Rape in Fiction

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…



5 thoughts on “Rape in Fiction

  1. I think the only thing more damaging than physical harm is psychological. For example, if your SWC (funny, my husband’s initials) was not raped, but if she could not prevent an assault on her daughter, she would be guilt-ridden and upset and possibly her daughter would find fault with her as well, adding to the guilt and bad feelings. Either way you play the plot around Taria, I am very interested in reading her story. I need SWCs in my life, and I really admire those strong writers who can create them!!

  2. Oh, that is a good twist Phyl. Excellent thinking. Can I use that?

    I think we have strong women characters in our lives, but don’t recognize them much of the time. For my part, I didn’t recognize my mother and grandmother’s value for a very long time. I look back now and know their lives were never easy. Somehow, in the worst of times they muddled through and kept the kids ignorant of dire situations (for the most part). That takes some skill.

  3. Absolutely! I would be flattered!
    And so sorry I did not respond sooner! I did not get the notice that I had anything to respond to, even though (I thought) I had everything set up so all comments would go through my e-mail. My fingers literally stumbled across this one looking for a recent link I tried to make about my review of Tesla’s Secret.

  4. Reblogged this on Author, Mother, Dreamer and commented:
    This is the piece I am excited for my friend to be working on. When lightning strikes inspirationally, it is such a great feeling. To work as hard as this friend has and to have never felt it before — well, I hope these moments stay, because they are certainly deserved for someone who works the craft as hard as she does.

  5. No problem. I’m tech challenged too. Not all the time, but sometimes. Anyway, I’m going to play with that idea and see what happens. Thanks for the reblog and compliments. 🙂

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