How To Write a Realistic Rape Scene That Impacts The Reader | EelKat on Writing Controversial Topics | On Being a Renegade Writer

I'm gonna give you an answer that, you probably won't like.

Since 1978 I have published 130+ novels, 2,000+ short stories, and few dozens plays. That's a lot of stories. In all but about 30 of those stories, rape plays a part. In my long running series of novels that feature one characters life across many novels, a running theme in the series, is the fact that he gets raped in every single novel.


Because by the time I was 8 years old, I was so disgusted with men, sex, and being touched, that I find it very difficult today, to look at a man, any man, and not wish that he be gang raped to death to rid the world of his viule species: men.

By the time I was 12, there was nothing I hated more on this planet then men and there wasn't a day that went by, that I didn't ask God to smite them all and slaughter ever last male on the planet.

I'm very familiar with rape. And the habits of rapists.

88% of all rape victims are raped before they reach the age of 14, and were raped by an uncle. 43% of all rape victims, were raped repeatedly, on a daily or weekly basis over a period of years from the time they were 4 years old til they started their first period, whatever age that was. Did you know that?

Brutal, violent rape by a stranger and or a boyfriends is very rare. Fewer then 10% of all rapes. It's EXTREMELY rare. And yet, 1 in 4 women will be raped before they reach the age of 21, while 1 in 7 boys will be raped before 21.

Only in fiction (novels, movies, etc) is rape violent, brutal, and done by a non-relative.

In most cases the rapist has serious mental disorders, often types easily hidden, like narcissism and sociopathy. Because they can not graspe a normal mental concept of the world at large, they have a warped perception of what love is. They believe is someone causes them to have an erection, they therefore are in love with the person who caused this. They also believe that person is at fault for most of their feelings. They will manipulate the victim with a combination of loving coos and expensive gifts, in conjunction with death threats and abusing the pets of the victim in order to gain the victim's silence.

A rapist will plot for weeks, months, even years, before finally raping their victim. They are cunning and coey and will seduce the child.

Rape is almost never a spur of the moment unplanned act. Only in fiction (movies and novels) do you see this being the norm.

Rape is a serious crime. My uncles are now wanted by the FBI, and are on the run. Three years ago, one of my uncles, his compound was raided by the FBI. The FBI took out many stockpiles of machine guns and more than a dozen child prostitutes aged between 8 and 12 years old.

Did you know the #1 method of rape in America is Child Prostitution aka Human Trafficking. 1 in every 4 girls in America, will be sold, by an adult relative, usually her uncle, as a sex slave to one of his friends. Did you know these statistics exist is this country?

You might want to research rape - real rape. Find out just exactly what it is.

You want to know another statistic?

Did you know that while PTSD is thought of as an illness affecting only soldiers, that only 33% of PTSD victims are soldiers, and that more then 60% of all people diagnosed with PTSD are female rape victims who were under the age of 12 years old at the time they were diagnosed with PTSD. Child rape i the leading cause of PTSD in America.

And here is the most disturbing statistic of all, the one will effect your story the most:

When a female rape victim tells her family that she was raped, only 1 in every 800 rape victims will be believed by her male relatives, while 1 in every 300 rape victims, will be told by their fathers and boyfriends that it was their own fault and they got what they deserved.

The changes of your novel plot happening in real life are very slim, making your story highly unbelievable, because:

  • Rape is rarely violent
  • Children are more likely to be rape victims.
  • Rapists are almost always a much, much, much older adult, usually an uncle who is 30+ years older than his victim
  • You will be hard pressed to find any male in existence who would even stay with his girlfriend, let alone defend her after she got raped.

It is because of these real world statistics, that is why so many novels containing rape plots, fail so miserably.

Rape in novels is rarely portrayed as it really is in the real world. Far too often rape is glorified in novels, as a sex fetish, when in fact rape is a very serious crime.

>>How much detail should I go into about the rape so it feels real to the reader, but not so much that it disgusts them?

Am I to understand that you wish to write a rape scene, but you want it to NOT disjust your readers?


You are right now talking to a multi-published author who has written, very literally, several hundred rape scenes over the course of my career...and not once have I ever written a rape scene with the intent on titillating the reader. In every case, my goal is very much to fill the reader with as much disjust as possible. My goal is to make the reader HATE the rapist. My goal is to show the reader, the HORROR of rape* and the horrific effects rape has on the mind of the victim.

