A weekly post updated every Saturday discussing my current writing projects and where I stand with them. This will include any and all work(s) in progress (WIP) be they creative writing, essays/analyses, or reviews of any type.
Content Warning: Discussions of rape.
Title: The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Current Word Count: 245,356
Initially conceived as a short, no more than 10k words fanfiction, The Broken Rose has grown into the longest story I’ve ever written to date as it nears a quarter of a million words. Spawned from examining the implications of Chapter 10 in Northern Lights, I also have to give credit to two other fanfiction writers, mihoyonagi and Up_sideand_down for their Slumbering Mountains and The Smell of Lilies respectively.
TBR was going to be a test story to see if I could handle the disturbing but all too familiar motif of rape. Now while I address it a bit in NL in terms of the main female character being threatened by it, and I have written rape scenes before in both fanfiction and original, I have never written about it happening to the main character, and in my next planned story, working title The High Lord, it happens to her, and I plan to describe it in detail 😦
It will not be easy for me to convey nor will everyone be able to read it, but I want to write this original story for the express purpose of showing how a victim/survivor of such should be treated. This is the same motivation behind The Broken Rose. While none of the assault takes place in the current setting of the story, it is a howling darkness that consumes all of her moments whether in waking or dream. TBR is “more intense” as it occurs more than once, but though it happens to the heroine of the original story a single time, the horror is not diminished.
I wanted to see if I could handle such a paradigm in a medium, world, and with characters I already know very well. Rose occurs in a similar mien to Northern Lights with only some minor changes about the setting. It takes place in the Whispers, the town Aeris and Sephiroth find themselves in in Northern Lights, but I’ll leave the other differences for your reading if you so choose to imbibe.
As fore mentioned Rose decided to become something more than what I’d envisioned, which tells me I had much to say about rape, assault, and how those affected by it are treated afterwards. One thing about creating a narrative is that you can shape it in a way you hope the world might follow, and while what happens is an extreme and horrifying case, I hope it and the to be written original The High Lord will serve to highlight the absurdity and wrongness of how people are currently viewed and maybe hope to remedy that.
If I’m lucky, TBR will be finished before the end of the month where it will then move to an editing project. I’m hoping when this occurs, I’ll be able to better balance my time between reading, editing, and writing the reviews/analysis that I’m woefully behind on. Editing, while vital, is far less mentally consuming as writing for me (so long as I’m not rewriting scenes or crafting new ones…which I am planning on doing with narrative. I have extensive notes *sigh*). I won’t feel the burning need to finish as the words will be out. They’ll need to be tweaked and reworked, but I’ll still be able to say I completed another story for whatever that’s worth.
Quote: “’Aeris, you could be naked as the day I found you, and that could not ‘cause’ me to act. There is no amount of ‘temptation’ in the world that could ‘make’ me rape you, my flower. There’s not enough “enticing’”on the Planet that made any of them do the same. Nothing you did and nothing you said made them hurt you, little one. You are innocent of all wrongdoing. The fault lies solely with them. You are not “tempting.’”You are not “seductive.’” You were a terrified, little maid whom they abused for their own twisted pleasure.’
As Sephiroth spoke, Aeris unloosened her fingers from the bedclothes. She stood with her little hands clasped before and the sight nearly caused his voice falter, but the general had been made to endure, and he fought this highest pain. Following her slow approach with eyes that glittered like emerald ice. ‘Those heinous acts belong to your abusers. You own nothing of them.'”
What are you currently working on? Is it a creative writing project, essay, review, or something else? Have you just started something new or are you wrapping up a long term project?
I look forward to your answers in the comments!