crazyparakiss: ArashiMiwaKiss (MiwaYukari)
Fiction. Right so I'm compiling my thoughts and feels on things before I actually start, seriously, outlining my characters and my question to you guys is this:

How do you feel about sex in fiction?

Personally, I'm not against it but I'm against sex being the only key plot point. I don't particularly want to write a romance novel, on one hand but on another I want a realistic adult world with the many trials and tribulations of adult life...and that does include sex. After puberty it seems to me that most people are working their asses off for one basic need, sex. I don't want a key plot point to be sex but I want it to be a key factor in a character's personality. A sexualized creature without that being all that this character's life is about.

So I ask you good people (because you all write much better porn than I could ever dream of) how do you find the balance and how do you find a way to make porn more than what it is?

I apologize if it seems like I am being vague and still wanting answers. By now you guys know I fail at coherent thought XD

Date: 2012-11-03 04:17 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
Weeellll.... I'm fine with it myself, I guess I think it depends on the angle you're taking on the character, and what the rest of the plot is about. While Nora Roberts is usually in the romance section of the bookstore, the first time I read a little trilogy of hers, I didn't know that, and was kind of shocked to find it over there. I guess upon reflection, I don't know where else it could have gone besides fiction or possible the fantasy section, but the central plot was not about the sex the characters had, though it was in there, it was about the other relationships going on and the antagonist showing up in the picture and how that was dealt with. I think there was one major sex scene in each book. And that was it. But it displayed the sexual side of the characters without it being some sweeping romancy piece of crap. I think the trilogy was the "Three Island Sisters" trilogy, and a lot of her other novels follow this same kind of pattern. "Blue Smoke" is one of my favourites. Lots of plot, good amount of sexuality - it's realistic and intriguing. I'm trying to think of some other authors I've read that do something similar, but nothing's coming to mind right this second. I still need to finish my first cup of coffee. :P

But, other than those examples you could check out, my advice would be to not ignore the sexuality of adult life, but not have it be the driving point of the character's development or the plot. I'm not exactly sure what your story is about, so I'm sorry I can't be a little more specific, but if you have a series of events that are going to get the characters from point A to point B, then focus on that, and let the sex come naturally, as a part of the story-telling process. Don't force it in there, but don't ignore it, either. You don't have to be uber graphic to get your point across, either. You can have "porn" without it being overly descriptive, and you could even stay more inside the character's head, if you prefer. Or even just allude to what happened, and have the characters deal with the aftermath. Depends on the type of story you're concocting.

All of that was probably no help at all. lol.
Yeah my sex scenes are usually more about WHY the sex is happening, if that makes sense. Sex is a big part of my life, and I don't mean to say that I want sex in the book, because that's not what it'd be about, but it would be a developmental point for my character(s). Because for me sex is always the answer. Sad/mad/happy/ready to end the world ;) but maybe I'm weird and perverted, nah not me ;)

Your input is so appreciated. Thank you hon! I will definitely check out Nora Roberts. The trilogy you mentioned is at my mother's and she's always going on about it.

Date: 2012-11-03 04:25 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
I read this book, that kind of hit it really well. I don't remember what it was called but it was about this woman going through a divorce with her husband (they have sex in the beginning), she goes to stay with her mother (she is adopted) who is blind, deaf, and mute. She meets this guy from high school, or something, and falls in love. I forget what the big scary climax thing was...something about a feud between her adopted family and her birth family? Anyway, it was a really good book.

And what I really liked about it was that she was sexual - she had sex with two different characters, and you didn't feel uncomfortable with it at all (in fact, I'm pretty sure the book starts where she's having sex with her soon-to-be-ex-husband), but her sexual...ity? doesn't rule her life. She does other things, like translate ASL and visit her mother and stuff.

I don't know if that makes sense at all. But I can try to find the book for you, if you like? I'm a crap writer so I can't help you with my own experiences...but I'm pretty positive that this book does what you're talking about really successfully.
GEORGIA! *squishes*

Yeah see that was really one of my questions (I fail at articulation, I swear), was is it horrifying to have a female character have sex with more than person and NOT have her look like a slut to the world? I mean it's like for a male character it's okay but if a woman gives it away to different people it's still frowned upon and makes readers uncomfortable. Mostly it would be mentioned in passing as the focus isn't really sex nor much of a relationship.

