What is romance? (Not rape, that's for sure)

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(Hindi dapat ako ang nage-explain nito, pero kailangang sabihin. Just in case no one ever told you, and maybe if you knew it would affect the way you write.)

Kung ikaw ay published or ipa-publish ang book mo, baka isipin mong makukuha naman ng editor mo ito at sasabihan ka naman if your work crossed a line. PERO HINDI LAHAT NG EDITOR ALAM ITO. DAPAT ALAM NILA ITO, PERO MARAMING HINDI. Nakakalungkot pero baka hindi dapat tayo umaasa sa editor unless ganon ang trust natin sa kakayahan nila. Kung self-pub naman, lalong importanteng malaman mo ito, kasi ikaw ang responsible for your book.

Rape is not romance. Romance is not rape. Rape is a crime.

Kapag nagsusulat tayo ng romance, ito ang tandaan.

Baka di niyo lang alam kung ano ang ibig sabihin ng rape, kasi TV, news, teleserye lang ang basehan natin ng rape. Na kailangan may sigawan, iyakan, takbuhan, at pagpunta sa presinto.

Eto ang rule, "NO MEANS NO."

When you are writing romance, IF AT ANY POINT ONE OF YOUR CHARACTERS SAYS NO AT MAY NANGYARI PA RIN SA KANILA, RAPE NA YON. Babae man o lalaki.

Pag nagsabi ang character na, "Don't" "Huwag" "Wag" "Ayoko" "We shouldn't do this" (Gets nyo na siguro?)

Baka naman lasing o drugged o tulog ang character kaya hindi nag-"no." RAPE PA RIN YON.

Baka naman "nag-enjoy" naman siya. GUESS WHAT: THERE IS NO WAY TO KNOW FOR SURE IF YOUR PARTNER "ENJOYED" IT. Sige, sabihin nyo sa akin kung anong basehan nyo ng "enjoy," tignan natin kung mapapatunayan natin objectively.

Pero nangyari naman ulit at hindi na siya humindi. MARRIED PEOPLE CAN BE RAPED BY THEIR SPOUSES. PEOPLE CAN BE RAPED BY THEIR BOYFRIENDS/GIRLFRIENDS. Kung ayaw, kahit in a relationship pa kayo, RAPE PA RIN YON.

Pero hindi naman ni-report sa pulis. DOES NOT CHANGE THE FACT THAT A CRIME WAS COMMITTED.

Pero hindi siya nagsabi sa nanay niya o sa pulis agad. DOES NOT CHANGE THE FACT THAT A CRIME WAS COMMITTED.

Pero hindi niya naaalala (kasi senglots siya non). DOES NOT CHANGE THE FACT THAT A CRIME WAS COMMITTED.

A crime that is punishable by LIFE IMPRISONMENT. And will have the person branded as a SEXUAL PREDATOR and will not be allowed to work in many professions, jobs, and will likely deny that person visas to certain countries.

This, my friends, is not romance. When our readers are young and do not know any better, we writers have to know better. Because readers will learn from us, the way we learn from all media we choose to watch and read.

(Baka naman hindi rape ang gusto nating isulat. Baka naman ganito lang ang alam natin kasi ang nakasanayan natin sa kultura at media, hindi mahilig ang babae sa ganito, at dapat pilitin. - Baguhin ang pananaw na ito. A crime is a crime, it is not KILIG.)

Ngayon kung nabasa mo ito at ito pa rin ang gusto mong isulat, decision mo na yon. At least alam mo. At dapat mo ring malaman na hindi romance ang nasulat mo, but something else.

Isipin ang reputasyon mo bilang writer, na mahuhusgahan na pag ikaw ay naglabas ng libro na mabebenta sa nakararami.

(Sigh. Did not want to have to write this, but here you go.)

Publishing and Self-publishing: Advice for WritersTahanan ng mga kuwento. Tumuklas ngayon