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Old 08-08-2012, 11:28 PM   #101
kkbe
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RJLeahy: Some find any BDSM tale (even lightly treated as in 50 shades), to be demeaning to woman.

Every book finds an audience. Yours will too.
But I have to say, CHERRY isn't BDSM, it's. . .

It's more this than anything--

“I think it’s always love.” I remember when he said that, then he smiled at me with that lopsided grin of his. He’s so endearing when he does that. Then he said,

“What do you think, Mr. B.?”

“I don’t know,” I said. “I’d like to think it’s always about love, but. . .”

“But if it isn’t love, that would mean that everything we do is just. . .that nothing matters, but it has to matter. . .”

I waited.

“Because if it didn’t, what would be, um. . .”

I smiled. “I think I know what you’re trying to say. It’s human nature to want to love and be loved, but people are imperfect, so—”

“So, they mess up,” he finished.

“That’s right.”

“But they have to keep trying,” he added.

I whispered, “Remember that on December 15, Steve,” and the kid whispered back, “I will, if you remember it on my birthday.”

Rule 5: Keep your promises. It’s your birthday, Steve. I remembered, but now I’m afraid to open my eyes. I won’t be able to bear it if I open my eyes and you’re not there. I can’t do it.

Yes, you can. Open your eyes.

Do you know what I wish? I wish that I’d open my eyes and see you standing there smiling like that, and you’d say, “So, do you like your Christmas surprise, Mr. Bee?” and I’d start bawling and you’d say, “Aren’t you happy to see me? Oh, I bet you need to process this first, right?” I swear to God, you’re killing me, Steve. You’re killing me and you’re not even here.

Are you?

Last edited by kkbe; 08-08-2012 at 11:36 PM.
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:07 AM   #102
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No, I wasn't comparing the two, just stating that there are many things people find objection to and those that do, will simply avoid the subject matter. Others readers though, won't have the same problems.
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Old 08-09-2012, 06:58 AM   #103
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RJLeahy: I wasn't comparing the two, just stating that there are many things people find objection to and those that do, will simply avoid the subject matter. Others readers though, won't have the same problems.
I know, I know. I've done this and done this, defended my novel. Second nature, maybe. I know what you were saying, I plucked that to make a point. . .or try to. Not a good idea. I have to stop doing that. My novel will speak for itself, I don't have to and I shouldn't try.

I apologize to you RJ, for using your comments to promote my own misguided agenda, when I should have been telling you, Thank you very kindly for taking an interest in this thread, and taking the time to thoughtfully respond, not once, but twice.
I'm telling you now.
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From CHERRY:
Quote:
At 1:22 a.m., the characters said:
“Um, how does fifty bucks sound? Oh, I forgot, you need to process this first, right?”
“No, Cherry. I need to kiss your mouth first.”
/my little blog/
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Old 09-23-2012, 01:06 PM   #104
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I'm very late to this conversation, but I appreciate the sentiment of your story kkbe. My WIP has similar themes - rape and sexual abuse within a marriage, feelings akin to Stockholm Syndrome. These things happen every day. Your beta readers' outrage and misplaced offense at what you've written doesn't change that fact. What you're writing about is life and the incredible conflicts of human behaviour and emotion and that, to me, is the point of literary fiction.
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Old 09-23-2012, 06:34 PM   #105
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Quote:
annaspargoryan: What you're writing about is life and the incredible conflicts of human behaviour and emotion and that, to me, is the point of literary fiction.
Perhaps it is. I'm not saying CHERRY is literary fiction, but it is a story that peeks into one man's psyche, to the extent he allows us to peek, and what we see is an imperfect person.

Just like the rest of us.
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From CHERRY:
Quote:
At 1:22 a.m., the characters said:
“Um, how does fifty bucks sound? Oh, I forgot, you need to process this first, right?”
“No, Cherry. I need to kiss your mouth first.”
/my little blog/
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Old 09-23-2012, 11:03 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by HoneyBadger View Post
I'm more nervous about their continued relationship post-rape than the rape itself. Regardless of how well you handle it, there will *always* be people who think you're justifying rape/abuse.
Yeah. This. I wouldn't put it down out-of-hand because the kid still loves the guy, but if they end up together in the end...? That would have to be handled in some way I'm not currently able to imagine for me to not walk away really fucking angry with that book.

I want to feel angry in the middle of a book. By the end, I want that to be superseded by hope. People staying with their rapists does not make me feel hope. It makes me feel like curling into a little ball and avoiding the world forever.

That's my personal viewpoint on endings. I realise there are people who feel other ways. But yeah. That would be my concern.
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:53 AM   #107
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Okay, Emmett. HoneyBadger is right, there will be people who think I'm justifying rape in my novel, even if they never read it. Perhaps there will be other folks who reserve judgement until after they've read it.

Perhaps one day you'll be in that latter category, Emmett. I hope so. Thank you for your comments.

-kkbe
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From CHERRY:
Quote:
At 1:22 a.m., the characters said:
“Um, how does fifty bucks sound? Oh, I forgot, you need to process this first, right?”
“No, Cherry. I need to kiss your mouth first.”
/my little blog/

Last edited by kkbe; 09-24-2012 at 01:08 PM. Reason: i.e.e.
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Old 10-29-2012, 12:16 PM   #108
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I actually searched AW for this, because I remembered reading this thread some time ago and wanted to find out if it was ever picked up. I would read this. I don't know how I'd feel about it, and I'd have to be in the right frame of mind to take it on, but damn, I would read this book, because I want to know what you ultimately say about these characters.
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:26 PM   #109
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Well, jessicarabica, that's good to know. In fact, that warms my cockles.



