WARNING: Discusses sexual violence: Do my villains have to have a tragic backstories? - Page 7


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

  1. #61
    What you say is how a lot of what the population thinks. But if you looked on what rapists had to say on why they rape and psychologists it doesn't fall into one motivation. Some say the act is done for attaining pleasure.

    What one of set group of people sees is not obvious. This is the rapist's point of view and the character's point of view (victims).

    Psychological reasons, and upbringing can be just as important as empathy. Empathy usually means there is no motive to do something so egregious. I don't know if they think like sociopaths. Which supposedly have no empathy for their victims.

    Mind you this is just my point of view.

    Any deplorable act such as rape is an oxymoron when thought when it is the opposite of sympathy.

    Even if it gets declined at least he is learning something.

    His feedback has all the markings of someone who needs to keep writing to improve.
    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. #62
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    I should imagine it is no different than any other crime with thousands of different reasons why it happens.

    Every murderer isn't a psycho and every thief doesn't steal because they need the money for example.

    Some people do not understand that it is wrong to kill or rape or thieve. They may not have ever been 'taught' or even 'believed' or 'accepted' that these things were not what you may do. Some people accept the law and some people may not.

    You can't really pigeon hole a person into what your own morals or beliefs are. After all, be really boring stories if you did.

  3. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    Oh well the thing is, is that the readers feedback, they will talk about maybe 10 different problems in the plot. I will then try to fix those problems and show them again, but then those new solutions I tried, also have completely different problems now.
    See, if it were me, I wouldn't show them again. I'd consider their feedback, make any adjustments that I feel need addressing, then be done with the feedback process.

    From there on I'd be moving toward the next step in the filming process.

    If you keep going back for more feedback, you won't get past this rewriting stage. A quick glance on another forum shows that you've been asking questions about this same story for nearly five years now. That's a long time to be working on a single screenplay.

    And I believe one of the reasons it's taking so long is because you keep opening the story up for outside input.

    I know how it feels to want to get it right (I struggle with perfectionism, too), but at some point perfectionism becomes more harmful than helpful.

    It doesn't always have to be complicated. Find practical solutions that move the process forward.

    At some point, if you want to get things done, you'll have to say, "Thanks for the feedback! Now I'm going to finish this screenplay and start with the casting/filming process."
    Last edited by Kyle R; December 6th, 2019 at 04:38 PM.

  4. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by Theglasshouse View Post
    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).
    Oh well the reason why I wrote it that way before so the villains say "because we are considered inferior", is because the villains are sending warnings to society, and if they were to specifically tell society each one of their 'defects', the police will just have more clues to chew on then. So the reason that the villains give a generalized statement like that, is to give less evidence clues.

    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?
    No, I don't have an obsession with rapes in movies, I was just thinking of movies I could use an examples, where rejection was the motivation. I was trying to get into the mindset of those characters, and those characters acted on the crime, after they were triggered by being rejected.

  5. #65
    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.
    People still do evil things for reasons, though. Otherwise we as writers wouldn't be able to explain why a villain did anything. I mean, logical within whose context? The rapist's? Society's? God's? I'll spitball on the child molester one: it's a statistical fact that being molested as a child makes you far more likely to be a molester as an adult. Same with rape. So you've got someone that's been taught from a very young age to pursue pleasure and intimacy in the completely wrong way. I think that people can have 'good' reasons why and still be wrong. You are right that rape is a breakdown of logic, but so is any evil act. Rape is not special in this regard. My problem with your line of thinking is that it sort of turns rape into an unexplainable force of nature. Evil action is always a good thing being pursued the wrong way. Evil is explainable because humans are flawed and it is those same flaws that make it possible for us to engage in morally irrational acts.
    Dead by Dawn!

  6. #66
    Well I was told to have the tragic backstory to have the villains be sexually assaulted in their pasts before. However, when the main character victim gets revenge on the villains in the end, would the revenge not be as satisfying for the readers, if the villains have a tragic backstory though, and are then more empathetic? And that's another thing, is that the readers didn't like how the villains were too empathetic already, they felt like, so wouldn't giving them a tragic backstory make then more empathetic?
    Last edited by ironpony; December 7th, 2019 at 01:57 AM.