When readers ask, WHY? Why do I focus so much on rape in all of my novels... why? Because I write what I know, I know rape better than most. I know what it's like to be a 5 year old, who shows up an hour late to kindergarten because Uncle Dickie need you to get one more horse rode on his lap. I know what it's like, at 12 years old, to miss Sunday School class every other week because the Sunday School President, happened to be the highest bidder when my uncle decided to auction me off.

I was diagnosed with PTSD at 8 years old.

Do you know, I have a phobia of beds? I've slept on the floor for more then 40 years now, because mere sight of a bed sends me into a screaming hysteria, until I pass out. That's PTSD. That's what rape does to you.

I have phobia of deodorant. Not only can I not wear it, I can't be in the same room with anyone else while they are wearing it. The slightest whiff of the scent of deodorant sends me into a PTSD panic attack. This is the reality of living with the after effects of rape.

For decades now, I've been an unabashedly outspoken advocate for rape victims.

And THAT is WHY I write about rape. Not to glorify it. Not to use it as a plot device. But to horrify my readers, to open their eyes, to the long term side effects that rape victim lives with for decades after being raped.

In my books, you always see a rape scene, but it's never shown as though it were a sex scene. It's always shown through the thoughts of the victim.

You don't see the sex act itself, instead you are inside the victims head, hearing them: "God please make it stop. Why will no one help me, please, God, please, make him stop. God why have you abandoned me you lying bastard piece of shit, you turned your back on me same way you turned your back on Jesus when watched him die on the cross. I trusted you, I put my faith in you. Why did I ever expect you to save me, when you murdered your own damn son!"

THAT^ is what you see, during a rape scene in my novels. You don't see the sex. You see the thoughts of the victim as they mentally fall apart, as the act of rape strips them not only of their dignity, but also of their faith.

But that's always how the story starts... the rest of the novels is the dark, spiral decent into madness as the victim watches their life fall to pieces, as their own family turns on them, siding with the rapist against them, and soon the victim is suicidal.

Most of my novels end bloodily, with the rape victim never finding peace, and ultimately slitting their wrists to escape the terror their world has become.

>>Near the beginning of the book, the story's main female love interest is violently raped by her boyfriend, and this is part of what spurs the main character into action.

I don't know how to advice you on this. As I said, I just write what I know, and I know there is no such thing as a real live man, who spurred to action by a loved one being raped. In the real world, he'll turn a blind eye to it at best, abandon her and turn on her at worst.

I've never written a man spurred to action by the rape of someone he loved, I write rape through the eyes of the victim, not through the eyes of someone on the outside.

>>I'm thinking about either having him witness the rape somehow or have her talk about it in detail to him.

This brings up the question: If he witnessed it, why didn't he do anything to stop it?

Know that if she knows he witnessed it, but did nothing to try to stop it, she will never trust him again. I know. Been there.

But back to this:

>>How much detail should I go into about the rape so it feels real to the reader

If you want the rape to feel real to the reader, then DO NOT describe the sex act, instead describe the terror going through the victim's mind. Like what I showed you already.

>>but not so much that it disgusts them?

This line here disturbs me, because it indicates you wish to write the rape as a sex fetish to titillate the reader, and therefore marks you as an author who promotes and glorifies rape.

Perhaps this line was written, misworded, but, the way you have worded, makes me think every female on the planet should live in mortal terror of you, seeing how you have enough desire to yourself rape someone, that you would think to say you do not want your reader to be disgusted by the thought of rape.

Stop and think about what you wrote here, how you worded it... if it's worded correctly... then the owners of Reddit, should be looking up your ISPN, and forwarding it to your local police, because... like I said... the way it's worded, it doesn't sound like you want to write about a boyfriend's vengeance, it sounds like you just want to glorify rape as Erotica.

That's why I say I'm puzzled, because most of your post reads like you are writing a vengeance against rape story, until you said this very pro-rape line:

>>How much detail should I go into about the rape so it feels real to the reader, but not so much that it disgusts them?

I don't know if you misworded that line or if your true intent mistakenly slipped through, but either way... think carefully about what you write in your novel, as it is not uncommon for a rapist to say in his court trail "But I read it in a book and the author made rape sound cool". Don't make rape sound cool.

I'm not someone who says "Don't write rape" rather I'm someone who says "Don't glorify rape; show it for what it is: a crime, that permanently damages the victim."

I don't know if any of this helps. Hopefully it did.

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