Writing Is Making Choices

I’m once again revising my first novel, Another Place on the Planet. On the advice of my editor, I am deleting several scenes which will help in several ways. One of the scenes is a rape which I threw in as a plot device. It took on a life of it’s own. And now I know my handling of it didn’t do justice to the violence and terror women suffer when raped. I’ve never been raped so I could only imagine. I didn’t imagine enough. I’ve never done a lot of things my main character, Lily, does and experiences.

The internet is a labyrinth. We all click on a link and hours later found ourselves topics and cyber miles from where we began. I have to admit I have learned a lot that way, as well as squandered precious hours when I could have been more productive. Tonight I clicked on a link to a screenwriting blog I follow and watched the video there that took me to YouTube where I watched a short film called  Train. Just out of curiosity.

That led to a click on this short film. I found it very graphic and disturbing. But it did me the favor of confirming the writing choice I need to make. I hadn’t seen it before but there are several similarities to the scene I wrote. Three men violating one woman. Dark, lonely place. Urinating on the victim. My imagination scares me sometimes. The men in my scene are teens and less invested in the activity than the ones in the video, so it doesn’t go as badly for Lily. That kind of trauma and the ensuing legal complications need an entire book.

How men treat women is a minor theme in Another Place on the Planet. I pray for the day when men treat all women as they would their mother or daughter or sister, and men who can’t even do that are no more.


1 Timothy 5:1-2 (The Message)

 Don’t be harsh or impatient with an older man. Talk to him as you would your own father, and to the younger men as your brothers. Reverently honor an older woman as you would your mother, and the younger women as sisters. 


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