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5

If characters never do bad things, you don't have a plot, and if every bad action is followed by a speech about how bad it is, you end up with a didactic polemic, not a novel. It's possible to frame even the worst actors within a larger moral framework --consider Nabakov's Lolita where the main character in a first person narrative is an unrepentant ...


5

Try plotting backwards. The writers of House, MD often worked this way. They figured out some esoteric disease or ailment (or perhaps something not so esoteric but easy to confuse with other problems) and then worked backwards to lay red herrings and misdirection. So you have the ending you want (heroine gets macguffin). Work backwards from there. Each ...


3

Reality is complicated. Usually, in the case of domestic violence, many factors lead to it. For example, both partners have specific fears, both show certain behavior, and all this slowly builds up to the moment when one partner hits the other. Literature is not law. In law, one party needs to be found guilty. In literature, you can show the complexity of ...


3

There are two approaches that are historically used in your situation, and some more modern ones that some people are trying. The first thing often done is to only have evil characters misbehave. This makes things simple especially when paired with everyone gets what is coming to them (consequences). These two techniques make for a simple tool to show good ...


2

Here are some possibilities: As you play around with the premise and the theme before mapping out the story, look for twists in the premise and the theme. As you consider endings, look for twist endings. As you map out the events that lead to the ending, look for ways to make your chosen ending a twist. That is, think of events that will lead the reader to ...


2

When a character commits an evil act and you want to frame it as evil, there are different ways to acknowledge it. Describe it from the perspective of the victim. When the reader is confronted with the emotional results from the evil act, they will sympathize. Have the perpetrator condemn the act themselves and have them feel remorse. When that would be ...


2

I've had quarrels with some of my friends where they say that some book or movie is bad because it depicts people doing evil things. And I say, But look HOW it depicts them! It clearly depicts them as evil and destructive! There is a huge difference between a story in which a character does evil and it is portrayed as perfectly all right and having no ...


1

The people who justify domestic abuse and the people who condemn it have significantly different views of human psychology and human relationships. By choosing how to place that abusive act in context, you as an author are signaling what your view is, and by implication, your moral judgement of the abuse. You could have a story in which a hard-working ...


1

TL;DR: The story should include the violence if it enhances the story, and makes sense, and the consequences should reflect the interaction of the characters and their personalities. Almost any consequence that changes the situation to one where the domestic violence comes to an end could be construed as a condemnation of the violence, but it should fit the ...


1

Consequences. A strikes B. Even if B provoked A, A still gets arrested, processed, tried, convicted, and serves time. A gets grief from family and friends. A feels mixed anger, resentment, and guilt. Et cetera. The way the reader knows the author approves is if nothing bad happens to the person who does the bad thing, and/or if the bad actor is rewarded. ...


1

I use Aeon Timeline to keep track of chronology (it integrates well with Scrivener, which I use for writing), and I do everythong else on paper. Maybe this is because I did my first writing projects before the advent of the personal computer and had to type my first essays for university on a typewriter. To me, paper outlining has one gigantic advantage: ...



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