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I’m writing a story where a vampire pulls a girl into a room so he can feed off her without anyone knowing.

What are the things I should consider when I describe her being pulled into a room by him, and she tries to escape but he’s too strong for her?

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    I think there's an on-topic question here. I've tried an edit - hope the rest of the community can jump in with further improvements. – ItWasLikeThatWhenIGotHere Apr 21 '18 at 12:03
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I had to write a fairly graphic rape scene where my protagonist is pinned to the kitchen floor and needs to free one of her hands if she has any chance of fighting back. It was a challenge as I've (fortunately) never come close to anything like that horrific experience.

I got my husband to pin me down on the kitchen floor so I could see what it felt like, how hard it would be to free a hand and what things I might have to do when strength wasn't on my side.

Men, even slim men the same height as you, are surprisingly strong. It was much harder to fight back than I even imagined and I knew my character would have to use her 'smarts' to get out of it.

You could get a tall, strong male friend to help you with this scene. Think about where she is in relation to the door, where he's standing, how and where does he grab her. And when your friend grabs you like that, what does it feel like? Play the scene out with him. If he grabs you by the arm, what would you do with your free arm, and how would he counter that? Does your protagonist have any strengths she can use, or weaknesses that he might exploit?

Have some fun with it. Scenes come out better for me when I can really dive into them, feel and experience them.

Good luck!

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Consider first the point of view of narration - is this a third person narrator, looking down on the character or characters from above? Or are things told from the perspective of the MC?

In a situation like this I'm presuming the girl would be afraid, and things would happen very fast for her, so I would consider those emotions when laying out your sentences. Short, choppy sentences and limited dialog tags are often used in action scenes so as not to drag the pace.

Consider what sensory details the characters would feel (again, depending on the POV of narration) and choose some striking ones to include in your description. Consider light and shadow in the room(s) and senses other than sight for your description too - i.e. smell of clothing, lactic acid burn in the muscles from exertion, sense of balance, etc.

It might be helpful to choreograph the scene before writing it out in paragraph form. Make decisions on the sequence of movements of her being pulled into the room and trying to escape and how long the actions will take. Overall the description of something like this is very subjective and will depend on your writing style and the context of the story.

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A girl being pulled into a room by a man against her will is going to assume she is about to be raped, and possibly murdered in the bargain. She will scream for that, and fight that, even if she is being overpowered. Do not forget she has a voice, she has teeth, she has arms and legs and feet to kick with and fight with.

Do not let her surrender to her fate, she can stomp, kick, knee, swing, elbow, bite, scream repeatedly, and even use her head to butt him in the face. A girl fighting for her life is not passive and should not just give in. She should fight to the end. If possible, make it cost your vampire some pain.

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    Actually during the fight she might already get hints at his true nature, even though she won't have time to reflect it. For example, trying to fight him she might bite into his hand, and notice the taste of foul meat. – celtschk Apr 21 '18 at 12:44
  • Good point, Amadeus! Another thing to consider would be: does this girl know she is being taken by a vampire? If not, true, she would probably assume him to be a mugger or rapist and react to that. I disagree though about her reaction - whether it is freezing in fear, surrender, begging, fighting, screaming, etc - I think it might or might not be a loud one, that would depend on her character. Think about who she is in this story. Is she someone who would put up a physical fight? Scream? Freeze? Try to negotiate? – ArtemisPondering Apr 21 '18 at 13:22
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    @ArtemisPondering Although IRL a person might freeze, beg or negotiate, in fiction this is likely "too convenient" and lacks in conflict. She is about to die, no violence on her part makes it too easy for the villain, and IMO life should not be too easy for either villains or heroes. It is also true any experienced attacker could just sucker punch her and knock her unconscious before killing her: With an hour of fight training this is distressingly easy to do reliably; for kidnap, rape or murder (or feeding). It is silent and avoids screams or fights. But for fiction it lacks conflict. – Amadeus Apr 21 '18 at 14:07
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    @celtschk In times of mortal danger the frontal cortex shuts down and reasoning stops. As you say, she won't be able to reflect on it, all she is going to feel is terror, even if she sees vampire teeth or a distorted face. The clues won't matter. Senses like taste and smell shut down, the adrenaline dump will even shut down much of pain. People get cut, scraped and stabbed in fights without even realizing it. – Amadeus Apr 21 '18 at 14:12
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    There can also be a sense of dissociation, and focusing on a piece of minutiae apropos of nothing. The texture of the paint on the wall against which the victim has been smashed. – DPT Apr 21 '18 at 15:13
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There are three main elements to the scene described here, and they can be written using cues like these :

  • The character of the vampire. What is he thinking when he pulls her into the room? What does he look like? How does he show he's too strong for her? Does he say anything?

  • The character of the girl. What does she think? What was she thinking before the vampire found her? How does she react?

  • The room. What does it look like? Is there anything else in the room? Is there a door? If so, describe it. Can the girl hear sounds from other people outside the room?

These are just some basic ideas to nudge the story along. Many of them will have been defined by what the vampire and the girl have done up to now, but there could be events during this scene that affect character development and where the story goes from here.

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One thing you want to consider is how you want the scene to read:

  • Do you want the scene to have sexual overtones?
  • Do you want the girl to appear weak, a passive sheep, (making the reader identify, at least partially, with the hunter-vampire), or do you want her an active heroine fighting off a monster, or something else? Or something else entirely?
  • Do you want the vampire to be attractive in any way, to the girl or to the reader? Do you want him to have any redeeming qualities?
  • Who is the girl? What is her background? What kind of person is she? What's her response to the existence of vampires? What's her response to being attacked?
  • Does the vampire actively violently try to pull her into a room, or is he somehow persuading her to come with him - some predatory conversation that would make the reader fear for the girl?

You can use the setting to convey the mood: barred windows suggest being trapped, distant sound of whatever suggests there's no help close by, etc. You wouldn't be describing everything in the room, so focus on things that would set the atmosphere you're looking for, and use the language that would enhance that atmosphere. Any metaphors you use, if you use them, should also work with the setting. If you want the scene to be scary, anything red, for instance, should be the colour of blood rather than the colour of ripe strawberries. (Blood is actually rather overdone, but you see what I'm getting at with this example.)

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