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So my story is too offensive :(

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by WonderingSword5, Apr 14, 2021.

  1. WonderingSword5

    WonderingSword5 Minstrel

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    It seems like the feedback on here has finally come to the conclusion that my story would be a problem. The fantasy part seems ok. But using a real martial art style used by the students and MC that was run by the evil teacher at the bad dojo seems controversial. So I can simply make up the martial arts style and base it in real arts and base it off of the similar rules and scoring system. And of the dijo would be a fictional made up one, which I had planned from the beginning. Not sure why everyone thought I was using a real school, I thought I was clear about this :(

    The part about the drugs, I can just save that for the future in the story's dystopian world and not mention the dojo using any super drug for the students to help them win the matches at all and just say the teacher was just a jerk overall that wanted his students to always win and he was a sore loser kind of guy?

    If martial art story isn't allowed I'll just make it an evil clinic with supernatural spirits, which idea is better? :(
     
  2. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Writing by committee isn't a great idea. The energy you've spent wringing your hands over this could have been better spent writing the actual story (yes, your original story concept). That's my opinion.
     
  3. Queshire

    Queshire Auror

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    I've seen writing a story compared to showing your butt in public. You're going to have to grow a thicker skin.
     
    kennyc likes this.
  4. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

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    IMHO, you should never have to ask permission to write your story. You can ask for help on how to do better, but at the end of the day, it's your story. You can write it however you wish. Is there a chance you might make a mistake, sure. But that's how you learn. You learn nothing from doing nothing and you gain nothing if you don't take a risk.

    A story that doesn't offend at least one person is probably a story that's garners meh from everyone.
     
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  5. WonderingSword5

    WonderingSword5 Minstrel

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    True :(

    You're right, I'm just afraid from all the reactions I've been getting :(

    Can I write my story on here so you guys can give me feedback?
     
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  6. WonderingSword5

    WonderingSword5 Minstrel

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    But I want advice on what i can do to fix it so it's less offensive. Both the drug idea and the martial art style. I was told I could make it an underground tourney and make up my own martial art style and rules for it, but would that be believable such a thing existed in the 90's? And wouldn't it still offend many because of having teens/kids fighting in matches that are underground? People will think it's some sort of fight club, which it is not :(
     
  7. pmmg

    pmmg Auror

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    Really, I don't understand all of this. If you got something to write, write it. They don't have to read it, and they don't have to like it.
     
  8. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

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    It's not about if it's believable. It's about how you make it seem believable. It's about making your reader suspend disbelief. That's the job of the writer. Dragons, witches, robots, all unbelievable in real life, but some how there are tons of great stories using them, no? Have you watched the Karate Kid movies and the revival Cobra Kai? I love them all, but there's some serious fudging that goes on in those stories.

    How about Hunger Games or Battle Royale films? Kids fighting to the death for the enjoyment of the world to see. Is it really that much different if it's hidden away instead of in plain sight?

    In terms of offending people, like I said, you're going to offend someone regardless. Harry Potter has witches and wizards, so some decided to get offended and decide it promoted Satan worship. Same thing happened with D&D. Oprah Winfrey famously ran out of a screening of Interview with a Vampire saying, "I believe there are forces of light and darkness in the world, and I don't want to be a contributor to the force of darkness."

    You're spending all this time worrying about IF you're going to offend someone, when it's pretty much inevitable that you WILL offend someone. So why worry about something not under your control? It's a waste of energy. Control what you can control. Do your homework. Do your best and that's all you can do aside from not writing at all. And it would be a shame if you chose the latter. Too many people don't write because they fear something. I wonder how many great stories never came into existence because of that?

    What's the worst that can happen? You offend someone? Your write a bad story? If you want to be a writer, get used to it. That's par for the course.
     
    kennyc, S.T. Ockenner and Chasejxyz like this.
  9. Chasejxyz

    Chasejxyz Sage

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    At the end of the day, who is the audience for this story? If you're writing it for your own enjoyment or practice writing, then you can do whatever the heck you want and no one can tell you no. If you're writing for a niche market (especially if you're self-publishing), then you can get away with a lot of stuff. Like there's a subsection of romance that heavily features non/dubious consensual acts. A lot of people would find that offensive! But many people don't and happily pay for it. Will such a story ever be published by Penguin Randomhouse and be on the shelf at Barnes and Noble? Probably not, but that's not the end-goal for every writer. People posting "your parents are in debt so they sold you to One Direction" fics aren't aiming for the big bucks, they do it because it's fun and it's something they want to read.
     
