What annoys you or turns you away from stories? New forums edition!

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#1306

Understable. I never quite saw it as tokenism, but I always thought of it as every person in this story is their own version of f*cked up and I wanted to create characters who did the wrong thing.

I wanted to create a book to make people angry at Elijah. I don’t want people to be fooled by his seeming innocence. There is a dangerously unstable young man behind a lifetime of coddling. I think it was always intentional to keep these people tethered together and to see them break and twist and fall apart and like idiots come back to each other and make things worse. I don’t condone it, I don’t like any sane person should follow in these characters footsteps, but I will admit it is fun to stir pissed emotions in my readers who were very furious with Elijah for his handling of internal guilt to go so far as to try and burn Haydn, a man who honestly, does not deserve it. And people understood Irina’s anger. In making people hate Elijah, I want them to love Irina and Haydn more.

I know it’s a dark place to be. I understand many won’t understand why I am so adamantly hoping people hate him, even I partially don’t know. He began as a poor reflection of myself with his indecisiveness, anxiety, and emotions. He became the man of my hatred. I love him like a son, but I hate the man he’s become and it shows. I wanted Irina to hit him. I wanted Abraham to lose his shit only to feel bad simply because of his attachment issues and genuine love for the boy. I wanted Haydn to try and be the rational one, the one to be the voice of reason only to have it thrown in his face. But these people are all idiots and they keep coming back like idiots. They refuse to see the truth that the readers already understand…that peace will only come if Elijah is gone.

I hope it clarifies some things. :slight_smile:


#1307

A little, maybe. Well, as alluded to in the previous post, I’d really have to read it to decide.

I think it illustrates the overall issue nicely, though. Of course we can say “we don’t want abuse to be normalized in relationships!” and we all understand what we mean with that.

But when someone sits down and writes something like 50 Piles of Crap, they don’t go “I’ll write about this abusive ass who finds eternal love by being the biggest psycho possible!” They’d probably argue that the characters involved are consenting adults, that it’s her decisions to go along with it, that she could have gotten out of it if she had wanted to. Or maybe they’d just argue that it’s fiction and that in fiction anything should be allowed.

Either way, to them the abuse in their story is sufficiently justified to not “count” as “bad use of abuse”.

And the simple truth is that (generally anyways) boring relationships are, well, boring. You do want twists. You want to write about the extraordinary, not the ordinary. You want to break a taboo, or explore the forbidden. This not a sign of some sort of depraved mind, it’s the sign of a good writer.

And then of course you justify it in your mind why this student-teacher relationship isn’t problematic. Why that age gap and the enormous differences in life experience and standing in society and such isn’t a problem. Why this aggressive S&M approach isn’t predatory. Why your character should be forgiven for cheating or some other betrayal. Why this cop can be with the sexy suspect despite it being incredibly problematic. Why the therapist being with a patient isn’t incredibly unhealthy codependency but in this one fictional case a reasonable romance.

And sometimes it works, and more often it doesn’t ^^; And that’s probably the real “danger”. Not people sitting there going “mwhahah, I’ll write some sort of despicable romance!”


#1308

innocent smile

It’s fun. You should try it


#1309

Is it lol


#1310

Oh hell yeah.

Worst part is, people rooted for the abusive bad boy


#1311

I’ve read series like Jacquotte F Kline’s Deep Down Inside. Being skinned alive by your love interest isn’t the worst thing that happens there.

But the point is that it happens in Hell. Nobody pretends it’s not messed up. They are literally cursed to be in love with someone evil (and vice-versa). Of course it’s going to be incredibly awful (and it was).

But the point of those stories isn’t the same as the problem 50 Shades has. Deep Down Inside is pure fantasy, and it never pretends to be anything else. It deliberately sets out to explore something that’s just utterly bonkers in all regards.

50 Shades pretends to be normal. But actually isn’t. That’s where we got a problem.


#1312

And you are very right. Many authors don’t go in wanting to fck over her characters like I do or havs this strange hatred for their main character. Many do try to say that the things you mentioned above are not abusive and that’s the thing, I do. I admit that it is. When I began this book, I was like ROMANCEEE YAY. By chapter 10 I realized…"fck this guy. I’m gonna torment him AND lowkey make him the villain of his own story."


#1313

Never read 50 shades as romance is hella awkward for me, but I didn’t hear much good about it

That said, having been in an emotionally abusive online relationship (yes. Laugh.), I know it’s far too easy to justify the actions of the guy, to keep coming back to him no matter what he does to you or the ones around you


#1314

Irina. That is Irina. She is refusing the truth.


#1315

At least Irina is older. I was 13-14 at the time, he 16


#1316

This is true, and honestly, I did not laugh. Glad you got out of that :slight_smile:


#1317

And that’s what the problem is about 50 Shades. Abuse is a real problem. And as a real problem, it of course should be a topic in fiction. Whether it’s sexual, physical, or emotional. Or in some other ways harmful (for example an alcoholic manipulating the people around them to keep their addiction secret). These topics make books interesting.

But they need to be portrayed as the harmful behavior they are. Not as “oh well, the guy’s a bit of an ass, but men, eh? Just gotta live with it. And in any case, I can heal his darkness, and then we’ll be in love forever” - no, that’s the way you’ll end up as a beaten up corpse and the guy in jail.


#1318

Exactly


#1319

It probably would be much worse if we had been in a relationship in real life. He was so manipulative. He sunk his claws in almost every aspect from my life and took over. Even my two closest friends, who saw it happen, couldn’t stop it.

It’s terrible that fiction is now teaching teenagers like me that abuse in any way is fine


#1320

It is tragic.


#1321

On the topic of abuse that’s being talked about right now (even though the conversation was 8 hours ago), one of the things that does surprise is how the female MC doesn’t even TURN AWAY from the abusive guy and just goes with it anyway.

Funny thing is for my current WIP, one of my male MCs pretty much breaks up with his girlfriend due to being abused by her. I made a whole post about it in the “Abuse Is NOT Romance” thread


#1322

I think it’s especially important for the people thinking that it’s “romantic and not toxic or abusive” to think about this as well.

When a boy has these qualities in a book, he’s seen as manly, sexy, and romantic.

When a girl has the same qualities, she’s seen as “crazy”.

Think about why a girl doing the same actions is deemed “crazy” while a guy doing it is deemed “sexy”. They’re the same actions! Abuse and toxic relationships should never be glorified and romanticized like they have been for decades now!


#1323

Ugh, coming from someone who’s female, I absolutely LOATHE this double standard.


#1324

There you go


#1325

Same! There’s also this double standard where a girl can completely physically abuse a guy and it’s not seen as abuse? Like why do girls get a pass on this? Answer: They shouldn’t!