March 8, 2012 § 1 Comment

I’m finding it difficult to write the darkest part of my novel. It is the chapter wherein the protagonist is ‘seasoned’, or ‘broken in’, the aim of which is to abuse her until her will to resist is completely broken, until she has no desire to fight anymore, because she has nothing left to fight for. There is nothing left of her. I remember reading in ‘Sex Slaves’ that seasoning is ‘rather like preparing a piece of meat for the dinner table – or in this case the clients. At the end of the process the reluctant prostitute will accept sex work as her profession. In many places she will have absolutely no alternative.’ (Louise Brown, Sex Slaves, p.98.) How can I write, out of my mind, sentences of such torture – even if they be over a character whom I have invented? Can I do so and remain unchanged? Can I even do so?

I want to respect the women for whom this has been a reality, I want to tell their story with truth and vigour, and yet I want it to be read. I don’t want someone to toss the book aside in disgust (and trust me, I would be tempted to myself), because what I’ve created is so base.

So today I’m really struggling. Struggling, as with most things in life, to find balance. A woman I do not know prayed the word ‘equilibrium’ over me recently… the areas in which it bears significance are proving many.


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§ One Response to Seasoning.

  • Writing something that you find so troubling will always be hard, Debz, but you are right in that if you want to bring attention to this subject through a novel, then you have to approach it with a certain vigour for any reasons. A very, very common misconception of the reader (particularly the casual reader) is that the author must believe or be what they write, and that is completely, utterly wrong. Of course experience and beliefs can dictate elements of a writer’s style or content, but it isn’t a given. Bloody hard one to accept, though.

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