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Important Writing Questions

one year ago

Finally a writing question that all CYSers can answer!

https://www.quora.com/In-fiction-can-my-hero-be-a-former-rapist

Discuss!

Important Writing Questions

one year ago

My own answer is yes, but I think a bigger challenge is to write a hero that’s a current rapist.

Important Writing Questions

one year ago
Oh, for sure. But I think there's a niche audience that would have no problem reading about a protagonist that only rapes other rapists though.

Pro Tip: You will not find that audience on Cog.

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one year ago
Somebody needs to take that article to COG and see what their feelings are on the matter.

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3 months ago

I've actually been toying around for awhile with the idea of a story where the protagonist is a serial killer that only kills other serial killers. (Kind of like Dexter I guess but... Dexter seemed to be doing it as more as an outlet for his own sadistic tendencies, whereas my character is motivated more by the need for complete and utter and (in her own mind) just revenge.)

That said, I would like to propose a fan theory to all you Dexter Fans out there... My personal theory is that the TV show "Dexter" is actually a sequel to the old Cartoon Network kids show "Dexter's Lab". His sister Deedee (aka Debra) finally broke one too many of his inventions and the poor kid totally snapped! cheeky

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3 months ago
There are not nearly enough serial killers out there to support this premise, no matter what Dexter would have you think. After a certain point it would get a little ridiculous.

Maybe he could just kill wife beaters or child abusers or something, but I don't think anyone would feel that that's pushing any envelopes as far as complex morality goes. Even if they're not actually killers themselves they're still the kind of people readers would enjoy seeing get rekt no matter how they'd feel about the situation IRL.

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3 months ago

Maybe he only kills black criminals.

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3 months ago

Well, my protagonist's mindset is "Let the punishment fit the crime." So if it was a rapist or a pedophile, she probably wouldn't kill them. She'd be extremely kind and merciful and settle for just chopping off their dicks. Problem solved! cheeky

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3 months ago
oh noooooo, I misgendered

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3 months ago

Shame on you mizal! Shame! angry

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdM0UBOAv2Q

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3 months ago

That sounds like a very similar concept to death note actually. Except that the protagonist in death note had a magical book from hell in which the name of any person written in it would die. He could even specify in detail about how and where the victim was supposed to die. The whole story revolved around detectives trying to catch this mysterious serial killer who left absolutely no evidence whatsoever, though he only used the book to kill criminals and such and overtime considered himself to be some sort of god or overlord, so yes, a psychotic murderer in the end.

 

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3 months ago
It's not at all similar to Death Note. Get out of here weeb, go back to your hole.

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3 months ago

I LOVED Death Note! L is probably my favourite anime character of all time... Yeah, that's right, I'm a weeb. Deal with it. cheeky

I really think they missed an opportunity with Light though, because I think a character in that kind of situation has the potential to be a genuine hero, and I feel like it would've been cooler if he'd started out a hero with good intentions, and then gradually got more and more evil as the show progressed... But nope. They gave him one episode where he seemed like a decent guy, and at the end of the episode, he goes, "I SHALL BECOME THE GOD OF THE NEW WORLD!!!" Like... Pretty much every other anime villain in history.

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3 months ago
I mean yeah they did start him out with good intentions, just, threw that out the window and have him go over to the dark side pretty much immediately. Somebody just thought it made for better TV that way I suppose.

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3 months ago

I think they just wanted to show that power corrupts anyone, no matter how noble their intentions might be.

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3 months ago

Yeah, but that's why I think it would've been better if they'd done it gradually. Power does corrupt, but it doesn't happen over night. A decent guy doesn't win the lottery and then go "Mwahahah! I'm evil now!" as soon as the money goes in his account. cheeky

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3 months ago

Lol, yeah exactly. I had huge expectations from Light and always hoped for him to improve, but the way he treated Misa was just...  The manga/anime series sort of lost it’s flair after L’s death though, the story became very bland after that event.

 

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3 months ago

RIP in peace. crying

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one year ago
Only if he raped evil people, bonus if he still does.

I can name three hentai heroes who are also rapists right of the bat

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one year ago
Easier to pull off in fantasy or in historical or dystopian fiction IMO. People expect modern protags to have at least somewhat modern sensibilities to be relateable, unless you're just going full on villain as protagonist sort of thing or someone entirely dysfunctional.

