Are premises flawed, or just executions?
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Topic: Are premises flawed, or just executions?

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    Default Are premises flawed, or just executions?

    I am writing a script and asked some others for their opinions. A few of them said that the premise was solid, but I could use a better execution, and there were some plot holes, and characters defying logic. It was kind of intentional cause the characters are not meant to be logical, but if need be I can change that.

    Where as others said that no matter what I do, the flaws are unfixable cause the premise is flawed, so no execution, no matter how creative, can save it.

    Do you think that's true though, and that there is such a thing as a non-executable premise?

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    Senior Member   Are premises flawed, or just executions? Are premises flawed, or just executions? Are premises flawed, or just executions? Walter B's Avatar
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    1) Every premise can be executed.
    2) Not all premises make sense.
    3) Not every execution is good.

    I think all 3 statements above are true. And they are not mutually exclusive.
    (Do you understand the mathematical concept of 'collections'? You can draw circles and discover good executions and good premises don't need a 100% overlap.)

    However, this means:
    - even great premise can be execited poorly
    - a bad premise can be executed, but the result will probably be no good
    - executabilty is about money: if you have the money you can bring the worst premise in the world to the screen. A believable execution is something else :p If you are talking about a believable execution: then yes: there can be premises that kill the suspension of disbelief.


    If you intentionaly write characters that make no sense to the viewer, your are probably doing something wrong. Without the script nobody in here can judge whether the script, the premise, the writer or the plot is the problem.


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    Okay thanks.

    In my script, there is a group of people who are have poor social skills because of their conditions while growing up. Conditions that would prohibit them from developing relationships with people and also romantic relationships of the opposite sex. This causes them to suffer from their involuntary celibacy, and they form a group of... I guess you could say serial rapist killers and going around getting revenge on people on society because of they are looked upon and treated as inferior, or at least inferior from their points of view.

    But I was told by some that the premise is unexecutable. What do you think?


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    Super Moderator   Are premises flawed, or just executions? Are premises flawed, or just executions? Are premises flawed, or just executions? Are premises flawed, or just executions? mara's Avatar
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    I think it's virtually impossible to execute it IF they are the "heroes," because it goes tremendously contrary to standard social mores. An exceptional writer with exceptional actors MIGHT be able to do, but it's a real stretch.

    Could it be done with them collectively as the bad guys? Sure, but I think you'd need to limit how much you show, unless you want an NC-17 in the US.

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    No they are not the heroes, they are the villains. By the end, they are all arrested or killed, with the main character good guy prevailing, so the villains all get punished in the end, if that helps.

    As for how much I show, basically the villains record the rapes, and broadcast them from a website, the police are not able to trace. Kind of like in the movie Untraceable (2008), where the killer broadcasted his murders from an untraceable website. So you don't see a lot of rapes cause you only sees pieces of the videos, that are necessary for the audience to grasp what is going on. The only rape that is shown much is the main one, of one of the main characters, which sets the character off, into a revenge drive, that drives a lot of the rest of the story.

    There are movies that have had rapes in but still got the R rating though, such as The Last House on the Left remake. So is it possible, since the rapists are the antagonists?

    Last edited by ironpony; 12-04-2016 at 02:49 PM.

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    Super Moderator   Are premises flawed, or just executions? Are premises flawed, or just executions? Are premises flawed, or just executions? Are premises flawed, or just executions? mara's Avatar
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    It depends - on how you show it, on what you show. There's no single answer to that question.

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    Okay thanks. However, I was told the problem was not the content, but the fact that the premise is not believable.


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    Senior Member   Are premises flawed, or just executions? Are premises flawed, or just executions? Are premises flawed, or just executions? Walter B's Avatar
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    Lets say you are building a bridge and you let someone judge the design. Do you know whether the judge can judge whether the design or the used technique is wrong? Premise and content are not completely seperate islands.

    About the premise: 'unvoluntary celibacy' makes them violent?
    I guess that part makes it sound unbelievable.

    Btw, are you working on a rape trilogy or something?


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    No I was not working on a trilogy but just one script to one movie. I worked on it before, but cam back to it after a while. People were telling me it is not believable. Perhaps involuntary celibacy is poor wording, and I just need other or stronger, motivation for it?