  7. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by BornForBurning View Post
    People still do evil things for reasons, though. Otherwise we as writers wouldn't be able to explain why a villain did anything. I mean, logical within whose context? The rapist's? Society's? God's? I'll spitball on the child molester one: it's a statistical fact that being molested as a child makes you far more likely to be a molester as an adult. Same with rape. So you've got someone that's been taught from a very young age to pursue pleasure and intimacy in the completely wrong way. I think that people can have 'good' reasons why and still be wrong. You are right that rape is a breakdown of logic, but so is any evil act. Rape is not special in this regard. My problem with your line of thinking is that it sort of turns rape into an unexplainable force of nature. Evil action is always a good thing being pursued the wrong way. Evil is explainable because humans are flawed and it is those same flaws that make it possible for us to engage in morally irrational acts.
    I think it's the over-simplification that I'm trying to address. I mean, someone who's molested as a child AND who doesn't have loving/wise support afterward AND who has a series of other experiences AND who is exposed to certain media (or whatever other stimuli) AND who goes through a long series of other pre-criminal behaviours without intervention, etc... THAT victim of molestation may grow up to molest other children. The person's experience of molestation as a child was one of many, many factors that led to his/her deviance. (There are loads of people who are molested as children who do not grow up to become molesters themselves, so obviously it's not a simple cause-effect relationship, right? Not stimulus-response)

    I can see how you would pull the idea of "rape as an unexplainable act" out of my original post, but really what I'm saying is that it's an act without a SIMPLE explanation. "A gang of rapists who are all rapists because they themselves were raped while in the army" is a gross oversimplification of a really complex situation.

  8. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    I was trying to get into the mindset of those characters, and those characters acted on the crime, after they were triggered by being rejected.
    Okay, so, leaving Back to the Future aside (since, as previously mentioned, there's no rape), let's look at The Accused. What's the mindset of the rapists in that movie? Countless men flirt with women and are then rejected every day. What made THESE men react so violently? It's been a long time since I saw that movie, but as I recall there were bystanders who cheered the men on. So there was a sort of mob mentality. Have you ever done something you later realized was really wrong, just because you got caught up in a crowd? What effect did alcohol have on them? What attitudes did the men have toward women in general? Would they have behaved the same way if the victim had been upper class? Were they ashamed of themselves afterward? If they hadn't been caught, would they have been likely to re-offend, or was this a one-time disaster? etc.

    I'm not asking you to answer these questions here, or even saying that these are the right questions you should be asking. I'm just saying that if you're watching these movies to try to understand a mindset, then TRY TO UNDERSTAND THE MINDSET. I mean, "they were rejected so they raped her" is all external. It's not looking at mindsets at all; it's not diving deep and really trying to figure out how they're thinking. What went wrong with these guys? What the hell was in their heads that made them react to a really common situation with such a completely deviant act?

  9. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by Bayview View Post
    Okay, so, leaving Back to the Future aside (since, as previously mentioned, there's no rape),
    I didn't challenge this the first time but I feel compelled to now. There is a rape scene in Back to the Future. I vividly remember it (and hunted down a clip to re-watch it just now in case I was totally mis-remembering) and it's there: A girl gets trapped in a car with a boy who pushes her down without consent and is in the process of sexually assaulting her when he gets stopped. To me, that's a rape scene. Sorry. I actually remember watching it at 10 years old and it being my first encounter with sexual assault in fiction, together with the scene from Thelma & Louise (which as far as I recall didn't feature Actual Rape either, it was simply suggested) and how horribly frightening it was.

    Yeah it's not exactly a graphic cut-and-thrust of the kind I imagine featuring heavily in ironpony's writing (it's sort of a kids movie), and I suppose one could take the Brock Turner approach -- that it's not A Real Rape because there's no P-I-V or whatever the medical standard is. I'm honestly not sure what your reasoning is for excluding it so adamantly from the definition of 'rape scene' and would love to learn that reasoning.

    But in terms of what matters, in terms of intent, emotional effect, moral compass, etc? Yeah, it definitely fits the definition, in my opinion. So do plenty of other scenes, especially from older movies where values were different. Scenes where men to some extent imposed themselves on women. I'm not going to be hysterical and say that every amorous man/boy pressuring a woman/girl into sex necessarily crosses into rape territory, but plenty came very close. And Back To The Future? That's cut-and-dry. To me. It has all the emotional aspects and a number of the physical ones. I'm not sure what else matters? This isn't a legal debate or even a moral one, it's a writing one. It's written like a rape scene. All the aspects involving rape, sans penetration, are definitely present in that scene.