In all seriousness now, I feel good about this novel. It's ultimately about love, I said that before. For a while there, in this thread, I tried to explain/defend my characters, their motivations, their choices. I'm not doing that anymore. They can speak for themselves.
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From CHERRY:
Quote:
At 1:22 a.m., the characters said:
“Um, how does fifty bucks sound? Oh, I forgot, you need to process this first, right?”
“No, Cherry. I need to kiss your mouth first.”
/my little blog/

Last edited by kkbe; 10-30-2012 at 12:12 AM.
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:47 PM   #110
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Have you seen the movie American History X? Absolutely amazing film. Main character (Edward Norton) is a skinhead. In the first 10 minutes of the movie, he kills an African American guy. Then throughout the movie, you get flashbacks of him doing all sorts of horrible things.

By the end of the movie, you actually forgive him for everything and are heartbroken.

Why? I don't want to write down any spoilers, so I will only say that you can make a horrible act less horrible by giving the character a valid reason for doing what he does. If you haven't seen the movie, watch it. It's violent, it's raw and it's brilliant. And maybe it will help you understand how it all depends on how you approach things when "excusing" your character.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:45 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by NewKidOldKid View Post
Have you seen the movie American History X? Absolutely amazing film. Main character (Edward Norton) is a skinhead. In the first 10 minutes of the movie, he kills an African American guy. Then throughout the movie, you get flashbacks of him doing all sorts of horrible things.

By the end of the movie, you actually forgive him for everything and are heartbroken.

Why? I don't want to write down any spoilers, so I will only say that you can make a horrible act less horrible by giving the character a valid reason for doing what he does. If you haven't seen the movie, watch it. It's violent, it's raw and it's brilliant. And maybe it will help you understand how it all depends on how you approach things when "excusing" your character.
It sounds like an interesting movie and perhaps one day I'll watch it. Thanks for the tip.

However, you assume I need help understanding, uh, what you said there. I understand, but that's not the gist of my novel.

Appreciate your comments.
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From CHERRY:
Quote:
At 1:22 a.m., the characters said:
“Um, how does fifty bucks sound? Oh, I forgot, you need to process this first, right?”
“No, Cherry. I need to kiss your mouth first.”
/my little blog/
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:43 AM   #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkbe View Post
It sounds like an interesting movie and perhaps one day I'll watch it. Thanks for the tip.

However, you assume I need help understanding, uh, what you said there. I understand, but that's not the gist of my novel.

Appreciate your comments.
Actually, I didn't mean you need help. I meant the readers. If your (beta) readers are complaining about the character, maybe it's just that his motivations/actions are not coming across the right way. When you do it right, even the worst character can turn out to be "acceptable."
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:52 PM   #113
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Thanks for writing back. The main issue with betas (some, not all) was that my mc was too unlikeable at the beginning. I took their comments/suggestions to heart and made some revisions.

As for the rape, I asked them if they thought it might be a dealbreaker, as I asked the AW community in this thread. General concensus: maybe, for some readers. They said, You need to decide if you're willing to accept the fact that some people won't like your novel if you keep it as is. Some may call you out on it, trash it, even, because your mc doesn't die or suffer a slow and painful death. . .

Yeah, I know.

Thanks again for the clarification, NKOK.
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From CHERRY:
Quote:
At 1:22 a.m., the characters said:
“Um, how does fifty bucks sound? Oh, I forgot, you need to process this first, right?”
“No, Cherry. I need to kiss your mouth first.”
/my little blog/
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:22 PM   #114
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I'm kinda late in this thread, but I found your question and thoughts interesting.

I wouldn't change the story on a couple of beta readers' accounts. I haven't read your work (my hubby's beta-reading it, but I should take a look at it too ), but what you've told about it in this thread... I wouldn't change it unless I wasn't satisfied with my vision myself. There will always, always be people who won't get it. You can think about the backgrounds or personalities of your beta readers too. Maybe they weren't the right audience? (you might find this irrelevant, but... were they men or women, or both?). Not saying you should ignore them, but it's good to maintain one's artistic integrity. American Psycho enraged a lot of people, but perhaps even more considered it something of a masterpiece.

This is an important subject anyway. Just recently this stuff was all over Finnish media as a super popular soap opera we have here depicted a male raping a male (not gratuoisly or anything), and the purpose was to discuss sexual violence between men. But to a small number of viewers this was too much (some mothers worried about their kids). It's good to break taboos and raise questions about certain phenomena in our culture(s).
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:20 PM   #115
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K, thank you for your comments. Interesting that you brought up gender of my beta readers, all were males until just recently. Yes, I'm satisfied with the rape scene as written. I don't forsee changing it at this point. I know, there will be some people who won't abide the story because of the rape, or because my mc has a relationship with a young man, or because that young man earns his living as a male prostitute, or because my mc, a college professor, has sex with a female student, or because there's a smattering of fellatio and a bit of bondage, or because my mc guzzles Bacardi and enjoys the occasional joint. . .

Roseanne Roseannadanna was right: "It's always something, Jane."

And yes K, you should read it, too. I know, I'm shameless.
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From CHERRY:
Quote:
At 1:22 a.m., the characters said:
“Um, how does fifty bucks sound? Oh, I forgot, you need to process this first, right?”
“No, Cherry. I need to kiss your mouth first.”
/my little blog/

Last edited by kkbe; 12-11-2012 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:00 PM   #116
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Okay, I'm not sure if the sex of the beta reader matters, just curious.
I'll give the story a go when I have more time, I'm in the middle of an exam week, so I have to read school books -_-
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