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Revising Sand - Decisions

Well, well, well.  I've been distracted lately by a sweet man.  A very sweet man.  The distraction looks like it'll continue for awhile longer, though my giddy giggles have--thank goodness--abated.

While working on Bears (and I truly wish I could get an entire day free to knock it out in one swell foop), I've been thinking and re-thinking the opening of Sand.  I wrote the original version of the first two chapters a gazillion years ago.  One scene leads up to an act of rape, which occurs off stage.

I considered keeping the sexual violence despite my fear of handling the situation and characters poorly.  I have never been a victim of a violent sex crime.*  But I've been blessed with a couple close friends in the last five years who have been willing to be open and blunt about their victimization, the aftermath, and their ongoing journey away from the past.  I believe I can do a better job of writing that character arc now.

I considered keeping the violence without the sex.  It could work for the character arc of the woman victimized.  But drawing that behavioral line for the rapist will fundamentally change his character, his behaviors, and his motivations.  That might not be a bad thing.  It could be more interesting, actually.

And when it comes down to it, the importance of the scene is its focus on the power disparity--which doesn't need to be expressed through a violent sex act.  Sure, it could be, but whyI couldn't come up with a decent answer.  And that told me what I needed to know.

So I'm keeping the violence, along with the elements of imperial incest, and realigning the now-not-rapist character.  I don't need the rape component to tell this story.

Thoughts?  Similar experiences?

Okay.  That's the big decision for this novel.  I don't have to make a similar decision for another 180K words.  (Then it'll be figuring out how to put forth a believable development of Stockholm Syndrome.)  Alas, that doesn't mean I can dive into revisions.  I might be able to drop my toes in, though.



*I have been pressured into unwanted sex, yes, but that is distinctly different.  Some will put that in the same general category as rape.  I don't. 

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
sartorias
Jun. 28th, 2012 03:07 am (UTC)
Speaking generally, I can't help being kinda glad. Rape has been showing up way too often of late though I know you'd do a good job. But a good job of rape is still . . . yet another rape, I can't help thinking.
alecaustin
Jun. 28th, 2012 06:01 am (UTC)
Word.
blairmacg
Jun. 28th, 2012 05:17 pm (UTC)
Exactly. I see it as having made a common first-novel choice in my search for the Big Emotional Investment. Once I thought through the goals of scene and story, I found other tools that would accomplish what I wanted.
aanna_t
Jun. 28th, 2012 05:36 pm (UTC)
Exactly.

aanna_t
Jun. 28th, 2012 05:37 pm (UTC)
But... but.... the giddy giggles are *fun*!!
blairmacg
Jun. 28th, 2012 08:19 pm (UTC)
Part of me keeps thinking I'm too old to be a-giggle. A louder part of me shouts back, "I hope I can giggle like this when I'm 100 years old!" (That part also thinks it's still fun to run in the sprinklers, play hide and seek, and pig out on banana splits.)

aanna_t
Jun. 29th, 2012 02:41 pm (UTC)
I recommend that you ignore the first voice.

=D

Next time I'm in your neighborhood, can we go find someplace that makes banana splits?

Edited at 2012-06-29 02:42 pm (UTC)
blairmacg
Jun. 29th, 2012 10:52 pm (UTC)
Of course we can! Or we can make them ourselves. Lots of them. :)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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