December 28, 2018 at 10:45 pm #68327
I wasn’t sure where to put this question (plotting? themes? I don’t know) so I’m shoving it here. I figure @daeus-lamb can yell at me later if it’s in the wrong spot (joking, joking…please don’t yell at me).
Ok, on to the question: in my current book, a character is going to be tortured to the point of leaving major scars and even losing an eye eventually (I’m undecided on whether it should be due to infection or just part of the torture process). I don’t like writing my books so dark that my younger sisters can’t read it, so how do I write what happens, and not go full on darkness?
https://galaxyagent.wordpress.comDecember 28, 2018 at 11:39 pm #68342
First off, welcome to S.E.!!! Are you Alia Etter’s sister?!?! I am @ashira’s sister, who met your (I think) sister in CO. (It think it was CO!) LOL!
I will try and reply to your question when I can, I gtg right now…
Assistant Guildmaster of the Phantom Awesome Meraki
~ Created to create ~December 29, 2018 at 1:59 am #68353December 29, 2018 at 9:07 am #68355Theresa Play@theresa-playDecember 29, 2018 at 9:43 am #68356
@selah-chelyah Yes, we’re sisters. @theresa-play just likes to pretend she’s not related, but being a centaur was kinda a dead giveaway….
https://galaxyagent.wordpress.comDecember 29, 2018 at 12:31 pm #68365
@kpcentaursister The easy answer is don’t actually show the act, and be respectful with your description of the results. A character can look at the wounds and then look away or otherwise show how disturbing the damage is, without the gruesomeness of the camera leering at the wounds themselves.
I’d advise the eye lost to infection. The idea of the eye itself mutilated is extremely squicky. The character losing sight in that eye from infection is a great idea for creating consequences without needing to be gruesome about the wound itself.
I think Eragon did this fairly well, all things considered. A character is tortured quite a lot, but we really only see the results. For a story intended for younger audiences, this is around the limit of what gore you should allow yourself, IMO.
"...the one with whom he so sought to talk has already interceded for him." -The Master and MargaritaDecember 29, 2018 at 1:19 pm #68388Ariel Ashira@ashira
@kpcentuarsister Hi! (BTW, your sister is one of my fav people!)
As for your question, something that might be helpful is the SE series on how christian writers should portray tricky subjects like violence, darkness, swearing and sex. It was really helpful for me and many of us here. Did you happen to see or read those articles?
@theresa-play *high five*
"No matter how much it hurts, how dark it gets, or how hard you fall, you are never out of the fight."December 29, 2018 at 2:27 pm #68397
Curious if you were sisters or not! Although it was kinda obvious… 😛
Assistant Guildmaster of the Phantom Awesome Meraki
~ Created to create ~December 29, 2018 at 6:37 pm #68468December 29, 2018 at 6:42 pm #68469
@kpcentaursister In My Opinion :-}
"...the one with whom he so sought to talk has already interceded for him." -The Master and MargaritaDecember 29, 2018 at 6:43 pm #68470
@taylorclogston Oh lol sorry I need to brush up on my abbreviations I guess. Thanks!
https://galaxyagent.wordpress.comDecember 29, 2018 at 6:47 pm #68471
@kpcentaursister Also, SE stands for Story Embers. AKA, the place we currently are =P Here’s a page with all the “tricky subjects” articles, which are really good: https://storyembers.org/?s=tricky+subjects
"...the one with whom he so sought to talk has already interceded for him." -The Master and MargaritaDecember 29, 2018 at 6:51 pm #68472
Cool! Thanks guys!
https://galaxyagent.wordpress.comDecember 30, 2018 at 1:29 am #68564Sarah Inkdragon@sarah-inkdragon
Hey! I haven’t seen you around before, so nice to meet you! I’m Sarah. Sarah Inkdragon to be exact, a rather spontaneous, awkward, and rather klutzy person(though I will never admit that in real life) obsessed with… well, all things nerdy and cool and pretty much anything to do with writing or art. XD Also, I love to analyze things, as you will see in a moment 😉
So, torture scenes.
A lot of this depends on how old your younger sisters are… but I’m going to guess around 10-14? Maybe? We’ll use that as a base.
Like @taylorclogston said above, I’d suggest not showing the actual act of torture if you don’t want to go to dark. Like… say your character gets captured by the villain, then is dragged into a dungeon of sorts and we see the villain draw a knife–then cut to the character getting dragged out back to wherever he/she came from(I’m guessing a cell lol). Or even cut to them waking up after the torture.
As for the eye–eyes are tricky things. Consider these questions–if the infection goes too far and starts going beyond his/her eye, is there any way to stop the infection/heal it? If so, why does the infection set in in the first space?(For example, if you character is tortured and then immediately rescued very soon after, he/she would have received medical help and the eye would be much less likely to get infected.) Also, consider that loosing an eye to an infection is an extremely painful and often long process–whilst loosing an eye to, say, getting it stabbed out sounds worse, but actually is probably more likely to heal faster and be less painful since it’s not a drawn out process, if you get what I mean.
Lastly–you don’t have to loose an eye to go blind. So if you don’t want to, you don’t have to make your character completely loose the eye. That may help with the issue of going too dark.
Sorry if I sound rather technical or hard to understand–sometimes when I get going on something I think to much in my head and don’t explain myself very well outside of my head. So if you don’t understand something, please let me know because it’s most likely me being confusing, not you. XD Anyhow, I hope this helped a little bit! This is something that I used to struggle with quite a bit when I was younger as well, so I understand how you don’t want your story to be too dark. Best of luck writing it!
"A hard heart is no infallible protection against a soft head."
- C. S. LewisDecember 30, 2018 at 4:25 pm #68609
@sarah-inkdragon That’s a good point. (don’t worry, you made total sense to me lol) She may not even need to lose the eye due to infection, I just need her to have a need to replace right eye with a cybernetic one following the torture and rescue/escape (I’m undecided on that still).
It is a futuristic sci-fi/dystopian world so they have a lot of technology that I make up as it is needed, so I’m following what is being done now or researched in the medical communities only as far as it compels the story along. But you’re right, I do want to keep the story believable.
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