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Does this premise work? (1 Viewer)

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ironpony

Senior Member
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?
 

thepancreas11

New Writers' Mentor
WF Veterans
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.
 

ironpony

Senior Member
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.
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
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.
 

JJBuchholz

Senior Member
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.

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
 

ironpony

Senior Member
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.
 
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.
 

ironpony

Senior Member
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.
 

JJBuchholz

Senior Member
The crimes are 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.

If the victims told the police everything they know, you could have the investigators (as they talk amongst themselves to build the case) have
vivid flashbacks from the victim's point of view as they put the crime together in their minds. Police and emergency personnel often have to
deal with things like that even if they aren't the primary on the scene, such as 911 call centre staff that get the picture of the emergency in
their minds through the words being spoken to them on the phone.

-JJB
 

ironpony

Senior Member
If the victims told the police everything they know, you could have the investigators (as they talk amongst themselves to build the case) have
vivid flashbacks from the victim's point of view as they put the crime together in their minds. Police and emergency personnel often have to
deal with things like that even if they aren't the primary on the scene, such as 911 call centre staff that get the picture of the emergency in
their minds through the words being spoken to them on the phone.

-JJB

Oh okay, it's just I didn't think I should go into much detail of the crimes, because I was told before to keep things tasteful. So I didn't think I should show any flashbacks, even if vivid, or have the victims describe anything about what happened in order to keep it tasteful. Unless that is not a good approach and I should show more?
 

JJBuchholz

Senior Member
Because it's the police having the 'flashbacks' or visions of what they were told, you can decide the imagery of what they see
when doing said review. It's not straight from the victim, but it still paints a vivid picture of what happens. You can also use it
to show the officers' state of mind as they deal with the details of the crime.

Just as their 'flashback' or what have you starts to go into heavy detail, they could snap out of it and use that to strengthen
their resolve to find the culprit. Disturbing thoughts and whatnot.

-JJB
 

ironpony

Senior Member
Yeah that's true. Since I am writing a screenplay, I tend to use movies as examples, but since I was told that the victim characters are just props, and not people, how do other movies make the victim characters props when they are not shown? For example, in a movie like The Silence of the Lambs, when the movie starts, the killer has already killed five victims. But we never see any of these victims and they are briefly talked about. But how did the movie make the victims to be real people and not just props therefore?
 

bazz cargo

Retired Supervisor
Hi Iron,
Still working away, I tip my hat to you. Of all the skills a writer needs bloody minded persistence is the most valuable.
Writing is a tool to tell a story. We all use our abilities differently.

Your premise is a popular one, used by many writers. You should be able to bring a little something new to the table and spruce it up.
As an aside, I have just finished reading a Star Trek novel, the writing bar is remarkably low. You might consider trying a franchise as a way of sneaking your story out.
Good luck
BC
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?
 
Hello! I'm new here so I'm not sure how much I can help, but I feel like a story is something that can only be created by the author not the readers, its your story make it as you wish but understand that people will choose rather to read it or not depending on the topic, I can recommend to make it so that while that is a part of it, try to ensure that it's not purely one hundred percent rape and murder I doubt you were thinking that but once again it's your story, if you want someone to read some of it I will do that for you as well and give you my honest input as a stranger. Have a good day bud!
 
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