Does this premise work?


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Thread: Does this premise work?

  1. #1

    Does this premise work?

    A story I wrote was about a victim wanting revenge on a gang of criminals that were committing a series of kidnaps and rapes.

    But I was told that it was too dark and I should change the subject matter around and change the crime around and make the villains robbers instead. People who are kidnapping people for ransom instead.

    But if I wrote it so that the main character is a victim of ransom instead and wants to plot deadly revenge on the villains because they stole his money, would that premise work as well too I was wondering? I thought revenge for rape was more plausible for someone wanting revenge for than their money being stolen but maybe the money being stolen is also a good motivation for revenge as well?

  2. #2
    What does your gut say?

  3. #3
    I don't think it's too dark at all. I would just urge you to handle it with as much sensitivity and with as much grace as possible, as scenes like the ones you are describing can be very difficult to read, especially for previous victims or for people that know victims of sexual violence.

    There are plenty of stories that are written just like this one with equally traumatic material. I feel like Jodie Foster and Liam Neeson have done four or five of these stories each. In fact, rather than ask the question, "Is my material too dark?" I'd ask, "How can I make my material stand out?" Revenge thrillers are kind of formulaic at this point, so how can you bring something new to them? What can you say with the story your writing that can speak to the nature of the world as it stands now (as opposed to when "Taken" was written a decade ago). Just some food for thought.
    Hidden Content at SPANK the CARP Fiction and Poetry

  4. #4
    Oh okay, well I was told mine is different compared to other revenge thrillers, because of the sexual assault subject matter before, which makes it too dark for most audiences, or so I was told.

  5. #5
    It worked well enough for Mel Gibson and Liam Neeson...
    A man in possession of a wooden spoon must be in want of a pot to stir.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    A story I wrote was about a victim wanting revenge on a gang of criminals that were committing a series of kidnaps and rapes.

    But I was told that it was too dark and I should change the subject matter around and change the crime around and make the villains robbers instead. People who are kidnapping people for ransom instead.

    But if I wrote it so that the main character is a victim of ransom instead and wants to plot deadly revenge on the villains because they stole his money, would that premise work as well too I was wondering? I thought revenge for rape was more plausible for someone wanting revenge for than their money being stolen but maybe the money being stolen is also a good motivation for revenge as well?
    Take no notice. If people say don't do it, DO IT MORE! It's your story.
    Craft / Draft / Graft And Write To Entertain.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    A story I wrote was about a victim wanting revenge on a gang of criminals that were committing a
    series of kidnaps and rapes.
    I actually pondered a similar route for the opening story in one of my series, but later toned it down to the protagonist meeting
    his future wife and partner by narrowly saving her from a rape gang just as the group is removing her clothes. I found that I
    couldn't go through with the whole detailed rape scene, as it made me uncomfortable.

    That being said, if you can pull it off and feel satisfied with what you write, then you should go for it. Some people can write
    darker/more graphic than others, but that is not a bad thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    But I was told that it was too dark and I should change the subject matter around and change the
    crime around and make the villains robbers instead. People who are kidnapping people for ransom instead.
    Go with your heart. There will always be naysayers, but if you have the idea and can make it work, power to you. I had naysayers
    bother me when I came up with the premise of my 'Uppercut' series (stories based on a a professional boxer), but it turned
    out to be some of my best material that a lot of people enjoyed.

    Basically, JUST WRITE!

    -JJB
    ​"Strong convictions precede great actions....."

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  8. #8
    Oh well I was told by others that it's not that the premise was too dark with rape, is that it was too far fetched, and by removing the rape crimes and changing them to different crimes, it makes the story less far fetched. So I didn't think darkness was the problem therefore.

  9. #9
    I actually agree with most of the guys here ... go with your gut. Personally the template of a rape crime revenge doesn't sound far fetched at all, in fact it can add so many layers onto a character. Upon revenge, clues can be dropped as to why the character acted on in this way, there can be huge deeper psychological factors in play. Finding the reason why someone does something is intriguing if the story and character pitches up well.

  10. #10
    Oh okay thanks. Well there one thing a couple of readers also said. They said that they felt that I use the female victims as props instead of making them out to be real people. Now the crimes are told from the police investigation's point of view. The crimes ar not shown in the story at all, and the police only talk about them afterwards with each other as they are building the cases. So how do I make the victims out to be real people, when they are only talked about by other characters and not shown if anyone has any input on this? Thank you very much again.

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