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    Super Moderator   Are premises flawed, or just executions? Are premises flawed, or just executions? Are premises flawed, or just executions? Are premises flawed, or just executions? mara's Avatar
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    The issue that I think you keep missing is that rape is about violence not sex.

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    Well the villains are not committing rape to get sex. They are doing it cause they are angry at the opposite sex for all the rejection they have gotten and they are committing violence against the opposite sex as a vengeful punishment for the rejection. They are doing it as vengeful punishment, and not for sexual satisfaction.


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    Senior Member   Are premises flawed, or just executions? Are premises flawed, or just executions? Are premises flawed, or just executions? Walter B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mara View Post
    The issue that I think you keep missing is that rape is about violence not sex.
    +1

    As if you just can't understand it (as if it is something anyone could understand, but that's not what I mean.)
    I simply don't understand your view on it: sometimes it sounds more like some crazy BDSM fantasy than an empathic approach to the subject.

    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    No I was not working on a trilogy but just one script to one movie....
    Then how come that it sounds like 3 movies?

    - About a disturbed gang of rapists
    - About a female serial rapist
    - About something with a fake blood in, a hacker and a hole in the ground. (Ok, no rape here, I hope)

    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    Well the villains are not committing rape to get sex. They are doing it cause they are angry at the opposite sex for all the rejection they have gotten and they are committing violence against the opposite sex as a vengeful punishment for the rejection. They are doing it as vengeful punishment, and not for sexual satisfaction.
    So they are committing rape for not having sex but it has nothing to do with sex?
    You either tell your story poorly or your story is poor IMHO.
    We're talking about anger of rejection: there is envy in there. I think denying their victims future pleasure might better fit their violent nature, although mutulation is also no pretty subject.
    Without proper backstory/motivation almost nobody but you might think it is a believable premise.

    A few questions: why are they violent?
    What made them snap? What is the condition that isolates them?
    Your premise reads a bit like Revenge of the nerds goes psychopath sex offender.


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    Then how come that it sounds like 3 movies?

    - About a disturbed gang of rapists
    - About a female serial rapist
    - About something with a fake blood in, a hacker and a hole in the ground. (Ok, no rape here, I hope)
    Well the movie has to be about more than just a series of rapes. If it's kidnapping and rape, after kidnapping and rape, after kidnapping and rape, then it's just one thing happening over and over again for 2 hours. So by adding in more plot, and more going on, such as the blood in, as well as the hacking, that I talked about before, it creates more plot, and more going on in the story, rather than to have the same thing happen, over and over again for 2 hours. If I had just kidnappings and rapes only, it would be way too many rape scenarios, in my opinion. There has to be other things happening in the plot to keep the story going for 2 hours. Plus the hacking plays a large part in how the villains are caught, or at least that is what I intended.


    So they are committing rape for not having sex but it has nothing to do with sex?
    You either tell your story poorly or your story is poor IMHO.
    We're talking about anger of rejection: there is envy in there. I think denying their victims future pleasure might better fit their violent nature, although mutulation is also no pretty subject.
    Without proper backstory/motivation almost nobody but you might think it is a believable premise.
    Well denying their victims pleasure would be very time consuming to do. If say a woman denies one of them pleasure, they would have to follow this woman around for months, and basically 'cockblock' her, and prevent her from getting dates and companion ship wherever she goes. It would take a lot of time, and resources. By kidnapping and raping, each victim, it's a punishment that takes less time and commitment.

    Or are you saying mutilate the victims so they cannot get any future pleasure? Is that more acceptable to the audience, than rape in some way?

    A few questions: why are they violent?
    What made them snap? What is the condition that isolates them? Your premise reads a bit like Revenge of the nerds goes psychopath sex offender.
    Basically all the rejection made them snap. They felt that the opposite sex was treating them inferior to others, and made them become envious and ashamed, till it reaches a breaking point, and they decide they want to send a statement to the opposite sex. I can add in more motivations if that is better, I am just not sure what other motivations I should have. Should I have more?


