Tag Archives: reference

Sam Searches – II. The Effects of Child Abuse

Resources on the effects of child abuse

They say, “Write what you know!” But they forget to add, “Learn what you don’t!” For writers, thorough research is absolutely integral.

Inspired by this post and my own need for research on this subject, I’ve dug into the awful world of abuse. Child abuse is unfortunately very common and it does permeate our media despite being a sort of creative taboo. Of course, no subject is off limits in creative endeavours, but we must do it justice. If a character in your work is being abused or has been abused, you will need some resources to help you portray their experiences as accurately and respectfully as possible. Here are a few to get you started.

Feel free to reblog with your own resources, or check out other sam searches for different research topics.

srm

General Information

Effects of Abuse

First-hand Accounts

  • Child Abuse Stories – First-hand stories submitted to Child Abuse Effects. Stories of healing and recovery, as well.
  • Children’s Stories – Accounts of abuse from children, provided by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
  • Personal Stories – Personal stories from Childhelp

More Resources

  • Books on Child Abuse – Books and stories on Goodreads tagged as featuring child abuse. Some are fiction, some are memoir.

For American and Canadian readers – 1-800-422-4453 is the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline. NOT a writer’s resource, but a 24/7 hotline for counselling, encouragement, and direction for reporting abuse.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Why “Lolita” Was Despicable– And Why I Loved It.

After having been accosted by friends and colleagues for ages about not having read Nabokov’s “Lolita,” I finally picked it up some two weeks ago.

I’d thumbed through the thing on several occasions due to its high praise and high controversy while I worked as a shelver for my first library, but it never stuck. I often found myself put off to it because the subject matter just seemed too, well, perverted. And I’m not prudish by any means (I mean, c’mon, I grew up with some of the most appalling fanfiction), but the thought of reading an entire novel about one man’s obsessive sexual love affair with a preteen made my stomach churn.

I had no idea just what I was missing in rejecting this novel for so long.

In the past, I’ve read it acclaimed as the “only convincing love story of this century” or some such wording, and to a degree I can understand this thought.

But the inherent problem (and what made me wrinkle my nose at this quote at first) is the idea that “love” is always this infallible, beautiful, selfless thing. However, in my own past, I’ve seen “love” as Humbert Humbert sees it with Dolores Haze– not pedophiliac, by any means, but certainly distorted, obsessive, excruciating. That is the love story we see between our manipulative narrator and his prey, Lolita. His Lolita, as we are reminded so many times. We see a relationship sick, selfish, and full of deceit. This is not one for the storybook lovers, for those who desperately desire a happy ending. And in that sense, “Lolita” truly is a very convincing love story– where love and lovers are underhanded and egomaniacal. Desperate to the point of utter immorality.

 

[SPOILERS AHEAD]

And that is what disgusted me so much about the book: each character appeared to have been crafted to be as alarmingly loathsome as possible, riding a wave between antagonist and protagonist throughout.

H.H., so darkly humorous, well-spoken and charming, handsome and crafty, was every inch the spider he described himself to be. His exploitation of Lolita and others around him was sometimes the only thing keeping me from falling in love with him, myself. From the moment you understand his affliction and his total grasp of it, you want nothing more than to hate him. But it’s hard, at times. He makes it hard.

Dolores was much the same, in some respects, but it was watching her become a casualty of Humbert’s delusion that became the only thing keeping me from hating her. Her apathetic communications, flirtatious and sardonic interactions with H.H drove me mad. I was as much disappointed, I think, in her desperate plea for money and the roundabout conversation in which she gave Clare Quilty away (and perhaps the entire escape with him) as I was with Humbert Humbert’s initial scheme to remove her from Ramsdale.

But Charlotte’s infantile disdain for her own daughter and the jealousy she felt around H.H. made her the most outrageous villain. Upon learning of her husband’s antipathy towards her and his lust for her very young daughter, she still wanted to send Dolores away to a reform school.

I hated all of the characters to some degree, even auxiliary ones.

And that, friends, is why I loved “Lolita.”

I was manipulated by the same orchestrations as the girl after whom the book is named.

I was forced to love and hate Humbert Humbert as he loves and hates himself. I was forced to struggle to love Lo as he struggled to “love” her. I was forced to view Charlotte through a dirtied, altered lens, making her seem more nefarious than she probably was. And each secondary character left an impression of frustration and exasperation on me, much as they did Humbert.

In this analysis, I’ve come to understand why I had been so wrong in assuming the novel itself was one of illicit lust and nothing more. It was one of struggle and manipulation, and I would even go so far as to say it’s one of sociopathy. We know only of the story through Humbert’s eyes, how he perceived those fateful years, that conglomeration of tiny moments, and nothing more. We have only little details to ground us in the reality of the circumstances. One could even argue that the only struggle is an internal one– beyond his obsession with the girl, there was nothing to keep Humbert Humbert in the situations that drove him so mad. There was nothing to prompt him to transform from a sick man with disturbing appetites to a willing and able pedophile– to a murderer.

Somewhere down the road I would really love to read “Lolita” again, understanding how pliable I was in the author’s hands, so to speak. I wonder if I will find something else in it I had been too blinded by the first telling of the story to see.

For now, five out of five.

✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪

If you’ve read “Lolita,” what did you take away from it? If not (and you haven’t minded the spoilers), why not? Share in the comments below!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Selling LOTS of Books and Why Bright Ideas Can Go BADLY

A wonderful reminder for anyone who struggles with “Beginning, middle, and end” at all in the writing process. Simple, clean, and with an easy-to-follow structure, most readers would rather indulge in a book they know HOW to read than one they have to TRY to read. It’s something I need to pull into my own writing regimen, so I thought I’d share it with you all, too.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

The Reliant Robin: Image via "Top Gear" The Reliant Robin: Image via “Top Gear”

Writers must understand structure if they hope to be successful. Yes, it might take five years to finish the first novel, but if we land a three book deal, we don’t have 15 years to turn in our books. And the key to making money at this writing thing is we have to be able to write books…the more the better. If we can write GREAT books quickly? WINNING!

Understanding structure helps us become faster, cleaner, better writers.

Plotters tend to do better with structure, but even pantsers (those writers who write by the seat of their pants) NEED to understand structure or revisions will be HELL. Structure is one of those boring topics like finance or taxes. It isn’t nearly as glamorous as creating characters or reading about ways to unleash our creative energy.

Structure is probably one of the most overlooked…

View original post 1,835 more words

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

How to Start Your Novel

How to Start Your Novel.

The concept of writing from the inside out has given me a lot to think on today, but it makes so much sense.

And the film comparison is just spot-on:

A movie is usually wordlessly communicating the development of the setting and even the introduction of characters at the beginning, just past the opening credits.

We as authors can’t very well do that, can we?

Being a film-lover myself, and always trying to communicate my writing the way a scene would unfold on film, I hate to own up to the validity of these points. But here is a new challenge, and I’m ready to take it on.

With the second draft of Relic on its way, I’m excited to re-read the beginning (for the millionth time) to see if it holds up to these expectations.

Tagged
%d bloggers like this: