View Full Version : *takes a deep breath* Here it goes...

06-07-2007, 08:16 PM
Okay... I'm a little nervous here...

Last night, I finally managed to break into the scene that that I've been putting off for a while. It's a kind of scene that I've never written before.

It's a rape scene written from the female victim's point of view.

It's getting rather...descriptive.

Would... Would it be appropriate to ask our female members here about...uhh...certain sensations?

You can send your responses via PM, if you wish.


(I hope this post doesn't result in a disciplinary action being taken against me...)

06-07-2007, 08:21 PM
Am assuming you are male...

It might be a good idea to request that any 'females' send you a PM with anything they might like to share, that way no one should take offense or be afraid to speak of something they may have gone through. Just an idea.

Good luck....

06-07-2007, 08:37 PM
I just wanted to see if it was appropriate first.

06-07-2007, 08:38 PM
I wrote a rape scene. I asked a girl acquaintance to review it. She read it and just stared. I got the same response from my sister. They didn't say it was wrong. They didn't say anything. Just looked shocked.

I imagine anyone going through a rape might describe it much as I did, and although I consider rape THE most horrendous crime anyone can commit on another, I don't think people want to read it in the disturbing light it really is.

I cut my scene in half. It is nearly tasteful now. Almost not a rape at all.

06-07-2007, 08:51 PM
Also, how far is it safe to go before the scene risks turning into a porn show?

It's not about how FAR, it's about HOW. There is no "porn show" element if you write the scene with compassion for the woman and keep the overall mood of it as it would feel to her--that is, brutal, harsh, terrifying. In other words keep the emphasis on the violence part, not on the sexual part. Where you run into a risk of making it seem like a porn show is where you write ANY detail from the rapist's point of view or, even from an objective point of view, in a way that sexualizes the victim (i.e. describing some beautiful physical feature of hers). I'm not saying those points of view WILL make the scene verge on porn, I'm saying those points of view present a very high risk of it, so it's best to avoid them... maybe if you're a literary genius on par with Shakespeare or Dostoevsky you could write from those points of view without making the scene verge on porno, but if not, just avoid them.

There are two movie rape scenes I know of that depict the violence, the harshness, the complete lack of eroticism of rape; there's a third scene I haven't seen but I've heard it does too. It might be worth your while to watch these scenes and figure out how you can do what they're doing--how to translate what they accomplish cinematically into your writing. The scenes are in North Country (the character played by Charlize Theron is raped by a teacher), What's Love Got to Do With It (that Tina Turner biopic starring Angela Basset, where Ike Turner rapes her in a studio), and the one I haven't seen, The Accused (Jodi Foster character horrifically gang-raped). None of those movies is rated higher than "R", and the scenes I have seen are very unexplicit--you don't even see the woman's breasts, let alone anything else--but they capture the emotion, the sensation, the overall feeling of it really, really powerfully. Those scenes show you undeniably that you don't need to be sexually explicit in order to write a powerful and realistic rape scene.

06-07-2007, 08:58 PM
I'd most likely skip reading it. I'd also skip reading scenes containing other gruesome, disturbing crimes. Sometimes things are better left to the imagination.

06-07-2007, 09:10 PM
Would... Would it be appropriate to ask our female members here about...uhh...certain sensations?

You can send your responses via PM, if you wish.


(I hope this post doesn't result in a disciplinary action being taken against me...)
By all means, go ahead and ask. You're fine. I might stick an adult warning on the thread if it gets graphic, tho.

In response to the question - what do you want to put across in the scene? What is it's purpose in the overall story? Knowing that might help to answer appropriately.

06-07-2007, 09:27 PM
I helped a friend of mine with her rape scene. It was in the prologue and happened some years before the actual story begins in Chapter 1.

It took place in a tent at one of those outdoor rock concert fests. It was in the woman's POV, her MC, and although the reader knew she was being brutally raped, the writer was able to avoid being graphic. She used the woman's emotions of initial shock, then terror, then mental removal from the act, and then finally back to fear of being murdered after the act was over. You knew what was happening by the emotions felt by the woman and by some actions by the rapist. Undoing his belt, throwing her on her stomach, grabbing her hair, and yanking her head back. The writer also used certain sensory feelings because those kick in during the act and are heightened. Smell, sound, and sight, especially as to her immediate surroundings.

It isn't a sexual act for the person being raped. It is akin to being brutally beaten. Mentally and physically. Moreover, the terror of not being able to do anything and fear for your life is paramount. Survival and figuring out how to get away alive after it's over kick in pretty quick.

Naturally, your character's own emotional strengths and age will have some bearing on how she reacts.

06-07-2007, 09:57 PM
This topic is also being discussed here (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1388970&posted=1#post1388970).

06-07-2007, 10:27 PM
I think it might actually be more of a sexual abuse rather than a rape.

But, as it turns out, I may not need to ask anything of the sort that I was going to ask. I have decided to cut the scene short. :)

06-07-2007, 11:10 PM
Depending on circumstance, it would not be beyond the realms of possibility for her to simply blank it out.

Especially if you are in her head during the scene.

The brain has a way of shielding a person from things.

If you handle it well, I don't see why you couldn't start the scene, then cut to the aftermath.

There is a downside to this. You leave it to the reader's imagination and I am set in mind of Jurassic Park II. The opening scene has a girl attacked by a swarm of chicken-sized dinosaurs. One review I read was disgusted by this and expected far better from such a director as Spielberg. Now if you watch the scene in question, the girl sees a single dinosaur and approaches it. More appear and she is not alarmed. Then they become hostile looking. Then the attack. We cut away to the adults on the beach and we hearthe girl scream. the adults charge forward and we see their shicked and horrified reaction. We never see the thing that disguested the reviewer. That was in the reviewer's head.

Personally, I see that as an upside, because it means you did enough to let the audience/reader fill in the blanks. You did your job well. You engaged them.