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    Super Moderator   Are premises flawed, or just executions? Are premises flawed, or just executions? Are premises flawed, or just executions? Are premises flawed, or just executions? mara's Avatar
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    Taking Walter B's comment about denying sexual pleasure to the next semi-logical level - I'd consider inventing some sort of drug that's sort of the opposite of Viagra. When it's injected (or ingested or whatever), it has the effect of blocking sexual pleasure for some sort of extended period (1 month? 1 year?).

    I think that could be an intellectually interesting direction to go - it's a variant on the chemical castration that's sometimes used as punishment or treatment (depending on your perspective I guess) on rapists. You could explore the negative emotional/psychological impact that it has on people, and involves forcing members of accepted society to deal with what they've had to deal with.

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    Okay thanks, but I have trouble believing that the villains have the capability of inventing such a drug. If the villains were so good at inventing drugs, then they would be wealthy and successful. If they were wealthy and successful, then they would get members of the opposite sex better. So I don't see them being expert drug makers therefore.

    However, the story is a revenge cat and mouse game, where the main character wants revenge on the villains, after he himself is raped. I don't want to change it to him being chemically castrated, because I feel that might be too much for him. I wanted to have something to happen to him, that he could bounce back from, and rape is more bounce back-able, compared to a chemical castration.

    I feel that if I change it so that the MC is not raped instead, it causes the MC's character development to be changed around a lot and just changes the character too much, to the point where it might not gel as well.

    Why is it that rape is not enough of a punishment for the victims? Chemical castration is worse than rape pretty much, since you are disabling a large part of the body, so why does the punishment have to be more severe than rape, for it to be accepted?

    The idea of the drug is an interesting, but again, these people who have been rejected as not good enough, or not the type of people to have the medical intelligence to invent such a drug that has never been invented before.

    Last edited by ironpony; 12-04-2016 at 05:27 PM.

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    Super Moderator   Are premises flawed, or just executions? Are premises flawed, or just executions? Are premises flawed, or just executions? Are premises flawed, or just executions? mara's Avatar
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    I'm just going to say the same thing that people say to you here and on another forum:
    you ask questions about "can I do this" and "why can't I do that" constantly. When you're given concrete suggestions, you always have reasons why the suggestions won't work. So why do you ask us? Write the screenplay, make the movie, and don't ask any more questions about what we think about abstract ideas.

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    Sorry I don't mean to reject advice, it's just sometimes the advice, changes a lot of the story around and may cause problems in other parts of the plot. So I just wanted to find a way to make the suggestions work, that's all.

    Plus I feel that inventing a drug that has never been invented before, changes the whole dynamic and tone of the story, pushing into possible sci-fi genre, when that was not intended.

    Last edited by ironpony; 12-04-2016 at 06:57 PM.

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    Senior Member   Are premises flawed, or just executions? Are premises flawed, or just executions? Are premises flawed, or just executions? Walter B's Avatar
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    Okay, I'm not going to quote now: not enough time. So here are some replies.

    Okay, so it is 1 story. To me it never felt like 1 story. You always seem to present a little part of the story as its own contained universe while asking question that in essence won't only influence that little part of the story.

    Second, did you miss the word 'mutulation'? Cock blocking for a long time is not what I was thinking about, but stalking like this can be pretty disturbing too. (I was referring to making it a bloody mess.)

    The flaw in your premise is IMO that you have a group of women that are avoided by all men. Makes me wonder what condition caused that. My observation is that if a woman wants to have sex they can have it: picking up guys doesn't seem that hard.
    Add to that that I think your execution is silly, since you want the rapist to be recieving instead of giving.
    (You want them to take revenge? I would let the villain tie up the victims (who are rapists themselves) to be found bleeding with no pants and add some message with graffity...)

    How do they pick their victims? Why them?
    Did you check Mara's idea? Maybe such a drug exists? Maybe one of the gang works at a lab where they by accident created it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    Sorry I don't mean to reject advice, it's just sometimes the advice, changes a lot of the story around and may cause problems in other parts of the plot. So I just wanted to find a way to make the suggestions work, that's all.
    ......
    Because you only give us parts to give suggestion to, we don't know how things will be influenced. But yes: a little change here, can have a big change over there. Or just a little one that makes it all fit better or worse. That is writing. All pieces are connected. Sometimes you just need to replace a bad piece. Sometimes you need replace 1 bad piece and adjust the flow of consequences.

