could try this from that very angle: Subvert the Elephant Man/Quasimodo trope, the whole one in which 'beauty comes from within', and have the character(s) be grotesquely deformed from which they suffer huge amounts of (sexual) misery and 'cruel rejection' that leads them to adopt a hellish hatred toward people, especially beautiful women. You can really play up the abuse angle there. Include flashbacks to past events in which they were sexually humiliated by attractive women -- genuinely humiliated, not simply turned down at the night club -- and make the whole thing a commentary of sorts on how young men experience similar levels of social distaste for their bodies as women in real life typically suffer. You then accomplish the motivation issue, the necessary disgust AND can include the social commentary you have frequently mentioned.

    I'm not necessarily saying this is necessarily going to be well-received. It's a controversial topic, a minefield (especially today) and you could really screw up the messaging by looking like you are justifying rape (and yes I know you don't want to, but its perception) on the basis of 'having a hard life' which people will automatically find objectionable and rightly so. But I can see it working as the basis for a simple thriller, if you pull it off. Ultimately, rape or not, you want to emphasize less the sexual themes, the angle of 'involuntarily celibate young men raping women', and more the theme of 'a superficial and looks-obsessed society is driving people to the point of misanthropy', which is a legitimate issue and one of interest. Rape could simply be a symptom, an outlet, rather than a major theme.

    I think the more you make this about the issue of rape -- which I get a strong sense you don't really have a huge amount of knowledge about -- the less effective the story will be. Include the rape for shock value, nothing more, and work on the misanthropy, sense of isolation, etc and you might have something that will work.

  6. #56
    Oh okay, it's just that it's a thriller told mostly from the police side of the investigation so I wanted to keep it as a thriller rather than a character study with backstory and flashbacks. I need a motive that works of course, but I don't want to have to explore it as a character study though. As for them being elephant man level deformed, I wanted the police to not be able to find the villains as easily cause they can blend in, to a degree, so I don't want them to be so obviously peculiar, unless of course it can still work and be better...

  7. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    Oh okay, it's just that it's a thriller told mostly from the police side of the investigation so I wanted to keep it as a thriller rather than a character study with backstory and flashbacks. I need a motive that works of course, but I don't want to have to explore it as a character study though. As for them being elephant man level deformed, I wanted the police to not be able to find the villains as easily cause they can blend in, to a degree, so I don't want them to be so obviously peculiar, unless of course it can still work and be better...
    I didn't say it had to be a character study...

  8. #58
    What kind of physical deformity? Probably the first thing I thought of was victims of fire accidents, of arson, of any victim of a fire incident. This is better for your convenience as to why they did the crime. It doesn't sound bad. It sounds credible.

    Just by changing the social background information of the characters in the movie you can play to the perceived stereotypes and weaknesses of the characters. Without having to explain their motives by making the characters that would be motivated to say they are inferior maybe. Which would keep the dialogue the same (first scenes of the work you posted).

    What I understand by what is a character study is different. It's more elaborate and you don't want to rework it(I don't think suspense thriller falls under character study with a physical defect), with a lot of character development and I know you want to avoid it being rewritten extensively. Then it wouldn't have some of these same problems (saying lines such as because we feel inferior without a motive). If you will it justifies some immoral behavior to readers. The audience makes up its mind and it wouldn't need drastic changes. You are saying I think it would change the genre's label of suspense thriller. I think you won't lose credibility. You probably don't even have to mention how they got burned. It can be light burn marks (accidents happen, or maybe an arsonist's work). The background information can be shallow (and won't cost you maybe extra effort that is taxing. That is if you want to keep the screenplay). It may need no explanation. All it would need is some more description maybe. How characters react to that if needed. If light burn marks, that change the skin's appearance where it got burned. It seems it would not need a drastic rewrite of the first two scenes I read. It would fit the mood and explains the behaviors of the characters.

    And as for them having emotional disabilities. It can happen to a lot of people. Seen a series of Turkish drama called innocents with a family disease (schizophrenics). Who can't get into relationships. The entire family had schizophrenia and suffered from hallucinations. (the mother and father passed the genes both with mental disease in the movie) It still is less believable. That's 1% of the population. So its not possible. I can't speak for bi-polar. How much that is of the population I don't know. It doesn't sound practical.