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  10. Ashe

    Ashe Acolyte

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    I'm going to say basically the same thing as everyone here
    Who cares if it's offensive? Write it anyway! It will always apply to some reader, maybe not every reader out there, but it sure will apply to some, I promise.
     
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  11. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    I'll take a counter view and suggest you keep trying new ideas. If somebody told me my WIP Smughitter was offensive, I would defend it, vigorously, effectively, because I know it's an awesome story, that I want to write it, that it speaks to me in too many ways. I could take the notes, make some changes - sure, and I have already - but the idea of finding another story wouldn't even cross my mind.

    If you have seventy coherent ideas, maybe three of them will be good enough to stand out and build an significant audience. So in my opinion, keep building new ideas until you find one that's good enough for you to believe in it yourself.
     
  12. Prince of Spires

    Prince of Spires Maester

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    Well, actually... Isn't that basically the plot of A Handmaid's Tale? Which is published by Bantam, an imprint of Penguin Random House. And, especially with the Netflix show is now definitely bringing in the big bucks. (okay, I'm guessing it's not romance, though I haven't read it, so I have no idea)

    So not only is there a market for everything out there, but if it's well written and you strike the right audience at the right time then pretty much anything can bring in a lot of money.

    Sorry for derailing the thread...
     
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  13. S.T. Ockenner

    S.T. Ockenner Auror

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    Stop giving up! Come on! Write the darn story already!
     
  14. WonderingSword5

    WonderingSword5 Minstrel

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    But in order for me to make it believable that a made up martial arts style and made up tourney existed 25-20 years ago, it would have to be hidden from the mainstream, like underground. How would this make sense that the sensei would be able to take his students into some underground tourney, without the parents of these kids/tweens/teens finding out about it? Wouldn't the students tell their parents something like "hey mom, I just finished my victory match!" The mom would say, "that's great honey! Where was this match?" Kid would say, "it's an underground tournament!" How do I make this believable? :(

    Yes but this takes place in a modern world type setting. Those are future dystopias, which makes it easier right? But there is no killing teens in this tournament, there would if been rules, bit since it's underground accidents could happen, which is why I'm not sure if underground is a good idea. :(

    I wish I could create the tourney like this that existed in the 90's that the MC as a kid went to. See how they did it and it's public mainstream. It's not underground. How do I like it like this? :(
     
  15. Chasejxyz

    Chasejxyz Sage

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    Handmaid's Tale is a dystopia based around biological essentialism: women only exist to have babies and are inferior to men, so any woman who cannot have babies must function in a servant role. It's in a near-future where something has made the birth rate plummet so the number of women who can get pregnant and also have healthy babies is really, really low. An extremist group overthrows the American government and creates a new country that uses conservative Christian ideals to uphold their beliefs (there's a story in the bible where a man's wife couldn't give him a kid, so God said it was cool to have a kid with her handmaid instead, hence everything). It's sexual slavery, it is very much not romance or a good thing.

    Romance that features non/dub con goes "no no I don't want this oh wait maybe I am liking this actually." It romantacizes and normalizes [partner A] not putting [partner B]'s feelings/consent into account. I believe that anyone should be able to write (or read) anything they want, and there is a market for this stuff, but it's also 100% understandable why a big publisher wouldn't want to put a bunch of marketing into a book like that.
     
    Prince of Spires likes this.
  16. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

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    This is your world. You can make it hidden or you can put in the open. It's about framing it in a way that makes enough sense. Not 100% believable sense, but enough to make the reader go "OK I'll suspend disbelief."

    As for hiding stuff from the parent's, no kid tells their parents everything, especially if they think it'll get them into trouble. Does a kid that shoplifts come home and show their parents all the great loot they got? Does a kid tell their parents they went into the dangerous construction site after their parents told them not to? No, they keep it to themselves. One of the common elements in a lot of kidcentric stories is the absence of parental guidance and/or ignorance of the kid's actions.

