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In “The Yearbook Series: Gina and Mike” there’s a brutal rape scene. After reading the scene, a reader contacted me, wanting to make sure that what she was reading was fiction. I assured her that it was.
But it got me thinking about that scene. Was it too raw? Should I tone it down? To be honest, after I wrote it I was shocked that something so horrible came out of my mind. I was also a bit embarrassed. And yet, writing it was easier than writing the romantic scenes. To me, it seems like it should have been the opposite, but it wasn’t.
In the end, I felt the rape scene needed to be what it was. It was the moment that changed Gina’s life – her relationship with Mike, her career path, etc.
I’ve always been amazed by how one moment can change a person’s life forever. They stop instead of go, turn right instead of left, say yes instead of no.
And it’s how we react to these moments that determine the future. In this case, Gina’s silence affects not only her life but also the lives of others.
One reader told me that after reading the scene, she had to take a deep breath and pause before reading on. After I wrote it, I had to pause, too.