Yeah, I said rape, but I didn't describe it explicitly. I didn't describe it at all, in fact, although I do refer to it many times later in the story. In the beginning, I only wanted to write a hurt/comfort story with John Porter, like the old Obi-Wan hurt/comfort stories I wrote back in my Star Wars days over at TheForce.net. A bit of torture, a few broken bones, something like that. I didn't want to write about rape, especially not male rape. But no matter what I tried to brainstorm, the idea kept coming back again and again, and finally, I decided to see what I could do with it. If I didn't like it, I didn't have to show it to anybody, I could just delete it and nobody would ever know. Or so I told myself. I did a bit of research, and asked a nurse friend from C19 for some thoughts, too. Then I started to write, and I felt like I couldn't stop. I'd think about it at night while trying to fall asleep, then I'd wake up and start thinking about it the next morning, and little bits and pieces would always be in my mind throughout the day.
The resulting story is not meant to be a step-by-step description of recovery from rape. I've shown a few scenes and written a few descriptions so that the reader will know that recovery is taking place, but that's all. I've tried to keep everything kind of vague and non-explicit, not only the details, but also the timeline, because I just don't know how long it would take to recover from something like that, both physically and mentally. It's probably not the best story I've ever written (that would be The Dragon of Throxenby, I think) but it's certainly one of the most challenging. I might not have mastered it perfectly -- in fact, I'm sure I didn't. I worry a lot that I never get the psychology of my characters right, because I'm not really good with emotions and emotional reactions. But I think I did my best with the skills that I have.
I'm pleased to report that I'm getting more feedback on C19 than I did with The Loneliness of the Once-Distant Agent, though I suppose that might be due to the novelty of the subject matter. And I've gotten more hits on Wattpad than I expected, though slightly fewer comments. Considering their target audience of romance-lovin' teenaged girls, however, I am neither surprised or displeased at that.
In other news, I told my husband recently that if my headstone reflected my real life, it would end up reading something like this:
She wasn't the best mother or the best wife,
and let's not even talk about her housekeeping skills,
or her diet,
but dang, she wrote some good stuff.
Okay, so that last bit was perhaps wish-fulfilment, but a girl can dream, right? Anyway, Husband laughed and said that I really was a good mother. He never reads any fiction if he can help it, so he wouldn't know about my good writing, but at least he knows I love my family, so I must be doing something right. And I guess that's a good a place to end this blog as any.
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