Well, many people now expect all protagonists no matter where they're coming from to be paragons of modern day first world social sensitivity and justice and would rather 'problematic' subjects not be included in fiction at all (can't have fiction creating emotions or troubling thoughts! That's not what it's for!) but, those people are idiots.

E: Actually, misread the question a bit so disregard what I said about modern settings. Former rapist is easy to do if we're going by current definitions of rape. Actual violent or intentional rape is tougher to do but I could see it happening if the protag had a history as a gang member or in prison or is from a shithole country or was just an idiot teenager...really a lot of possibilities there.

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one year ago

Wuthering Heights was a shitty book for desperate housewives written by an even more pathetic housewife, and since it's an example in what you asked us to discuss, this counts as what you asked for. Shitty, fuck awful book with no substance behind its weak attempt at a story.

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3 months ago

I loved Wuthering Heights! ^_^

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one year ago

Okay, so also related:

Recently was reading one of those “RPG Horror Story” sessions, and the setting was one where Nazis took over the world.

One guy was playing some pansexual Jewish dude in the resistance and he would go out of his way to rape Nazis that they captured and would go into graphic detail about how he was violating them and chopping them up, etc. Generally torture/rape porn level I guess. Made the dude telling the story uncomfortable. For whatever reason, he didn’t rape Nazi women, just the men since I guess that would be “too far.” (And something about needing to emasculate the men via RAPE)

Anyway, the tipping point was the character raping one of the guard dogs as part of the torture which at that point the guy fled the table and never played with them again.

Now with this example, is the character still a hero? (Obviously the real person playing said character is a degenerate living out some gay power fantasy, but that’s a different subject)

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one year ago
Not a hero, far too sexist. He literally considers dogs to have more moral agency than women it would appear.

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one year ago
Nah, the character is just another degenerate too.

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3 months ago

Noooo! Not the puppy! surprise

I mean, rape as many Nazis as you want and have fun... But leave the poor puppies out of it! crying

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one year ago
Like I said in the chat, this sort of reminded me that I have a bunch of short stories in collections from those old Fantasy & Science fiction magazines. And damn did authors back then love their rape.

I wouldn't have time now but at once point I was considering transcribing a few for the forum. (Before I remembered that none of you like to read.) I mean, not BECAUSE of the rape, but there's a lot of obscure hack work from authors who went on to be famous that I'm not sure can be found anywhere else.

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one year ago
Please do this.

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one year ago

I don't get why rape in entertainment is so taboo. 

There are plenty of attempted murder victims but nobody's pausing to show murder for their sake.

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one year ago

If it's done well, I guess so.

As long as the story isn't just the protagonist raping people, thinking about people they raped in the past, and rape in general.

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one year ago
I mean it really depends on the audience too. You could write that story, slap it on a porn site, and have it be lauded as a masterpiece. Add some rudimentary game elements and make everyone a pansexual furry with three rows of DD tits and a 15 inch dong and watch the money roll in. (You get to count it all in Hell.)

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one year ago

It should be. Totally. You know how much money they could make? Make that bank, son! Open up a Patreon and profit off the sickness of the masses. Feed the children who will nourish you in turn. Use that money to donate to rape relief charity. 

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one year ago

Seems like there's a lot of places a story like that could go.

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one year ago

Why not!

Is it a moral quandary? I like to draw picture on mspaint of anime character murdering each other and vaping during lectures, and I've never taken up the lifestyle of a murdering vapist. People do it all the time in fanfiction. It's an entire kink. They could make money off of this! Oh my God! They should become a crappy light novel author and profit off of a really niche genre involving sympathetic non-con and make that bank. We should follow in example.

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6 months ago

Well some people had a BIG argument in Mizal's Discord about writing rape in a story and if it was bad or not.

Axiom said it was bad, but said you could go ahead and do it. Malk sided with her.

Coins was pro-rape and stuck to his guns about currently writing his pro-rape story. Looking forward to reading it.

Since I didn't bother back reading, I'm not sure if Steve weighed in on this topic, but the general consensus was that he'd argue with Axiom and be a douchebag whether he was actually pro-rape or not.

