WARNING: Discusses sexual violence: Do my villains have to have a tragic backstories? - Page 9


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

  1. #81
    Member Sir-KP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    Okay I can concentrate on the beta readers advice about what the problems more, more than the solutions if that's good. However, how does one know what the solutions are then, unless you try to show it to them again after trying to implement solutions, and see if it works?
    Friend,

    I'm sorry if this is a little blunt. This thread have gone up to 8 pages - filled with discussion, suggestion, and tips. You, the writer, are the only one who can process these posts and extract the solution. We don't write your story. You do.

    You always say "my readers, my readers"; what is exactly are you trying to meet here? Do we have to find idea that works as the solution to please them?

    People are helping you shaping up the story based on your vision, man. If your readers' feedback are so important, then you should ask them how to fix the part they find wrong and see how that turns out.

  2. #82
    Oh yes, for sure, I don't want others to come up with ideas for me. My idea was the getting power and revenge for involuntary celibacy were as the readers did not like it and one suggested making the villains, rape victims in the army, as the most plausible backstory. So I was wondering if mine worked at all, plus the new suggestion.

  3. #83
    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    Oh yes, for sure, I don't want others to come up with ideas for me. My idea was ... the readers did not like it and one suggested ...
    My advice: Ditch these "readers".

    Instead, find one reader whose creative opinions you trust more than anyone else's. One.

    Not five. Not even two. Just one.

    That's the reader you need to please, above all else. Whoever that reader may be (a fellow screenwriter, a friend, a loved one, or even yourself), they're the one you need to satisfy.

    The problem with multiple readers is that you won't satisfy all of them. They'll all have different preferences and opinions, often in conflict with one another. This is why you've been stuck in this never-ending "but he said, she said ..." whirlpool.

    Stephen King talks about this in On Writing—the importance of limiting your first readers to a trusted few, and no more than that. I believe he said that his first reader is his wife. She's the one he writes for.

    Find that one reader and stick with them. They'll help you form a more cohesive, unified story, because you'll finally have a single target to aim for.

  4. #84
    Oh okay, well one of the readers I was much closer to than the others, so I valued his opinion more, but I find that the more opinions he gave on all the problems, the more his opinions kept seeming to contradict each other as well possibly.

    I can look for someone else, but if I am to trust just one beta reader and only one, what I am looking for that I can trust, if it's just one opinion?

    And the reader who is my best friend, is the one who suggested the army tragedy background idea. My gf is also close and she says she thinks it's fine the way it is, and watches movies for entertainment and wants to be taken on a ride, not have to analyze and break down every story or character detail. But she's a gf, so maybe she was just being nice.
    Last edited by ironpony; December 8th, 2019 at 07:16 AM.

  5. #85
    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    My gf is also close and she says she thinks it's fine the way it is, and watches movies for entertainment and wants to be taken on a ride, not have to analyze and break down every story or character detail. But she's a gf, so maybe she was just being nice.
    I tend to believe women are, in general, better placed to offer feedback on the relative merits of rape/sexual violence scenes as it tends to be an issue that they are more cognizant of than men. If your girlfriend is genuinely accepting of the way you portrayed it, that probably does say quite a lot, although if you think her reaction might not be totally genuine then that obviously invalidates the entire thing. Have you asked her about your portrayals of rape/the rapists specifically?
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

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  6. #86
    Yeah I asked her. She said she is not a psychological expert and when people are psychos, she cannot be an expert on it, but nevertheless accepts it in the story.

    Should I seek out an expert therefore? I've also noticed that another woman reader, was more receptive to it as well in an earlier draft, so maybe women are possibly more receptive to such a thriller, compared to more male readers perhaps?

  7. #87
    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post
    Wait, so there's an important distinction in writing between a 'rape', an 'attempted rape' and a 'rape scene'?

    I typically find myself agreeing with you, Bayview, but I think you've got this one totally wrong. I assume you wouldn't say 'it's a fight scene but there's no fight' or 'it's a car chase scene but there's no actual car chase - only an attempted car chase' so this is a little bizarre to me. The scene has ALL the themes, emotions and actions of an 'actual rape', to me, minus the fact he gets stopped before he can actually penetrate her with his penis (he may well have already penetrated her with his hands -- it looks like he quite possibly did, and if he did that would absolutely be 'actual rape' per my legal training) so what exactly would be the problem with describing him as raping her? It may not be totally accurate, but neither would it be totally accurate to say -- as you keep saying -- that 'there was no rape', right?

    I agree ironpony has some apparent fixation on the subject and that's strange. But we need to avoid querying his motives here. Whether ironpony has weird ideas about rape or not isn't necessarily relevant to whether he can write about it in a way that works in his story.
    I think we're getting the thread way off track so I'll respond via DM.

  8. #88
    Quote Originally Posted by andrewclunn View Post
    Incel identity as justification for rape is lazy. Don't tell, show. Humiliation beyond mere rejection in personal instance work better than a label. If you want to go that route, then go all the way, and have him quote some MGTOW personalities to show rather than claim he's radicalized. You don't need to give motivations and personify your villain(s), but if you do, then you've got to go all the way. I've pushed myself to write works representing views that I find abhorrent. When I share them with someone and their aghast because they assume that I must hold those views, for representing them so favorably (when I'm attempting to speak in the voice of their advocates) then I know I've done it right. Don't go there unless you're willing to really go there, and if so people should be outraged by it because otherwise you haven't really touched on the true motivations you are aping at.
    Oh okay, but what about screenplays or movies, where they are told mostly from the police's point of view, where they do not show the backstory of the villains, but it's only talked about from a police point of view. Do those ones go all the way, since they tell and do not show?

    As for readers being outraged, that's a problem and they seem to outraged, but outraged to the point where they want an explanation for all this abhorrence.

  9. #89
    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    ... if I am to trust just one beta reader and only one, what I am looking for that I can trust . . . ?
    That's a question you'll have to answer for yourself, unfortunately! A lot depends on what you're looking for, and who you know.

    Still, notice how you mention comments from both your best friend and your girlfriend, and already, just with two responses, you're getting conflicting feedback that has left you confused?

    It's yet again more proof that limiting your feedback to one individual would (in my opinion) help the most.

    Just my two cents.

  10. #90
    Oh what I meant was is that some readers are giving conflicting feedback. The gf and friend, not so much though.

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