|Keep Hoping Machine Running (thefourthvine) wrote,|
@ 2009-07-24 11:08 pm UTC
WARNING: I wrote this same story five years ago, except then it was Clark/Lex and now it's Kirk/Spock. It's also been Angel/Buffy and Holmes/Watson. It's just my area of interest! I even recycled a lot of the sentences from the first two rape scenes, so you know what the really specially interesting parts are.
WARNING: I am going to use a tragedy that would normally be the main focus of any story in which it occurred (death of a child, death of a family, death of an entire race or culture, whatever) as a mechanism for getting my pairing to fuck. I am pretty sure that makes it more dramatic and arty. I don't actually intend to address any of the probable outcomes of this tragedy, like sadness, say, or maybe even some anger. It's just background tragedy. It's the kind of thing that is really seriously awful but people forget it and they are entirely all right as soon as they have some sex with the right person.
WARNING: There's a lot more to this story, but I didn't feel like writing it. Or any plot or characterization or anything, really. Mostly I just wrote "cock" a lot.
WARNING: All dialogue sounds the same to me.
WARNING: The content of this story is going to take an abrupt left turn midway through, and I'm going to attempt to keep the tone the same, so you're going to end up with, say, a story about rape told in a light romantic-comedy style. Whiplash is probable.
WARNING: I don't really have any plot left, but I wanted to write another story in this series because it turns out I didn't get to talk about their Christmas presents! It's going to be a very traditional Christmas, even though one of my characters is a Jew and the other isn't from this galaxy.
There are other warnings I'd like to see, too.
WARNING: Scenery Chewing by People Who Are Normally on a Scenery-Free Diet
See, okay. I would like to introduce a new concept that has probably been discussed a million times before but not by me and I am ranting and ranting means no searching through several dozen years of meta before posting.
This concept is: emotional range.
It is very convenient for us that terrible things usually happen to our characters in canon! (We will address what to do if terrible things don't happen to your characters in canon in a minute.) This gives us some idea how they will react to any terrible things we might do to them. (And, frankly, we do a lot of terrible things to them, but we also make sure they have lots of blowjobs. Perhaps it balances out?)
I realize this does not sound radical to most of you, but trust me, it is.
So, take Jack O'Neill. He's an especially convenient case, because the worst thing that could possibly happen to him has already happened, and we know exactly how he reacted. No, that thing is not Daniel's death(s); it's Charlie's. The entire planet could explode and not be worse than that. So his response to Charlie's death could be considered a ten on his emotional range. Probably everything - everything - else that happens to him, up to and including the end of the world, should be no higher than an eight.
Or, let me put this another way, for people who didn't like number lines: if Jack survived Charlie's death - and he did! - he's unlikely to fall down weeping and cutting himself in the gateroom if Daniel breaks up with him.
Or let's take reboot Spock, who doesn't have a kid and did see his entire world blow up. And his mother die right in front of him. Spock's reaction to that was, as I understand it, to get grim-faced, and then later beat the shit out of Kirk. (And I have to say, based on the footage I've seen, that Kirk did not precisely seem to mind.) Again, falling down weeping on the bridge if he breaks a nail is really unlikely. Unless you, say, shoot him up with some kind of massive inhibition-reducing virus (And has anyone done a challenge of redoing TOS eps in the reboot universe? Because if so, I want to see a MILLION RESPONSES for The Naked Time, which happens to be the only TOS ep I've seen and so very worth it.), Spock is not going to spend a lot of time sobbing into his pillow. (Which is good, because crying Vulcans are very bad for morale. In fact, I'm betting the Enterprise's alert scale goes something like this: yellow alert, orange alert, red alert, oh shit we're all fucked alert, and, finally, the dreaded crying Vulcan alert, which immediately enacts the wills of everyone on board, supplies them all with a powerful euphoric narcotic, and notifies their next of kin.)
Now, what if you are in one of those fandoms where the worst thing that ever happens to someone is that his toilet catches on fire? My first suggestion would be that maybe, just maybe, this is not the fandom for the festival of world explosion and child death. But, hey, fine, maybe you want to write that in MythBusters or whatever. Your choice! In that case, here are some rules of thumb:
- Cutting is not everyone's first response to trauma.
- If you let people fill in some emotional blanks, what they imagine will likely work better for them than what you've written.