Also defined tasteful rape as writing rape in such a way that its important to the plot/story and not for shock value. Mizal's Date Rape story is the best example of this.

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6 months ago
I still love the answer linked in the OP. "A Dexter-type approach would not work for rape."

Confessing now I've never actually watched Dexter but my understanding is that would be about a rapist going around raping rapists?

Hell, I'd read it.

I also hope that Coins' pro-rape story does well, perhaps his passion for rape will finally be the motivation he needs to realize his full potential.

Potential for what, I don't know.

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6 months ago

What was anyone's reason for not writing about rape?

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6 months ago

Axiom said something about it being unnecessary and exploitative and ultimately you shouldn’t write anything deliberately triggering unless you’re attempting to explore a deeper meaning behind it rather than writing “RAPE LOL.”

I think she also said something about it being a lazy way of making bad guys seem even worse and something about a lot of female readers that are going to find it off putting. She also went into some feminist stuff along with media violence being bad in general.

Oh and it makes you look like an edgelord.

Or if you are going to write that sort of thing, you should just say “I don’t give a shit who I offend. RAPE LOL.” and be done with it.

Which is ultimately what coins should have just said when he was writing his pro-rape story in the first place.

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6 months ago

Ugh, that's retarded. By that standard, why write about characters who torture or abused? It's offensive to those who've been through that. You might as well just bar off any immoral actions being portrayed and waste the majority of literature because you think that something becomes unnecessary just because it's a dark and disturbing topic. 

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6 months ago
True it's just necessary sometimes, for instance how can you tell a bad guy is bad unless they rape someone the main character cares about

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6 months ago

I'm clearly not saying that you have to rely on rape. But if the bad guy is capable of doing anything that causes harm to anyone, or anything that could offend something or be unnecessary, you're severely limiting the medium.

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6 months ago
I understand that argument, as I've seen plenty of bad authors do exactly that. Personally I have the same issue with excessive gore though. If a story is badly written and the "edginess" contributes nothing to the characters or plot, it comes off like a middle schooler screaming "Look, sex and violence! Look how mature I am!" That, however, does not mean that those subjects cannot be done well. I feel like a lot of people hate it for the same reason people here hate Warrior Cats. Yes, in theory, somebody could write an engaging and powerful story revolving around magical kittens... but there's so much crap out there that the subject becomes distasteful in and of itself.

I think it can be used as a cheap tactic and is quite frequently, but I have no issue with it from a moral/writing standpoint if it's done well.

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6 months ago
So what you're trying to say is that you're pretty contemptuous of anything written by Endmaster, Steve, or Malk.

No need to dance around that, just come out with it, it's okay.

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6 months ago
Not particularly. I enjoy a lot of Endmaster's material. I don't really care for Steve's writing style, but I hold no contempt for his work. Hell, he's got more experience and is likely a better author than I am.
As for Malk, I can't really say anything as I haven't read anything from him recently aside from forum posts.

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6 months ago

I'll tear out your womb and feed it to you, you bitch.

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6 months ago
Honestly dude, go for it. I was dumb enough to enter a contest while going to school full-time and having two jobs (and a concussion). I deserve death at this point.

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6 months ago

Just to be clear; this story has rape in it but is not "pro-rape" in any way. 

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6 months ago

As long as it adds to the story, it should be fine. It's not something I would personally put in a story.

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6 months ago

I meant to bring this up when he died, but this rape thread seems like a good place to do it since it has something to do with womyn and aggressive breeding practices.

If you’re familiar with A Boy and His Dog, its basically a post apocalyptic story about a protagonist going about trying to survive with his telepathic dog. Along the way he also isn’t above trying to rape women in the process. He’s not exactly a villain protagonist, but he’s definitely not a hero.

In any case, he encounters a woman that he’s trying to get some sex from and gets into a whole wacky adventure with her since she leads him to some fucked up underground society where they want to milk his man juices to create more babies. (They hook him up to a machine rather than the old fashioned fun way)

Eventually he escapes with the girl who has a change of heart and makes it back to the surface. Though his dog has been waiting faithfully on the surface is starving to death and he needs food.

The protagonist, not wishing to have his dog die he kills the girl and feeds her to the dog.

