Writing Rape/Sexual Assault Part 2: Is it Necessary?

Considering I didn’t receive a lot of feedback on my last post, I’m guessing you all don’t like hearing about rape/sexual assault. Me either. But since there was a part 1, I feel obligated to write a part 2. Today we’ll focus on how important rape scenes REALLY are in a story. If you want my opinion, they’re not. But that’s just how I feel about it.

For me, it just feels like a rape scene would be impossible to move the plot of a story along, unless that was actually the plot of the story. For example, if a Kelly is camping in the woods, would it really move the plot along if a stranger came out from the bushes and raped her?

Before I go on, I just want to quickly touch upon the description of rape scenes. They shouldn’t be bland, but they should be quick. They don’t have to include vulgar descriptions of clothes coming off and what the guy’s you-know-what looks like. Writing a scene like this could be a trigger for many of the 1 in 5 women who are raped or sexually assaulted in their lifetime.

Let’s go back to the camping story. What if Kelly is camping with her boyfriend David and his friends, and suddenly one of his friends takes advantage of her after a few too many beers. David is now caught choosing between his girlfriend and best friend on who is telling the truth. If this is what the entire story is going to be about, then yes, a rape scene could be included.

Main point of this post: try to steer clear from rape/sexual assult scenes unless it is 100% necessary. The general conflict of the book, the climax of the book, etc.

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