    It has just started to sink in in my mind that you have a female gang leader burying rape videos in the woods (or online).
    I never connected those 2 stories.


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    The gang is made of at least 3 male members, and 1 female so far, who suffer from the same problems, when it comes to the opposite sexes. Sorry for not specifying that before. There could be more members, if that is to make the threat bigger for the police and for the protagonist, to raise the steaks, if that's better. But for the plot I have so far, there needs to be at least 4, all with different roles to be played at the same time, for things to fall into place.

    Basically the leader has leverage on all of them, and the leverage is buried in the ground, in a marked spot, which the protagonist finds later, and that was how I planned on them getting caught in the end.

    As for what conditions caused them to not be able to attract others of the opposite sex, I figure it would be best for them to all have different conditions, but with the same problem, not getting companion ship from the opposite sex, that would drive one of them to influence the others to form a group, all with the same revenge goal.

    I haven't found such a drug yet, in my research but I can keep looking. I want the protagonist to be one of the victims who comes after the gang, along with other victims who the protagonist can recruit to help as well. However, if they are all victims of this drug, I think that would change the characters and the story around a lot, compared to if they were just raped, but with no permanent body damage from drugs, in comparison.

    When you say the rapist is receiving instead of giving, can you be more specific? Do you mean cause the one rapist is a woman, that she is receiving, so therefore, the rape is not as bad? Is that what you mean?


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    Senior Member   Are premises flawed, or just executions? Are premises flawed, or just executions? Are premises flawed, or just executions? Walter B's Avatar
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    LOL.
    After months or years new details pop up that would have changed the reactions of numerous people if they had known those details.
    Why am I not surprised?

    Recieving is mentally seen as more passive. The terms 'top' and 'bottom' that are used to devide gay men into 2 groups also insinuate an hierargy. They say that in prisons sometimes only bottoms are considered gay. (Which is a stupid delusion, but it shows how the dominance of the top is percieved.) I know (or think) your script in not about men raping men, but if you don't understand the 'cultural context' I see why you don't see the difference.
    I'm not saying it isn't bad, I'm saying it easily destroys the suspension of disbelief.

    BTW,
    it is interesting to see it happen again: you are working on a script. Some say the premise is no good, some say the plot has holes. You ask whether or not premise are always executable. There is no rule set in stone. You can't hide behind such a 'rule'. Everything depends on everything. As always in filmmaking.


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    Okay thanks. I am not sure what you mean though saying that the audience might not be able to suspend disbelief in the rape though. Could you be more specific? The rapist would be the dominating one, so what do you mean exactly?

    Also, is this the only detail that changes reactions or are there others?


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    Senior Member   Are premises flawed, or just executions? Are premises flawed, or just executions? Are premises flawed, or just executions? Walter B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    Okay thanks. I am not sure what you mean though saying that the audience might not be able to suspend disbelief in the rape though. Could you be more specific? The rapist would be the dominating one, so what do you mean exactly?
    Read again, closely: recieving is not percieved as dominant by most people. (Maybe in a BDSM setting with mutual consent it is, but that is essence is a GAME.) I can not explain it more clearly than this. Except that going inside of someone's body without consent feels like a violation of a physical border. (Just like people are more afraid of a dentist than of a pedicurist who will clean your toenails.)
    You clearly can't see the difference.

    Besides that: it is quite a hassle: druging the victims or in other ways forcing an erection. Sounds like a silly fantasy unless there is a real threat like AIDS or that she is a succabus or that he is the one who should bring the anti-christ to life, but doesn't want to. Or something like that.
    Or when the victim is 'recieving': that is powerless, humiliating and painfull. But that doesn't sound like 'revenge for not having sex', more like revenge
    for sexual assault.

    Also, is this the only detail that changes reactions or are there others?
    We can't tell because we haven't read the script.
    When will you stop asking us to judge the whole without showing us the whole?

    It's like Rembrandt asking our opinion of the The Night Watch, while only showing the square inch from the left lower corner.
    The whole painting is 363 cm 437 cm (11.91 ft 14.34 ft).
    Everything is about context.

