As of late, I haven’t had much time to do the social media
thing. And I haven’t done my regular blog posts, reviews
on Library Thing and Goodreads and just over the past
week, I began feeling more isolated than I usually do.
Partially because I’ve been working on two new projects.
Nexus II and Taria of the Dead. Taria has taken up a greater part of my mental space. The character is insistent I keep writing her world.
Since the 6th of June, I’ve written about five thousand words on Taria’s story. It’s coming along nicely, though I’m not sure about everything I’m putting this character through. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel even a bit guilty. I think this is part of the creative process that makes me grow as a writer, but I’ve noticed more talk in recent weeks about rape culture and about writers writing about rape.
At SFF, Nick Sharps writes, “…so often being a Strong Woman Character™ requires that the character be broken, typically by sexual violence. Either rape was used to transform her into a “strong” character, or else she has to be raped further on in her storyline (presumably to keep her from getting too strong).”
I am writing a brutal experience for Taria, but I believe it’s essential for her to be pushed to her end. Not because as Nick says, “to keep her from getting too strong”, (I can’t imagine that), but to push her to the point when she feels she no longer has anything to lose. The rape doesn’t transform a character into a stronger individual. She’s become strong through everything she has went through prior to that. Those SWCs are pushed to the point that they no longer give a shit and are willing to prove it now.
One last note on the rape business in literature. If the author creates a female as ‘rapeable’ that’s one thing (rape as erotic). If the act is seen as a non-erotic crime of brutality, that’s something else.
For further study, refer to: Rape in Contemporary Literature
Also: Rape and Representation at Wikipedia. Some great reference links here.
Still, I have to wonder if there’s another way to get my character to that point of madness, rather than the brutality I’ve so far considered…