    Anyway, that aside, while I agree that it's a bad idea to over-simplify rape, it seems like it could be an equally bad idea to portray it as this hugely complicated thing...at least as writers (as opposed to lawyers or psychiatrists or whatever else). I think we have to realize that our allegiance is not ultimately to the (fictional) rapists, nor the (fictional) rape victims. It's not actually about giving them the fair hearing. All it is about is relating the issue to what we anticipate the reader/audience expects. Their perceptions. It is them whose feelings matter. Whether rape should be written about with simplicity or complexity seems totally dependent on the kind of story. The kind of audience.

    So, on one hand we have a book like A Clockwork Orange is a good example of a fantastic novel that uses rape pretty freely throughout its plot, often for quite ludicrous reasons (such as boredom) if for any reason at all, and still manages to be a 'deep' novel that involves some kind of empathy between the audience and the (rapist) main character. In that regard, it could be the perfect example for ironpony to follow if he is as hellbent on involving this subject matter as he seems to be. I could tolerate that sort of thing, if written in an engaging/entertaining manner. There is a place for it...

    ...but, then again, I was exactly the generation and demographic who A Clockwork Orange was aimed at. A lot of people really hate that book/movie -- presumably in part for the way it seems to trivialize rape and violence generally. On the other hand, something like A Child Called It i(a book I really hated and got nothing out of reading) isn't going to work unless it investigates the complex emotions behind the violence and abuse. They are different approaches to roughly the same material. They are both 'well written'. They are also both either horrible or fascinating, depending on the person you ask. You could argue likewise for something like Game Of Thrones which contains lots of ludicrous versions of 'rape' and yet never once breaks the belief of the audience.

    So...I don't think the complexity/simplicity of rape (or any moral problem) is itself important. More important is the placement in the story, and the kind of story it is. The important question seems not so much does the depiction and treatment of rape seem real or morally accurate. The important question, for me, is does the depiction and treatment of rape work in this story, with this character. The really important thing comes down to the question again: What are we trying to say? Books that answer this question in a way that is credible don't seem to have problems no matter how controversial they portray the content. I have literally read books where the protagonist rapes, kills, commits incest, defrauds, lies, and so on and ended up engaged in that character and that story even though I hated the things they did. I have also read books where the character does absolutely nothing massively wrong at all and still thought they were a fucking asshole.
    Last edited by luckyscars; December 7th, 2019 at 10:02 AM.

  10. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by Bayview View Post
    Okay, so, leaving Back to the Future aside (since, as previously mentioned, there's no rape), let's look at The Accused. What's the mindset of the rapists in that movie? Countless men flirt with women and are then rejected every day. What made THESE men react so violently? It's been a long time since I saw that movie, but as I recall there were bystanders who cheered the men on. So there was a sort of mob mentality. Have you ever done something you later realized was really wrong, just because you got caught up in a crowd? What effect did alcohol have on them? What attitudes did the men have toward women in general? Would they have behaved the same way if the victim had been upper class? Were they ashamed of themselves afterward? If they hadn't been caught, would they have been likely to re-offend, or was this a one-time disaster? etc.

    I'm not asking you to answer these questions here, or even saying that these are the right questions you should be asking. I'm just saying that if you're watching these movies to try to understand a mindset, then TRY TO UNDERSTAND THE MINDSET. I mean, "they were rejected so they raped her" is all external. It's not looking at mindsets at all; it's not diving deep and really trying to figure out how they're thinking. What went wrong with these guys? What the hell was in their heads that made them react to a really common situation with such a completely deviant act?
    Oh well in Back to the Future, I thought it was an attempted rape because the George character came and stopped Biff before he could do the full rape. So I thought that the rape intention was still there.

    As for the whole doing it cause they are rejected being completely external, what I mean is, is that the movies only bother to explain the external. Other explanations are not needed for the viewer, accept for mine I am told. I feel that for readers, my script is the exception to the rule, cause readers want a separate internal explanation for every villain in the group, where was with other movies, viewers are able to accept an external explanation for the entire group. So what is it about mine that is different that requires both an internal and external explanation, when other movies are okay with just explaining external?
    Last edited by ironpony; December 7th, 2019 at 09:23 AM.

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