    Besides that we discussed this 'detail' before. And then you went to another board for writers to 'verify' and then you got an other anwser, because you left out most info again. And then you went to yet another board stating that suggestion that it is sexist to say that a man can't experienced forced intercourse.
    You are just looking to get your idea approved instead of improved. But that is just because you don't completely understand the emotional and cultural implications. You look it at it in an almost pure logical way: it is unwanted, so it is bad. Which in essence is true, but will leave most viewers or readers with a "WTF LOL this makes no sense!"
    (I've seen this in your analysis of movies as well: you only 'measure' it to logic, but regularly miss the emotional, cultural or cinematic logic/meaning/context. Movies are not just math of dialogue and action. It is also a kind of poetry of emotional and cultural context.)


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    Okay thanks. Well the way I wrote the rape is that she drugs him and kidnaps him at gunpoint, forcing him to cuff himself, while she then ties up his legs. She then forces him to get an erection, either with drugs or a penis pump. Even though she is receiving, she still has a gun on him and has drugged and kidnapped him, and she is sexually assaulting him. So he experiences deep trauma from it, or at least this is what I intended. As long as the audience buys into the revenge he seeks on her and the rest of the group later, for the assault, and trauma that was done to him.


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    Senior Member   Are premises flawed, or just executions? Are premises flawed, or just executions? Are premises flawed, or just executions? Walter B's Avatar
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    This part has been discussed before.
    http://www.filmmakerforum.org/script...carefully.html

    You can hold on to your opinion that it is a double standard or sexist when anyone says that this is the least plausible way to traumatise your main character. The gunpoint and the kidnapping will be the most traumatising part of this scenario IMO (almost making the sexpart just weird or just added for whatever reason). The rest just creates cinematic problems since you need to explain 1) the procedure to get him erect while he is afraid of what is going to happen (a state of mind that doesn't help the villains objective) and 2) it still sounds like a bondage fantasy instead of deeply humiliating and violating your MC.

    Lets look at the revenge motive:
    "You took all my money. Now I will take all of yours."
    "You were not their when I needed your help. Now you are having tough luck. Farewell."
    "You killed my brother. Now I will beat you to death."
    "You sabotaged my sportscareer. Now I will break your leg so you can't go to the Olympics."
    "Your reckless behaviour killed my family. Now watch your children die."
    Revenge never goes like:
    "You never gave me money when I needed it. Here: take this million!"
    What has happened in the past:
    "You only care about money, asshole. Now drink this liquid gold." (The Persians allegedly did this with a Roman general after defeating him.)

    In this train of thought it would be far more logical to cut the MC's dick or balls to deny him to ever have sex again. Or that the villain was a victim of sexual assault.
    If the gang just wants sex: well they are a mixed gang... but that would be a completely different genre LOL.

    (Okay, I understand the thought is:
    "You have sex with everyone but not with me. Now I take what I deserve!"
    or:
    "Everyone is having sex but me. Now I will just take it."
    Which apparently seems to be what rapists think. But in your appraoch it sounds too construed to be believable, because in essence you are forcing the victim to an orgasm. What cause of the villain does that help? It just doesn't sound like revenge, unless there is an extra motive for that.)


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    Okay thanks. Well I could write it so that she rapes him from behind, like it was suggested before in the other thread. I guess I feel that as a guy, I would feel very violated, if a woman raped me from in front too. I try to see myself in the MC's situation, and I would feel extremely violated, and emasculated, if it was from the front and I didn't want it. So can I apply my own principals to it, or is their something wrong with my principals when it comes to being sexually assaulted? Why does the assault, have to be penetrative to feel violated? Why can a man not feel violated from an exterior sexual assault?

    Cause I am putting myself in the MC's shoes, and for me, sexual assault from the front, is quite possibly, just as bad from the back, and it's just a matter of principle for me. So why can I not apply my own self-relatable principles, to my MC?

    As for the villains, basically I just see them doing it to send a message to their rejectors, wanting to make the rejectors feel taken advantage of, as a form of revenge. When you say that my approach comes off as construed, what do you mean by construed, in this context?

    The villains do not just want sex, since they are a mixed gang. Basically they are going around doing it to punish the types of people who reject them. So they are doing it out of revenge or to send a power message. But can a rapist, rape out of revenge, realistically?

