KerantliDreamer

Mentality

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Apologies if this ends up being in the wrong area...

However, I've always been very interested in the mentality behind the more violent scenes in novels. For example, those that write the really gory scenes including but not limited to torture, gore, rape and others along those lines.

Like on the first page of Originals, I counted 9 out of 20 fics that has at least one of those elements in the warnings, and I know there may be more that have missed it out in the summary. That is almost half of the fics on just the first page.

I'm just interested in why so many people do go into it all. Personally not my preference, and I'm certainly not bashing anyone that writes it. I really am just wanting to understand the mentality behind it.

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Fucked in the head, I except. Some sorta severe serotonin deficiency perhaps. Looks out into bright happy smiling hot sunny days in the world and sees desolation and a race bent on self destruction and the fucking up of the poor majority by the obscenly rich majority. Messed up loser scumfuck who oughta be exterminated. Get some kinda sick pleasure from trying to engender visceral reactions of disgust and revulsion in their audience, maybe even enjoy the flames. Exposed to horror stories at a young age and had 'em imprinted on the psyche. Watership Down's rabbits had it tough. No desire to hurt anybody else, but find writing helps feel better sometimes, whether gory splatterbang or just warm and fuzzy.

That's just me, of course. Only me. You with the pen and the hatchet quit getting all offended. I'm sure the others who've dabbled in dismemberment fiction are all lovely well balanced people you'd be quite happy to take home to Mother. Stephen King, I think it was, did a very good essay on the nature of writing and reading horror and such. Undoubtedly there's a few other things on it as well.

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Fucked in the head, I except. Some sorta severe serotonin deficiency perhaps. Looks out into bright happy smiling hot sunny days in the world and sees desolation and a race bent on self destruction and the fucking up of the poor majority by the obscenly rich majority. Messed up loser scumfuck who oughta be exterminated. Get some kinda sick pleasure from trying to engender visceral reactions of disgust and revulsion in their audience, maybe even enjoy the flames. Exposed to horror stories at a young age and had 'em imprinted on the psyche. Watership Down's rabbits had it tough. No desire to hurt anybody else, but find writing helps feel better sometimes, whether gory splatterbang or just warm and fuzzy.

Personally I don't see anything wrong about living fantasies - as extreme as they are at times - as long as it doesn't hurt anyone or themselves. Writing is a good way, for me, to take out some sort of aggressivity. I don't write only violence, but I do enjoy exploiting the dark side of my characters when times call for it. Since I dabble a lot in medieval fantasy, I see it working out. However, for my more modern-ish stories, I'm less into violence. Guess it's a reality too close to me to write comfortably.

It's kinda hard for me to write a warrior-based fic without violence, especially when the society rewarded for it at some extent.

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Therapy.

Yep. I said it. It can be downright cathartic to write really fucked up stuff sometimes. That being said, my writing has always been about processing emotions for me, regardless of the subject.

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I include "violence" tags because some of my plots actually have the characters as in a violent world. To show how the world works, I include violent scenes but most of the time, that's the way story goes. Some tags I include just to make certain that my bases are all covered.

As I think someone pointed out, not everything about the world is fluffy and happy. Sometimes life sucks and things explode and suddenly there's bloody pieces everywhere. There are those who write violence during sex scenes, I'm not much for touching those. I mentioned a rape once and felt sick for days and still feel sick every time I think about it. The only thing that saved even that mentioning from breaking me was the fact that the rapist met a quick and bloody end.

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Messed up loser scumfuck who oughta be exterminated. (...) You with the pen and the hatchet quit getting all offended.

...I like you.

On topic; my personal kink is power play, but I can't write straight up fantasies, because that little thought of "...yeah but nobody would actually react like that" keeps sneaking in. So my characters start behaving like people really would, and suddenly it's less wet dream and more, well, fucked up.

I wrote a rape scene recently, from the perspective of someone watching it. It was awful to write, I won't lie (I tried to get the humiliation across, and the loss of dignity, and there were parts that I had a hard time typing out and proofreading)- but the thing is, the whole story is about what that one night does to the main characters and their relationship, and I felt like, to make them and their actions believable, I had to get the readers in the same spot. I couldn't gloss over the rape and then expect the readers to get where my characters were coming from.

And then, of course, a lot of stories aren't near as bad or explicit as you might expect after just reading the tags. Something labeled "RapeFic" may well be a fantasy, not a realistic description of rape. But you still have to warn for it, because a survivor might get triggered by rape fantasies, too; same goes for violence, for death, etc.