    I say the explanation of the fire isn't necessary nor is a scene needed with a person in a fire accident. It may have the comic book feel you are looking for. Especially if you don't go in depth about the accidents of the characters. I think several comic book characters go through that trope of the fire burning part of their face (the batman villains I think in particular).
    I would follow as in believe in the words of good moral leaders. Rather than the beliefs of oneself.
    The most difficult thing for a writer to comprehend is to experience silence, so speak up. (quoted from a member)

  9. #59
    I'm going way back to the first page for this one, but bear with me.

    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    In the movie Back to the Future for example, Biff Tannen tries to get Lorraine into bed so to speak, she rejects him, and then he responds by raping her out of revenge cause she rejected him.
    You know this didn't happen, don't you? Like, your rape-obsession hasn't grown to the point where you're actually remembering rapes in movies that didn't have rapes?

    In the movie The Accused, which is based on a true story as well, some guys hit on Jodie Foster's character and she flirts back, kind of teasing him. But then she rejects them. They hate this rejection, so they rape her as a response.
    This is a gross oversimplification. In no normal world is "rape" a logical response to "got turned down". The trigger for the rape in The Accused may have been the rejection, but the movie explores so many deeper elements of the crime - misogyny, classism, etc. That's why the victim had to fight so hard for justice... because of all the societal elements that tried to shut her up. (we see this in the victim blaming, slut shaming, etc.). The movie doesn't try to justify or explain the rapists' behaviour in a simplistic cause-and-effect way.

    It feels like you're thinking in the same mindset as the rapists in that movie were thinking. It feels like you're trying to make rape a logical response to a certain set of conditions, and it just ISN'T. It's a deviant, violent, failure of logic.

    Change "rape" to "molesting children" and try to figure out how to explain a gang of deviants running around molesting children. Can you do it? Hopefully not, because hopefully you recognize that molesting children is NOT a logical response to any set of stimuli, ever. There is NO reasonable motivation for molesting children. There is also no reasonable motivation for rape. Let it go.

    You've been being told the same thing about this topic on at least two different writing boards for year after year, and you're not hearing it. Why are you paying so much attention to the opinions of the "couple of people" who told you that more backstory was needed and so little attention to everyone else?

  10. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by Bayview View Post
    I'm going way back to the first page for this one, but bear with me.



    You know this didn't happen, don't you? Like, your rape-obsession hasn't grown to the point where you're actually remembering rapes in movies that didn't have rapes?



    This is a gross oversimplification. In no normal world is "rape" a logical response to "got turned down". The trigger for the rape in The Accused may have been the rejection, but the movie explores so many deeper elements of the crime - misogyny, classism, etc. That's why the victim had to fight so hard for justice... because of all the societal elements that tried to shut her up. (we see this in the victim blaming, slut shaming, etc.). The movie doesn't try to justify or explain the rapists' behaviour in a simplistic cause-and-effect way.

    It feels like you're thinking in the same mindset as the rapists in that movie were thinking. It feels like you're trying to make rape a logical response to a certain set of conditions, and it just ISN'T. It's a deviant, violent, failure of logic.

    Change "rape" to "molesting children" and try to figure out how to explain a gang of deviants running around molesting children. Can you do it? Hopefully not, because hopefully you recognize that molesting children is NOT a logical response to any set of stimuli, ever. There is NO reasonable motivation for molesting children. There is also no reasonable motivation for rape. Let it go.

    You've been being told the same thing about this topic on at least two different writing boards for year after year, and you're not hearing it. Why are you paying so much attention to the opinions of the "couple of people" who told you that more backstory was needed and so little attention to everyone else?



    ....... THANK YOU......
    She lost herself in the trees,
    among the ever-changing leaves.
    She wept beneath the wild sky
    as stars told stories of ancient times.
    The flowers grew toward her light,
    the river called her name at night.
    She could not live an ordinary life,
    with the mysteries of the universe
    hidden in her eyes....
    Author: Christy Ann Martine

    Death leaves a heartache no one can heal,
    love leaves a memory no one can steal....
    Author unknown.

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