In today’s Journal
* On vacation
* Topic: What Is “Sexual” Violence?
* I’m not sure I added
* Of Interest
* The numbers
After I sent the previous edition of the Journal, I realized I was exhausted. Yesterday for the first time in a few years, I didn’t write anything at all. No Journal entry, no other nonfiction. I haven’t even added anything to the novel (to speak of).
I told my wife (grinning), “Y’know, I think I’m gonna take a few vacation days.”
She thought that was a good idea. So that’s what I’m doing.
Yesterday I headed down (south) to Tombstone for the morning to wander around town like a derelict and snap a few photos. Today will be much the same, though in a different location. I’m also getting some things done around the house. It’s a different world.
Anyway, I thought I’d drop in to visit. I’ll be back again, though I can’t say when. Probably after I settle in to writing fiction again.
In the meantime…
Topic: What Is “Sexual” Violence?
In today’s “Of Interest” you’ll also see a link to John Gilstrap’s post at the Kill Zone blog. It prompted this topic.
John mentions he refuses to write “sexual” violence against women.
But his ban in his own writing raised a question in my mind regarding the definition of “sexual violence.” If it means a rape scene, I agree. I won’t write that either. No need, and in my mind, any such scene would be gratuitous.
That being said, I’ve written scenes in which a rape occurs off-stage (meaning the rape itself isn’t described on the page for the reader to read) to serve as a catalyst for other events in the story. I’ve also written scenes in which agents and operators (good guys and bad, both male and female) were captured and tortured, sometimes slashed, because it was in the story.
(As a nod to Robert S., I now get the difference between “operative” and “operator.” The “operative” is a person who may be sent to do a job. An “operator” is the same person while actually doing that job or having done that job.)
If the torturer employs methods that cause harm to the victim’s front upper torso, is that simply “violence” against a male victim but “sexual violence” against a female victim?
These are things I haven’t considered. For a graphic example, in my short story “Ice Scream,” a woman is kidnapped and undergoes considerable violence. I didn’t consider any of that “sexual” violence, maybe because of the perpetrator’s intent, as evidenced by his attitude.
In short (other than rape scenes), I don’t differentiate “sexual” violence from other kinds against any victim. And in any case, I write whatever scenes I write because that’s what happens in the story.
Perhaps the best advice I’ve ever heard (probably because I agree wholeheartedly with it) is write what makes you “uneasy” or “squirm” or “what scares you” (Bradbury, King, et al). I seem to do that at least a little in every novel. But I don’t differentiate among men, women and children.
But here’s an admission: “Ice Scream” set out to be a novel. I couldn’t handle it, so it became a short story. Just sayin’.
So how about you? Do you write things that make you uneasy? Do you push the boundaries of your own fears?
I’m not sure I added Lee Lofland to the list of URLs I gave you in my last Journal entry. It’s especially useful for adding reality to your stories if there’s a cop involved. Even if the story itself isn’t about detectives or crime. One such entry and the URL is in “Of Interest” today.
If I think of any others, I’ll mention them next time.
Until then, keep writing and keep having fun! If there’s anything I can do to help, don’t hesitate to email me.
See “The Language of Law Enforcement: Acronyms and Texting Codes” at https://www.leelofland.com/the-language-of-law-enforcement-acronyms-and-texting-codes/.
See “Violence Smells Bad” at https://killzoneblog.com/2019/08/violence-smells-bad.html.
See “Killing the Golden Goose” at http://prowriterswriting.com/killing-the-golden-goose/.
See “Holiday Pop-Up Special” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/holiday-pop-up-special/. Good idea to check Dean’s site every day.
Writing of Blackwell Ops 7: Glynn Marco (novel)
Day 8…… 1253 words. Total words to date…… 15916
Total fiction words for the month……… 15916
Total fiction words for the year………… 374653
Total nonfiction words for the month… 26330
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 244400
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 629053
Calendar Year 2019 Novels to Date…………………… 7
Calendar Year 2019 Novellas to Date……………… 1
Calendar Year 2019 Short Stories to Date… 2
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 43
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 195
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31