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Difficult scenes, how do you go about writing these?
I'm in the middle of a difficult scene in my novel, that apparently deals with rape, and self harm , in a young adult fashion (eg, not for children, but not quite an adults novel). Apparently in that I can remove it, and allude to it in the story without the explanation, but I feel that the character needs the opportunity to explain. What I'm finding difficult is I don't want to trigger anyone off with it. I realise that would be a sign of good writing, but I think that would be mean as well. Tell me, how do you deal with writing a difficult scene?
The problem you are facing is the one reason I haven't written my life story yet. I struggle with the feeling of leaving out too much leaves the reader feel they are missing something (and they would be). However if I am detailed it may trigger someone or it may gross out some. I guess the real question to ask yourself is will the reader be expecting it or not. If someone knows what they are getting into they will either not buy it (read it) or they will be comfortable when that part of the story gets there and expect to here it.
There is nothing "mean" about reflecting realism, though too much detail can make it falsely appear as if you enjoy what you're writing about, so I see what you mean. It's only rude to make fun of people or judge them. The best thing to do is to convey the raped person's feelings and emotions without being too graphically descriptive. That's just my opinion.
An editor I met suggested a GREAT book: 20 Master Plots and How to Build Them. SOOOO good!
With my memoir, I had the same problem. I approached it with COMPLETE honesty and candidness. I talk about sex, abortion, rape... but the book isn't filled with that. BUT the book was spirit-led.
I believed AND STILL BELIEVE that it was something that I was CALLED to do. The things I talk about are things that NEEDED to get out in order to help and deliver other people. And if it's TRULY spirit-led, your writing will get to who needs to have it.
But from an editor's/agent's standpoint, he said if you're trying to get published TRADITIONALLY, it's always advisable to stay away from EXTREME issues. But if you still feel a passion about those themes, try couching them around fictional characters. That way it will be easier to receive by your audience.
And it okay, in my humble opinion, to jolt people, from time to time with truth and reality. Too many people are livin' behind a shroud of fantasy... immune and out of touch... in la la land.
Thanks, Veronica. I want to make sure I give her an accurate portrayal, as it does affect how she reacts to some people. But it's not all that made her who she is, or who she was. Funnily enough it's more about how her friend reacts to the news
It might not be a bad idea either, to work with maybe a developmental editor, a critique parter, or take a workshop or two--somewhere with people who are seasoned in their craft so you can bounce ideas off of.
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