    Terrible things happen in the real world all the time in plain sight and out of it. Look at child soldiers. Pirates. Genocide. Those things are happening in the world right now, so a simple fight tournament legal or illegal, hidden or in plain sight, is hardly a stretch. There are a-hole people who pay homeless people to fight for their enjoyment. Some sold DVDs of theses fights, called Bum fights. Look into the origins of the UFC. It was not always the respected organization it is now. It started off as pretty much a carnival sideshow in what they were doing.

    This is the job of the writer, to figure out how to make what you want seem plausible. With every story concept, you can find reasons, good or bad, not to write it. The choice is yours. Do you want to write the story? If yes, then write it. If not, then don't. Again, you don't need permission. You just need the will to do it.
     
    Creed likes this.
  17. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

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    I've been loving the Cobra Kai series, and I never once thought the tournament, dojos, etc., were "real" as in an actual tournament and actual historical dojos.

    There may be martial artists in California who hate the show, but I doubt there'd be many who hate it—because they know it is unreal, and because it's pretty kicka$$. I do know there's been debate over whether Daniel's original win with the Crane Kick was legal, but this very question is humorously addressed in the "world" of Cobra Kai.

    There are a number of features and events in the show that make it unreal, but it's still very entertaining. I'd love to mention a few, but I don't want to spoil things for anyone who hasn't watched it.

    Lately I've been revisiting some Marvel comics from the past, and, let me tell you, there's a whole lotta unreal in them too. That's fine. I'm also looking forward to the Shang-Chi movie; pretty sure a lot of it will be unreal.

    Maybe it's a cop-out, but my suggestion would be for you to invent new things for your story, as you've said here that you intend to do. There's actually no big surprise that some trainers, teachers, and coaches in the sporting world have gone way too far with their students, whether involving steroids, abuse, or whatever. So that's not a particularly troublesome aspect for a story. If for whatever reason you choose to use a real martial arts style, that might not be such an issue either, considering the fact that real mentors in real sports have done bad things but this doesn't mean all those involved in the sport, everywhere, are bad. I'd just make it a special point that this fictional dojo and the fictional sensei are outliers, atypical, special cases. (So for instance you could have a student of this fictional dojo speak to a student at a different dojo and learn that maybe his sensei and dojo are not the standard. There would be other ways to do this sort of thing, also.)
     
  18. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    The worst story is the one that never gets written. Right now, your story offends no one because it doesn't exist.

    If I were to write only one story in my entire life, I guess I can see being nervous about that. But I have written several stories and have more to write. If one falls flat, that's painful, but that's all it is. Painful.

    Right now you are worrying about things that aren't. They haven't happened yet. You're getting feedback on ideas and nobody publishes ideas. They publish stories. I can't emphasize too much how important it is for you to write the story.

    Be brave. Be as brave as your protagonist. That person (or people) deserves to have their story told, right? You're the one to tell it. Once it's there, once it's real and has form, you can get feedback on the *story*.
     
    Creed and A. E. Lowan like this.
  19. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

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    Have you never lied to your parents?

    I have to totally agree with Skip and the others. Write your story. Get it on the page and out of your head. They say it takes 10,000 hours of work to master a skill. You'll be writing, anyway, and the time will pass no matter what. May as well spend the time and energy on writing your book. Get it down on paper where you can get some distance and become a bit more critical. Write.

    47ca7777a98972bf8792baba038eb3dd.jpg
     
  20. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

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    Not 100% related to this thread, but this paragraph reminded me of something very interesting that's happened in the world of martial arts since the rise of MMA. I'm not an expert by any means but the gist of it is there's always been a question of what the best martial arts style. MMA basically doesn't care about what techniques you're using. It only concerns itself with what's effective and what's effective for the specific fighter. Everything else gets tossed aside.

    So there have been full contact fights between traditional martial arts masters (eg Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Wing Chun) and MMA fighters, not even high level MMA fighters, and the traditional martial arts masters were absolutely destroyed, sometimes in seconds. MMA has been exposing what works and what doesn't and there's a lot that doesn't work in a practical sense in those disciplines.
     
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