Now in the book the last bit has the protagonist reflecting on his hard choice and wondering about his fee fees and he’s remembering her earlier question “Do you know what love is?” and the answer is “A boy loves his dog.”

Yes, yes, very thoughtful.

Of course in the movie, they went for a joke instead, and while the protagonist is talking to his dog about how it wasn’t his fault that the girl fell in love with him and then the dog says something like she had good judgement, but not particularly good taste. And then they laugh while walking into the sunset.

Yes, yes, very amusing.

Cheap bad jokes aside, the author Harlan Ellison HATED this change in dialogue, which he ended up calling hateful, moronic and chauvinistic.

Um, what?

Okay I get as a writer, him getting pissed about any changes to his original vision, that’s natural, but apparently other than that line he didn’t mind the movie.

What I never understood is why he got so pissy about the last jokey line being "hateful towards women" when this was a guy who wrote about a protagonist that had no problems with sexual assault to get his rocks off and ultimately killed a woman to feed his dog.

How the fuck was the story NOT sexist to begin with if we’re going by the whole “progressive” mindset?

In any case Harlan was routinely an asshole towards women (well everyone really), so just never understood his stance on that minor thing.

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6 months ago
>How the fuck was the story NOT sexist to begin with if we’re going by the whole “progressive” mindset?

Really I don't think many stories written prior to the late/mid 90s can pass muster, especially genre stuff like fantasy and sci-fi. The whole attitude of 'rape should never be mentioned, ever, in any context' is a pretty recent one. Hell there's been plenty of stuff where the protagonist themselves is a rapist so Harlan's not really alone there even though he is a more legendary asshole than most of his contemporaries.

Don't really have time to make an effort post here but while writing often does and should tackle things that may make readers strongly feel negative emotions, but the problem people have with rAeP it particular is how often a subject that genuinely disturbs people and may continue to long after they stop reading is thrown in for shock value or used as a crutch because the writer can't be bothered to think of anything else. It's cheap and manipulative. Maybe someone like Steve would understand better if tons of fiction contained unnecessary scenes of a protagonist's puppy being tortured in place of all the raped girlfriends.

But I still wouldn't tell anyone NOT to include it so much as just that they should stop and ask themselves why they are and if they really need to and if it's something that tonally fits their story in the first place. It's just one of those subjects that people feel Very Strongly about and it's pretty easy to fuck up and will likely lead to you pissing someone off even if you're trying your best to handle it sensitively. (If pissing people off is your goal, obviously disregard this.)

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6 months ago

Oh by the way, recently realized I pretty much have at least one rape scene or implication of rape in all but one of my stories.

So I figure I'm doing something right.

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6 months ago
But how many stories do you have a guy cooking hot dogs on the opposite side of the street of a slaughterhouse and an animal cruelty protest?

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6 months ago

Sadly, I will never excel in the animal cruelty department so I have to make up all my edgelord points with all the other stuff instead.

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6 months ago
We all have our weaknesses.

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6 months ago

I've played Necromancer and Death Song and don't remember rape in either one.

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6 months ago

Those ones are more on the "mentioned in passing" scale.

Death Song has a scene where some demons just got finished raping and killing some folks and talking about it before the bard stumbles on them when he's fleeing the first major conflict at Aftermath.

In Necromancer, well that's sort of how his father met his mother. He just fucked up and fell in love. I mean I've gotten a direct complaint about that one in the comment section (Right up there with lesbians complaining about the rug munching reference).

Not to mention it's mentioned that before he met her, his Chimera Company was a whole lot worse with the whole pillaging and raping bit.

In any case I'm counting them since at least a few members labor under the belief that I'm gleefully writing stories with rape scene after rape scene. I'd hate to ruin such an image.

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6 months ago

what about counter-rape?  if someone is raping you, and you jiu jitsu yourself out of it, and then you start raping them in retaliation, is that illegal? is it immoral? 

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6 months ago

It's hot

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6 months ago

It is in fact illegal.

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6 months ago
It would really have changed that one scene in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

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3 months ago

Since we've all agreed that a hero can be a former rapist (or even a current one) Next up, can a hero be a racist?

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3 months ago

My own answer is yes of course.

If anything it's easier to write a racist hero than a rapey one.