- Vomiting is not everyone's first response to trauma.
- Some people cry. Some people hit things. Some people take over small nations. It's a good idea to know which type your character is and write accordingly.
- Fainting is not everyone's first response to trauma.
WARNING: This absolutely isn't intended to be parody or farce, but you could be forgiven for thinking it is.
WARNING: Relationships That Could Have Come from a Classic Romance Novel
You know, people often talk dismissively about virgins writing sex scenes, or insist that they can tell that the writer of a given sex scene has never actually had sex. This is not so much my issue. I've had sex, and there was in fact a three-year period of my life when I apparently did nothing else. And yet I routinely fuck up sex scenes when I write them - I'll get them back from my betas with gentle comments like, "In our species - which is what I thought John was! - men generally only have the one penis. I say this because you've given him two." I once wrote a penis-in-vagina sex scene in which, in the first draft, neither party removed their skin-tight pants.
My point is: it's easy to get lost in the words, and I know this. When I read a biologically impossible sex scene, my thought is not, "Oh, what a virgin" - because, what, virgins can't do research? My thought is, "Oh, how sad. I wish she'd had my betas."
No. My issue is when I read a story and hope the writer has never had sex or been in a relationship. Because, look, it's not supposed to be like that. Like, I don't know how to tell you this, but, say, Blair being desperately in love with Jim, while Jim totally thinks (not says, but thinks) Blair is an idiot and a slut and a basically worthless person but is helpless to avoid fucking him anyway, and what a bitch Blair is for tempting him in that way: that is not a love story. The only possible happy ending for that story is if Simon stages an intervention ("Listen, the thing is: Jim's just a dick. A great cop, but a total, total douchebag. Let me introduce you to someone a little nicer, okay?") and Blair moves the fuck on with his life, possibly after photocopying Jim's penis, reducing it to 75%, and then papering the squad room with it.
Or, to take another example - when two people are having sex, and one of them thinks something along the lines of, I am so turned on that if he tells me to stop I won't be able to, that is not an awesome and sexy thought. That is a thought that makes me cringe, because if it's true, that character is an asshole at best, and yet usually the story is inviting me to see "not being able to stop" (and those quotes are used correctly, because, seriously: you can always stop; there's no such thing as sexual inertia). Basically, the only way that can be romantic and loving is if, say, Arthur thinks it, and then Merlin says, "Hey, stop," and Arthur immediately does. You have to have the character prove himself wrong, or it isn't true love, it's time for Merlin to go cry on Gwen's shoulder a bit and then enter a happy relationship with - well, anyone. Gwen! Morgana! Lancelot! The dragon! Not Arthur, is my point.
I mean, do feel free to write stories in which people think stalking is insanely romantic, or whatever. But, again, consider using this warning:
WARNING: After you're done reading this, you'll wonder if you should make a small donation to my therapy fund. PayPal accepted.
WARNING: Roget Wept
True fact: you cannot imitate the dialogue or internal voice of a very smart character or someone with a great vocabulary (or both!) with just a thesaurus. Here's why, and I really want to put this in the largest font ever seen on the internet, but I will refrain:
You can only use a thesaurus if you already know and are comfortable using the alternate words suggested.
See, okay - there seems to be some confusion about this. When you look up a word in a thesaurus, you get a range of choices. They do not all have precisely the same denotation, and they sure as shit do not have the same connotation. You're supposed to look at the list, select the one that is most appropriate for your particular context, and go with it.
You're not supposed to just swap words in and out willy-nilly. The result is, at best, strange and stilted, and at worst it's extremely comical. It's hard to take Fraser's narrative about his true love seriously when he's marveling over Ray's glamorous and presentable penis, or to truly believe Uhura when she waxes rhapsodic about Spock's haunting ears and spicy fingers.
The suggested warning for people choosing not to follow this advice is:
WARNING: This story is best used as a Find the Unfortunate Not-Quite-a-Synonym game. Double points to anyone who can fill in the original word!
P.S. For the good of fandom's soul, someone needs to do drawings of him embracing her waste and her body going taunt, things like that. There must be SOME way to communicate why these are such painful errors, and I think art is our last best hope.
ETA: Oh my god, people, look what greensilver did! Embracing her waste and her body going taunt. It is AWESOME.