As for why do people write graphic violence: two three reasons, really; some need it for their story (like me, that time), some find it a turn-on in its own right. Bloodplay and voraphilia are a thing.

As for the third, having horrible things happening to your darling character is a quick and easy way to get your readers to fawn over him (let's be honest, we're talking about a him), and the more opportunity you give them to be scared and sad for him, the better!

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I think there's various reasons as to why someone choses to write about violence, as Attackegg says it's sometimes necessary for the narrative: the experience of a soldier in the First World War, a prisoner in Auschwtiz, a child witness of genocide in the Democratic Republic of Congo. All of these characters are living in violent times and the description of the violence is part of the story.

That said, there's a big difference between telling the story of these characters as serious narrative and writing pornography about the same characters. Frankly, I think you need to lack empathy for other people to write a fantasy story which is aiming to produce arousal from non-consensual violence, or, consume pornography in which non-consensual violence is an integral part.

I think the reason that non-consensual pornographic writing it's so common here is largely down to a lack of experience, theoretical or actual, of human suffering and also due to the widespread misogyny that infects heterosexual pornography. If all you have only every experienced pornography through media which displays contempt of human beings, this will seem like normal sexual behaviour.

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Oohh, interesting points.

I think you need to lack empathy for other people to write a fantasy story which is aiming to produce arousal from non-consensual violence

I disagree- in the sense that it's possible to write about very serious topics in a not very serious manner. That's why I made the distinction between a rape scene and a rape fantasy; the latter is very obviously not something that would happen in real life (you know, the whole "but actually it feels good and deep down you start to like it and your rapist is kinda hot, too"). To me, the difference in my reaction stems from the degree of realism in the story.

Also, people have different kinks- some fantasize about being forced to submit, about pain, about being the receiving end of knife play. I, personally, am deeply disturbed by overly violent porn; screaming and pleading and crying literally nauseates me. But if someone enjoys it because they fantasize about being the one pleading and crying, does that mean they lack empathy?

And with regards to the other side:

The only things that really arouse me sexually are extremely violent - things I could never do to a sexual partner and still maintain their safety. I feel distressed and guilty about these fantasies, many of which have to do with torturing and subjugating women (...) I have always been by nature a very peaceful, compassionate, gentle person. I rescue animals, volunteer for homeless shelters, write letters and protest human and animal welfare causes, and generally hate the idea of people suffering. Why, then, should such horrible violent thoughts arouse me?

(found on psychforums.com)

This person may have issues, but empathy doesn't seem to be one of them.

a lack of experience, theoretical or actual, of human suffering

This, on the other hand, I agree with. Actual violence kinks aside, authors joyfully inflict all sorts of suffering on their characters as some quick-fix way of adding drama to their story, and more often than not I feel like if they had been exposed to any of it, even second- or third hand exposed, they might not be as flippant about it. I read (well, started) a story once where the main character had been sexually abused as a child, whored out, made into an alcoholic by age six, had a violent father, a mother in a mental hospital, had to drop out of school early to work full-time and ended up with a stalkerish boyfriend, and that was just the one character. It was completely ridiculous. You could write a whole novel about each of those issues.

I've spent the last year attending to a survivor, and yes, it has definitely made me more... more easily offended, if you will. I'm more likely to find stories downright ignorant now. My definition of what passes as a rape fantasy has narrowed quite a bit.

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I agree with attackegg. There is a very big difference for me between a rape scene and a rape fantasy. I personally dislike rape fantasies, because it is my belief that rape is not sex. Rape is about power and control. Bodily reactions happen because it is a physiological response, not because the person is psychologically involved. It annoys me to no end that there are many fics that presume a person will fall in love with their rapist and suddenly the offender will turn all good and shit if that happens. (Its like an x rated beauty and the beast!)

When I feel the need to write something about violence/rape it is never meant to arouse. I have a rape fic that I wrote specifically because I got annoyed with reading romanticized rape, and my aim was to make the action of control and power sound just as disgusting and ugly as it actually is.

I talked with my husband about this and he made me think of a good point: some people might put in violence and rape (sometimes to an extreme) to differentiate the fantasy from reality.

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For me, writing about the darker side of things - emotions, state of mind, violence, gore, etc. - is a way of sharing my personal experience with those in need. (Not to say I'm a war veteran or anything; I can't enlist because I can't take orders, I know that much about myself. It's just that my family hunts, so I know a decent bit about violence, bloodshed and gore anyway, and I've got a fair bit of experience with mental issues, my mom's after-rape trauma and behaviors, and whatnot, too.)

Mostly when I write dark things, it's because either I'm trying to work through something or I know someone who is. Sharing experience helps. A lot.