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3 months ago
Well obviously. A whole load of some pretty great classic fiction would qualify, almost anything with a believable historical setting, plus pretty much all fantasy and a lot of sci fi.

Agreed with End too that it'd be way easier to write a normal character with that as a side trait than 'normal character who happens to be a rapist' for sure, especially now that everyone is obsessed with grey morality.

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3 months ago

Yes.  As long as it isn't acted, racism is not somehow worse than other flaws.  My neighbor is not somehow worse than I am just because she has some racist beliefs.  Everyone has flaws, and if an opinion is bad enough to make a character a villain, he should be expected to have perfect behavior too.   

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3 months ago

I've seen this done well in Mass Effect (but Ashley's only racist against aliens, so I don't know if that counts.) cheeky

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3 months ago
I assume you meant 'shouldn't be expected' there, but yes, racism is entirely in the mind and would have to go beyond 'thought crime' levels to have much of an impact on a story or character.

Unless the story is about a polite person going through the day being friendly and helpful, while thinking horrible slurs at everyone they meet. Which would be pretty hilarious actually.

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3 months ago
Even a villain can be heroic in some capacities. See Darth Vader.

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3 months ago

LMAO. Funnily enough, one of the main 2 reasons I came back is because of exactly this. I asked a similar question to the staff at CoG and the answer was pretty much, "If we think it has artistic merit, then we will defend it, but from what I have seen in the Lawless Ones, my expectation is that you will not be able to write this content in a way that we'd be willing to publish. So if this is essential to your story, then you should find another outlet for the story." ... And the question wasn't even "Can a character be a former rapist?" It was much, MUCH tamer than that. It was... ... ... Well, I can't really say. Spoilers. cheeky

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3 months ago
Was it, "I have a character who once heard the word rape?" Oh, or even worse, "Can I have a character who only wants to have herto sex instead of being bi?"

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3 months ago

Umm... Let's just say, it doesn't break the HG rules of "it mustn't be grossly offensive or glorify rape" But... Even so, I can still understand why they would be reluctant to publish it. (Obviously GooglePlay and the AppStore can pull a game if they don't think it's suitable... And this may very well be the case with mine.)

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3 months ago

For fuck's sake, these are the same faggots that defend plagiarism. They wouldn't know fucking "artistic merit" if it raped them in the face.

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3 months ago

To answer the question though... I've seen a movie called The Woodsman that is actually about a former pedophile right after he is released from prison. The story is about his rehabilitation and poses the question to the audience, "Can an evil person change?"

Here's the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7SjEfXP-gQ

Personally, I think this film is absolutely amazing and I think there should be more like it. I absolutely hated the character at points, but I found that, more often than not, I was very sympathetic towards him. The character understood that what he'd done was completely evil and unforgivable, and was doing everything he could to make sure that he never did anything like that again. I think the world needs films like this because, sadly, there are former rapists on the streets, and we probably walk past them every day. People like that need to know (and be actively encouraged) that they CAN and SHOULD do everything in their power to change.

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3 months ago

Weird film, that one. They even had an active molestor as the villain.

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3 months ago

Yeah, I like the bit where the ex-pedo beats the shit out of the current pedo... Still, couldn't stand the bit before that where the guy finds out the little girl he's perving on is pretty much being molested by her father, and in the super climatic, heroic turning of the tide ending, the guy decides not to molest the little girl and instead tells her to go home... You know... Home... To her father... Who we have just established is a massive pedo... Dude? WTF is wrong with you? Call the fucking police! >.<

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3 months ago

There's sort of a theory bounced around that some of that stuff might have been going on in his head. Like a whole "inner struggle" thing and those people like the little girl, the other pedo, and even the black officer didn't really exist.

I don't really buy into the theory though I guess its another way to look at the movie.

As a side note, sort of amusing that the pedo villain was into little boys because the only thing worse than a straight pedo is obviously a GAY pedo. Lol.

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3 months ago

Just realized, coins still hasn't written his pro-rape story yet.

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3 months ago

Writing a story with rape in it does not equate it being pro-rape. 

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3 months ago
To a much lesser degree, the 2000s movie Crash touched on this with the cop who was molesting women. The man was heroic and monstrous.