    As for mutilating their victims to the point where they cannot have sex, I just don't see the villains doing that. I see the rapes being revenge to send a message enough, especially since they are broadcasting the kidnaps and rapes from a website the police are having trouble tracing, while wearing masks and gloves in the video, to keep from being recognized.

    So by doing that for the public to see, it feels like enough of a statement, rather than mutilation. I mean being raped can make a person feel terrible, so I feel that that is enough punishment, or at least that is how I see the villains. For some reason I just don't see them mutilating.

    Plus I do not see rape as making someone achieve an orgasm. It's not like the rapists think "you will never give me a chance! Here take this orgasm!".

    Cause a lot of rape victims do not like being raped, and do not get any orgasms or sexual satisfaction from it. If rape victims were satisfied from the experience, then why are so many rapes reported to the police. Obviously, the answer is, is cause they didn't like it at all, and felt violated. So wouldn't violating the victim be a form of revenge, in order to exact a punishment?

    Last edited by ironpony; 12-07-2016 at 04:40 PM.

  26. #26
    Super Moderator   Are premises flawed, or just executions? Are premises flawed, or just executions? Are premises flawed, or just executions? Are premises flawed, or just executions? mara's Avatar
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    Cause a lot of rape victims do not like being raped, and do not get any orgasms or sexual satisfaction from it.
    NO RAPE VICTIMS EVER EVER EVER LIKE IT OR GET SEXUAL SATISFACTION FROM IT. If you do not understand that, there is a very serious problem.

    Screenwriter and script consultant: www.maralesemann.com

  27. #27
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    Yes, you'r right, I apologize. No rape victims ever like it. But since no rape victims like it, then why isn't rape enough for revenge?

    Even though rape is not about sex, there are times when a strong desire for sex can lead to violence. Like in Back to the Future, for example, Biff wanted to have sex with Lorraine, and hit on her strongly a few times, before the dance. On the dance, when Lorraine moved back to refuse, Biff then attempted to rape her. So he wants sex originally, but then when he did not get it, it lead to him violence.

    Another example is the movie Watchman, when Comedian made sexual advances towards Silk Specter, and Silk refused. He then attacked her and was about to rape her. So can being refused sex, lead to violence, like in that sense?


  28. #28
    Senior Member   Are premises flawed, or just executions? Are premises flawed, or just executions? Are premises flawed, or just executions? Walter B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    ........Why does the assault, have to be penetrative to feel violated? Why can a man not feel violated from an exterior sexual assault?
    .........
    Sexual assault is sexual assault. It can be 'just' touching someone inappropriately. I'm not here to discuss what is or what isn't sexual assault.
    That is not the point. The point is you want to use tools or drugs to force arrousal on a victim the villains want to terrify and humiliate. That is one of the illogical parts. That to me sounds like trying to force someone to smile while punching him in the face. It makes no sense.

    As for the rest: I'm with Mara.
    No victim ever likes to be a victim.

    Having said that: your approach sounds like a weird construction, because of the above and all the other pages full of replies, but your replies show it doesn't compute with your brain. The other solution is IMO more believable and 'easier' to shoot. Go make it your own way. Prove us wrong.
    But I think it doesn't even matter whether it is the premise or the execution: I don't think the result will be the way you want it.


  29. #29
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    Sorry I don't mean to not take the advice, it's just the suggestion raises all sorts of questions, that I feel I need to discuss in order to see things more clearly.

    Basically the point of giving the victim an erection, is so the victim will feel more forced, more victimized, and more violated, since he was forced to do something against his will, at least that is what I was going for. But as for the villains motivations, I thought the motivations could be similar to that of why other guys raped after being refused in other situations. So if I am to remove that and go for something very different, I just feel certain things need to be discussed first, in order to understand it better.

    There was also a true crime story a few years ago, I remember, where a woman forced a man at gunpoint to go down on her. So was that for sex or for revenge on the woman's part, or what?

    Last edited by ironpony; 12-07-2016 at 09:24 PM.

  30. #30
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    I am trying to compute though why sexual assault would not be enough to traumatize the main character. If someone were forced to have something happen to them that they wouldn't want to do, such as forced to get an erection and forced to have sex, wouldn't them be forced, make them feel violated?

    Last edited by ironpony; 01-21-2017 at 03:06 PM.

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