Sexual kinks.... I write those because I'm into bondage, I have a visceral need to be made to submit by someone I trust - my bf - because I flat can't fully relax and just go with the flow otherwise, and toys and unresolved sexual tension are wonderful ways to up the ante in an intimate situation. Exhibitionism I might write about, but frankly that's on my strictly-fantasies list because while the risk might be thrilling, getting caught...wouldn't be. And if/when I write a story with exhibitionism, I will throw that into the tale because it's something that should be thought of.

I thoroughly agree and/or understand where Attackegg and JayDee are coming from. If only there were more out there so willing to be themselves, with no limits. If society won't accept you as you are, at the very least here online where we can be relatively anonymous and share the things that really matter to us, then there's something wrong with society. And if those of us who are writing about dark things can't do so here and be accepted, then what are we supposed to do? Suppressing the need to express these - urges, cravings, whatever you want to call them - that only makes them worse.

Make sense? Not trying to call anyone unaccepting or a bigot or anything, I just am a brutally honest person and this site is somewhat of a haven for we oddballs and outcasts and deviants, and I both applaud and am grateful to you for trying to understand (a mind as open as yours is a wonderful thing). Just trying to point out where I'm coming from. And anyway, there's always the search, and you never have to click on any links except the ones required by the mods and admins, so really this place is for everybody. *frown* Perhaps a better way for me to put the above bit is: this is a place where we can go and not have to hide, where we can be one of the crowd even if not all of the crowd is okay with our particular tastes, and we treasure that.

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I guess i'm a of a rarer kind. Gritty violence and such depresses me; but if it is somehow made alright, like if it was just a very realistic VR game everyone entered voluntarily and well aware of what could happen, or if there is some magical, biological or technological way to repair the damage etc and the people involved are ok with it, i prefer it over tamer stuff. There is somthing about the combination of extreme physical sensations of pain, mutilation and even death, that when combined with positive feelings like trust, pleasure, knowledge you'll be ok in the end etc that i enjoy a lot.

I dunno, there is somthing very intimate about letting someone do absurd things to your flesh; and not having to worry about it being a one time deal lets you enjoy it infinitly more.

Seems most people are more interested in the negative emotions usually associated with violent interactions (i guess it could be a mechanism like riding rollercoasters or watching horror movies); but i prefer this mashup of extreme physicality with positive feelings on all sides.

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I guess i'm a of a rarer kind. Gritty violence and such depresses me; but if it is somehow made alright, like if it was just a very realistic VR game everyone entered voluntarily and well aware of what could happen, or if there is some magical, biological or technological way to repair the damage etc and the people involved are ok with it, i prefer it over tamer stuff. There is somthing about the combination of extreme physical sensations of pain, mutilation and even death, that when combined with positive feelings like trust, pleasure, knowledge you'll be ok in the end etc that i enjoy a lot.

I dunno, there is somthing very intimate about letting someone do absurd things to your flesh; and not having to worry about it being a one time deal lets you enjoy it infinitly more.

Seems most people are more interested in the negative emotions usually associated with violent interactions (i guess it could be a mechanism like riding rollercoasters or watching horror movies); but i prefer this mashup of extreme physicality with positive feelings on all sides.

I admit that it's...I suppose I'd say easier to accept...when the characters accept the risk of violence and bloodshed, but.... I have never been able to run from the dark side of life, the bad things that happen. My family tends to teach the kids how to avoid having bad things happen to them, which means they get lectures and examples of what could happen if they're not careful. We're quite paranoid in our own way. (I have to add "in our own way" because I was allowed to wander strange neighborhoods and the woods without adults as long as I had my dog with me. Said dog having already saved the life of my grandpa, the adults trusted him with good reason.) So I don't have problems reading those dark stories you're talking about. And also no little bit because I know just what the darker sides of my own family (and myself, in particular) are capable of doing when pushed in certain ways. (Dark as in, my mom swears up and down that she's been raped twice, one time by my dad. Not a prospect I like, but I can see how, given the way he was even clear up into my teens and somewhat still today, he very possibly could have. I'll never know for sure, but he could have. Having to admit that hurt, that my dad was capable of that...but I know that between his anger and alcohol, he's very well could have.... And I used to have a lot of really dark thoughts about my mom, too, and I know she exaggerates things and has manic depression that influences her outlook on everything - but at the same time, however bad she is at showing it, she wants the best for her kids even if she can't stand them personally. She's a much better mother now than she was when I was little, probably because she was nowhere near ready, and now I'm actually close to her for all that sometimes we don't talk for months.) Frankly, given how bad my family can be, I sometimes read dark stories just because I need a break from reality that will help me ease out of that dark, angry frame of mind. And when I'm in such a frame of mind and write instead...there tends to be a lot of violence and really dark humor. Probably this shows the influence of CSI and other crime scene dramas, westerns, cop shows, X Files, etc. that my mom used to watch - and which all four of her children have watched because she does. Our mom claims we're just sick and twisted when we slide into our darker moods, but we know she takes the majority of the blame. :P We didn't raise ourselves, after all! *halo*

