Posts Tagged ‘Rapetastic heroes.’

Writing and Stuff!

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

I’ve been working away on The Next Historical (Lucy and Thrale). I recently deleted nearly 10 pages (to be expected) and I’m now writing a different chapter. I’ve made back about half the word count I lost. I know I shouldn’t obsess over it, but I do. I’m better off with 2000 fewer words than 2000 more words that don’t work.

In other news, when I went running today, I was listening to Jude Devereaux’s RWA workshop. My only complaint? The workshop started with the usual statement about “recording, etc, and always repeat the question.” The moderator even said “I think we all know that…”

Here’s how the first question to Jude Devereaux went:

JD: Any questions? Yes?

Recording: silence
More silence.
More silence.
Some shuffling.
More silence.

JD: Yes.

Most of the questions were nothing but silence, and the answers were not always clear as to context. Very disappointing. It was far, far too close to the end before someone finally got around to urging repetition of the question.

Yeah. There needs to be a big RWA presenter and moderator class where everyone has to listen to this sort of thing on the recording. Lots of moderators and presenters make light of the announcement and request, and way too many moderators and presenters do not remember to repeat the question.


However, it’s still a workshop WELL worth listening to. She’s been in the business a long time and she related a story about how, way back, an editor told her that there was a problem with her book because the hero did not rape anyone. How, this editor asked, was anyone to know that the hero was virile if he didn’t rape anyone? And Ms. Deveraux’s answer to that was that she’d have to find someone else to publish her book because she wasn’t going to have her hero rape anyone. She was after that widely considered a difficult author.

And this, people, is how insidious and pervasive the “rapetastic” hero was. We are all still dealing with the consequences of centuries of believing this was how male virility was defined, and how women were to behave. This idea that Romance authors weren’t being pressured to write heroes who raped is just nuts. I lurk on an Academic list where this subject continually pops up and there’s always this naive belief that writers aren’t pressured to make changes they rather not. It seems like no matter now many authors (and there are a few on the list) say this happened then and happens now, there’s a rather willful refusal to accept that as possible.

When there’s money involved, the people with the money have the power to impose their views, and for that reason, outdated views die a long, slow death in the media. The Jude Devereauxs are few and far between. I don’t know at the time how much market clout she had. Obviously, not enough to avoid having the complaint made, and not enough to avoid being thought of as difficult for refusing. But enough that the book was published without rape.

So, thank you, Jude Devereaux, for saying no, and making the refusal heard.

Worth a listen.