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Sex, Is Less More?
I'm currently working on one of my adult series YA spin-off novels. Since the main character has a love interest (of course), I have been working on softening the physical contact while escalating the emotional angst and indicision. The intended audience is toward older teens and twentyish readers, but it still made me really think about how much sex I should include and how explicit the horizontal scenes should get. Yes, yes, I need additional decisions and indecisiveness associated with my writing. I do know though that anyone who decides to write romance in their novels must make this decision up front.
If it's a straight-forward romance, this decision must be made so you can target a line (i.e. audience with certain expectations). But even if your novel doesn't focus on the romance exclusively, you need to make a decision. It makes a difference to how you want to market your work, and even how far you are willing to go publicly...haha. Is it a sweet romance where there is no sex, no mention of a penis or other taboo language, or erotica? Most likely your work will fall somewhere in between.
What I had to do was reread love scenes from some of my favorite novels and pay specific attention to detail. Personally, I found that leaving a little more to my imagination is actually more romantic. It's like Stephen King says, "there is no monster as frightening as the one in our own head." That's why it takes so long to actually see the monster in the most frightening movies and why reading the book is even more terrifying. YOu simply imagine what it must look like in the same way you imagine what the characters are feeing or doing with very little inuendo. Let's face it, yada, yada, yada would be boring, but we don't need arrows pasted to the pages with point A inserted into point B either.
That said, what do you think?
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2/5/2014 12:25:29 am
Oh, excellent question. Here's my take: some of the most powerful love stories I've read have less physical contact. It's the "almost" part of it that keeps me interested. I think if it goes all the way, it should happen toward the end. My two cents!
2/5/2014 08:16:59 am
I'm with you, Julie. Sexual tension is a page turner!
2/5/2014 03:14:29 am
It varies by person. One of my critique partners prefers very detailed love scenes, where to me, it reads clinical. I find the less detailed love scenes which give a glimpse of emotion and enables a few choice senses to be more my preference. Like Diana Gabaldon's: http://www.dianagabaldon.com/2012/07/how-to-write-sex-scenes/
2/5/2014 08:20:06 am
You too? My series is not a category romance, so just suggesting and the stuff that led up to it, and the inuendos is all I had included. My critique partner ragged on my so bad, I actually put sex "in" just for her, and another critique partner thought it was better too. LOL!
2/7/2014 12:02:48 am
Ah, yes. Those pesky questions which need to be answered up front, then your characters decide to go down a different path halfway through the MS. ;) I think that, no matter what you decide, you will have some yelling "bravo" and some yelling "are you crazy?" Today's YA is so different from ten years ago and will be different again five years from now. That goes for any genre, as well. I know this probably won't help at all but write it the way you want it to read. If you're happy with it, your enthusiasm will show.
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