Well, yes. Thus my own relationship. Though my bf wants to bring out my nympho side, and I keep telling him he's going to regret it.... He doesn't believe me. Ha. I know how I used to be.... We're going to have problems if he succeeds.... Anyway, the trust and the intimacy are really neat, yes - but we can't all write about the same thing and besides, I like stories that at least somewhat resemble real life (usually in the emotional aspects), and that means I look for stories with the good and the bad...the oddities that don't seem to go well together but actually mesh brilliantly. (Every time I find such a fic, I come to the realization that I'm doing a happy little wanna-be dance in my seat. This disturbs me, because I can't dance.)

My personal preference is more of a blend, dark and light, good and bad, positive and negative. I like the contrast; it feels more in depth, more...three dimensional, I suppose?

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I try not to watch the news anyway, for exactly that reason. I don't even look for worlds that are realistic, just emotions that are realistic. It turns me off a story when the emotional reactions don't fit the scene. Guess I maybe spent too much time in my dad's college psychology and sociology classes when I was tiny, have a little too much of the analytical counselor mind set.

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I don't think any one mentality can be applied to violence writing. There are many other things to consider.

Are they identifying with the victim, the perpetrator, or a third party? Is the violence there out of bloodlust or curiosity? Is violence the plot or the device?

That's not to say there aren't some people out there who are trying to leave an impression or have some underlying bloodlust, but as Lisbet Adair was mentioning, inexperience is probably the biggest contributor to violent fiction. Plus, I find it hard to believe that 45% of the site's authors are bloodthirsty sociopaths. ;)

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Never expected this to turn into a hot topic!

And was never suggesting a good proportion of authors on here were bloody thirsty socio-paths :rofl:

Maybe a bit tapped in the head, but I think that goes for a good 99.9% of Authors anyway (I know I am) :2tubs:

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If you aren't crazy, you're doing it wrong! Or is that saying, if you aren't having fun, you're doing it wrong? My friends are under the belief that all authors are crazy but that stems from being beside me when I get the o.O look on my face at a nice, quiet dinner and a dark scene just popped into my head.

Personally, I find that those scenes are easier to write when I'm not in a dark mood or when I'm feeling good about life. That way, I can walk away feeling accomplished but not being absolutely downtrodden. Though the opposite is not true, if I'm in a depressed sort of mood, I can't write comedy.

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I usually have an easier time writing if I'm in a mood that fits with the story - dark humor, angst, comedy, whatever, as long as my mind set is fixated in that general direction, I have a blast writing very odd and/or entertaining scenes. My reading is probably more temperamental than my writing is. (I have to be feeling very open-minded to read the more mainstream pairings, I've discovered. One would think it should be the opposite, but no.... I'm more into new and rare pairings than I am the over-done popular ones.) On the other hand, I've had times where I started out in one mood and had to switch back and forth between writing a dark story and a comedic story, simply because there was too much humor trying to get into the darker one. My sense of humor is sometimes excessive. I can laugh at almost anything - and do. This tendency towards amusement even in bad situations has caused my friends to liken me to a hyena, on the theory that I'll laugh even as I fight, if I'm mad enough. (And, okay, so when I get really, really mad, I do laugh when I fight, but I growl, too. Further ammunition against my cause; I'm never going to escape being compared to canines. Not that I actually mind it, though.) But it does mean that I'm not as cautious about using blood and gore and suchlike as those more squeamish than me might be. *shrug* It doesn't particularly bother me; to my mind, the mental aspects are more important. My childhood and teenage years, well, let's just say there are reasons I focus so much on the darker mentalities. Besides the fact that sociology is one of my minor hobbies - I haven't delved into it in some time, but it's something I enjoy. Circumstances and setting play a big role in mentality.

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I write a lot of these things, but it is rarely ever to arouse. I take a humorous enjoyment in disturbing and alarming readers with the themes and events in my stories. But on the same note, I am quite obsessed with weaving a world in which the people are bitter, violent, cheating and corrupted and to where be good is to be alienated or coupled with a mental disorder. I feel it is as valid as any construction where justice always prevails or sexual attraction always happens with smouldering stares between two people of vastly different social standing.