Could such a story with a former rapist being a hero exist? Probably. I've never seen it, though. It would take an extraordinarily redeeming act and reform for me to consider such a person a hero.

As far as a current rapist, that seems too much of a stretch.

All of this applies only to fiction. In real life, I don't think I could ever think that way about any sort of rapist.

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3 months ago
If you like movies at all you've probably enjoyed and appreciated the efforts of all kinds of creeps and rapists over the years. Very well paid ones, too.

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3 months ago
Money certainly doesn’t make you moral.

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3 months ago

The cop in Crash was more of an example of a racist hero than a rapey one since he only groped the light skinned chick for giggles while he was generally a jerk towards the black folks all the time.

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3 months ago
Why settle for just one? He's rapey AND racist.

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3 months ago

He's Racipey! ^_^

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3 months ago

Yeah, I sure as hell never warmed to the rapey cop. Even at the end, where he saves the woman he molested, I was like... Nope. Not good enough cheeky

I think in a fantasy setting though, a guy like this could be easy to sympathize with. Like in the article... Say it was set in a Game of Thrones type world, and the protagonist was a soldier who fought in some epic battle and was a celebrated war hero. During the war, he burned houses to the ground, killed every man, woman and child that got in his way, and raped a woman after the battle because... You know... "All my friends were doing it!"

30 years later, the soldier is retired, married with 3 children and trying to live a good life and be a good man. But even after all those years, his mind is plagued with guilt for the woman he raped, and he thinks about it every single day. He feels as though this moment in his life defines who he is as a human being and nothing he does in the future will ever make up for it... Now that's a kind of character I can see an audience having sympathy for. ^_^

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3 months ago
In the 80s, fantasy stories with rapists protags were not only common, but cool and good.

Also being plagued with guilt for the woman he raped, but not her entire family he probably murdered right in front of her seems pretty weird and likely only a thought process our current culture could produce!

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3 months ago

Makes sense to me, I mean... When you're a soldier, you do have to kill people, so all of the innocent people he killed could be put down to, "It was my duty. I was just following orders." But then, I'm pretty sure that rape isn't in the soldier's job description. It's the only thing he wouldn't be able to justify.

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3 months ago

I dunno, enacting an “aggressive breeding” program to better assimilate the existing population/culture might be part of a conqueror's plans.

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3 months ago
Rape and pillage is the job description of a Viking raider. They had last Viking raiders too.

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3 months ago
I agree, I never warmed up to him, either. Reminded me too much of Zed from Pulp Fiction. And we know what ended up happening to him.

Zed's dead, baby.

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3 months ago

Indiana Jones was a statutory rapist that routinely fought the Nazis (and savage Indian cults) and he's a hero.

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3 months ago
Those were college girls.

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3 months ago
Marion Ravenwood was supposed to have been 15 when they began the relationship. End is right, but not many statutory rapists can be half as cool as Indiana Jones so this is more of an exception rather than a rule.

Plus that didn't even raise eyebrows in a movie in the 80s so for the characters in the 20s I'm sure it was fine.

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3 months ago
Bah, novelization isn’t canon.

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3 months ago

From the movie:

"I was a child! I was in love! It was wrong and you knew it!" - Metoo Marion

"You knew what you were doing." Indiana Jailbait Enthusiast

In any case, it is true that Indy is the exception, but he's still a former rapist hero.

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3 months ago
Are you suggesting that women never exaggerate or forget the facts? Indy ain’t got no time for setting the record straight.

Cough, Sansa.

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3 months ago

I mean Marion is exaggerating that she was a “child” given that she was a teenager rather than a prepubescent and yeah she had to have SOME idea of what she was doing, but given that Indy was like in his late 20s along with being a professor, it’s pretty apparent he was taking advantage of the situation.

Again though this doesn’t really sour my perception of Indy, I still like the character.

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3 months ago

I mean, Indie doesn't disagree that she was a child or she was young, he's just like "You made a choice". It's hardly like he disagrees with the facts, more he considers her to have been old enough.

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23 days ago

Coins, you still haven't written that pro-rape story of yours and there are two contest going on where you might have a shot at actually placing.

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23 days ago

Currently busy with midterm papers and tests. Not sure when I will able to have time for writing.