It's fiction.

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Violence is everywhere in the real world, so trying to avoid it is futile. In reality it is one of several silent epidemics that people try to ignore, alongside child molestation, rape and other torments that are not pleasant to look upon for the majority of polite society. I recall a professor telling me that "if it bleeds, or it pleads, then it leads" was the main motto of the News industry in the 80's. Human psychology in a nutshell is conveyed beautifully with that one phrase. Case in point, how many movies are promoted each weak that feature things blowing up, or blood, guts, and gore spraying everywhere? Media has driven violence a great deal because it sells.

Hence, violence can be written out to give cues about survival at all cost stakes, or to depict a character's out of control anger. Violence can be written to give people cathartic easing of their own painful pasts by putting a made up person in the same situations, or to shock and dismay those who have led sheltered lives. Some write violence to blow steam so they will not enact such cruelty in real life where it is forbidden. Others write violence because it sells so well in the media industry that lives to feed the human beast's basest nature.

Psychological triggers are known to exist in human instincts that are capable of unleashing dangerous levels of violence in the name of self preservation. Humanity has only marginally left violence behind in the last 100 years. Still, if you turn on the news at night, or read the newspaper, murders and other violent crimes are committed every single day. We like to believe that we have evolved away from being literal alpha predator animals over the centuries, yet evolution does not eradicate instincts completely. Deny it all we want, we shall never completely remove that element from our existence. People who ignore violence are often attempting to delude themselves that the world can become a peace loving place. Go out in nature for a week and live off the land, it will shock and dismay the average person with how violent this world is to the core of everything's existence.

For myself, violence is often an exercise in the cathartic realm. Since my childhood/teenaged years were so traumatic, I can not write happy or fluffy stories. I can not relate well to the happy or fluffy types of stories. They are too unrealistic when weighed against the vast majority of my personal life experiences. I also tackle the very same nightmare cruelties that I myself survived through learning how to become an expert in surviving violence. Nobody ever saved me from any of the grim nightmare I experienced as a teenager in the foster case system when the Black Market Baby Farming Scandals and child porn rings were overrunning foster homes in my state. Therefore I write about things that polite society loves to look away from because they can't handle the truth still happening to the weakest people in every society on this planet. All of my stories contain darkness and forbidden controversial topics that polite society tries to pretend have been eradicated despite there being people like myself who have survived such atrocities. Knowing that horrific crimes are swept under the rug because too much money gets made from human suffering, I will always write what I know best, the disgusting underbelly of human nature. Educating people is one of my agendas in my writing, even if I have to twist and distort anime stories to raise awareness.

People like to pretend that slavery no longer exists, but it actually does right here in the good Old USA, especially on the Mexican/American border. Teenagers go missing all the time in my area, with red head white girls being the number one targets. I still come across other survivors of the same sick and twisted people who took over the old guard I helped destroy through massive determination when I finally escaped the System. Even with the Feds now overseeing all the state's child protection divisions because of my core group, and groups who filed charges and got hard evidence from states like New York over 30 years, a few sick fucks still manage to set up short term sex/slavery rackets that use helpless children. Then again, "Human trafficking" is the nicer politically correct term for the ancient evil called "Slavery" that is still happening world wide.

Those who do not know violence and who were raised in proverbial bubble wrap worlds can fantasize about violence, but they are way too phony reading on the occasions I read other people's stories. I can tell within a few sentences who has ever had the unholy shit, bone busting beatings delivered to their own bodies, or have ever done any real hitting, and those who are full of bull. Different people may write violence for various reasons, yet violence remains a literal part of life that the squeamish, and the hardened alike must look upon at some point within their own lives. Better that it be contained in written words instead of faced in literal crisis situations within one's actual life is my motto. I've been there, done that, and am covered in the scars that prove it is not something a person undergoes without emotional and physical damage that can only be mitigated, yet never completely removed.

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So, eight months since I last posted and I'm finding that writing has been to some degree therapeutic. There is the issue of working through triggers (thank goodness for my hubby's love and patience), but I'm finding it's helped me work through being stalked/assaulted some years ago. Granted, a lot of it (especially the really horrid stuff) will never see the light of day, but I've been finding myself incorporating some of it into my main writing project. I think perhaps part of the reason for this is that I'm simply tired of seeing horrible shit be glamorized in fiction, literary or otherwise. There are some times where I want to write purely for the purpose of showing the reader that no, rape is not romantic, and no, emotional abuse is not sexy.

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