You make all kinds of sense! Always, to me. :D Yes that'd be lovely if you can remember the name let me know and I'll pop round at the book store and pick it up :)

Date: 2012-11-03 04:50 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
I agree with you. For the most part I think sex shouldn't be the ONLY point for the story (unless it's a PWP, although, even then, I need some sort of rationale for them to be together etc).
Now, when you have a long fic, I'd say anything longer than 15 to 20K, I think the reader expects some sort of 'reward' for slogging through all those words, so when I'm writing those I'll try very hard to include some sort of sexy times. Forcing sex into the fic is not good either, though, and is always obvious, so it is a tricky balance.
So, now that I was terribly vague.... :)
I hope that helps!
Edited Date: 2012-11-03 04:52 pm (UTC)
No that helps, and I get what you mean. I know a lot of readers of fanfic will feel "robbed" if they've read an epic length fic and nothing more than a kiss happens. Though I am not one of those people. I read porn and like it sure but I really do enjoy fics that portray a sexual creature without diving into the actual sex, it can be vague and simple--just a hint that the character isn't a total prude is enough for me.

Very tricky balance *SQUISHES* Thank you, hon! I hope you are well!

Date: 2012-11-03 05:16 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
Some people are into reading 'for the porn'. If they want great literature, they'll visit the library. Other people want a little story with their porn, but the focus is clearly on the sex. Some want a well written story and the sex is merely the icing on the cake. I'm in that category. I've read plenty of stories with little or no sex, but my preference is a nice balance, with the character's sexuality being included as a normal part of the story. In the case of the HP books, there was no focus on sex, likely due to the age of the expected readership. However, sexuality is huge in the lives of teens. They are highly hormonal at that age and ignoring it makes no sense. Especially older teens; if they aren't having sex they are dreaming about it, thinking about it, talking about it, anticipating it, dreading it, reading about it and watching it. Older people shift their focus to career and then family, but hopefully sex remains an active part of their lives. Readers are fascinated with sex in all it's shades.

For me, the main thing is retaining the quality of the story in the sex scene. Some people can't write good sex scenes and it might be better to allude to it rather than try to write it and have it come out poorly done. Sex is often written in a mechanical way and the reader ends up tuning out. I like the human factor in the sex scenes, the emotional content. That is what I love to read. A sex scene that engages me emotionally and makes me feel like I'm there.

So that's how I feel about sex in fiction. If you're going to do it, make it good, but don't go overboard or write it in a way that has the reader skimming it to move past it.

Late reply is late.

Date: 2012-11-05 02:44 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
Yes emotion means more to me than sex. Even if the emotion is emptiness (if that makes sense). Because sex is emotion in motion and it shouldn't be all "and then he stuck it in and they came".

I think JKR did excellent with the way she dealt with Harry growing up a bit awkward and interested but not obsessed with sex. Hermione and Ron, too. There are enough hints but it's not full screen.

Thanks, hon! I appreciate the input! :)

Date: 2012-11-03 07:28 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
I'll see if I can add my little two cents. I don't think sex in fiction is a bad thing like others have said it can be used to move a story along, show the emotions of the characters, and add to the plot if that is what the story is about. I've read some stories where the characters have sex after meeting each other maybe three pages ago and I'm like "Alright XD" I know I like some build up to things like playing or snarking at each other. That way when the characters jump each other you know it's going to happen. I try to do that when I write even if my muse is yelling "Put them together now!" I always go "Hmm, not yet they do need to know each other" lol

I hope that makes some sense. XD

Date: 2012-11-05 02:48 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
It does, thanks hon for your input.

Yes I am not a fan of the romance genre where all they do is wind up in bed after a minute and it's ONE TRUE LOVE. *snort* Okay.

Not to say I haven't written smut for the sake of smut, I think most of my fanfiction is like that, but I was trying to feel out how people think about it in original fiction. I'll probably have a ton more questions later.

Date: 2012-11-05 11:25 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] tari_sue
tari_sue: (oneeyedwilly)
I think it depends on your market – as people say above, some folk read fanfic for the porn. If you are writing a novel on the other hand, I would avoid gratuitous sex scenes - if it forms a natural part of the narrative or is relevant to the story you are telling then go for it, but if it is being shoe-horned in for the sake of it then it will always feel awkward and out of place no matter how well written. The amount of detail is up to you, but less is often more. These are my observations as a reader more than a writer, i have yet to perfect writing anything :D

Date: 2012-11-05 02:53 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
Me too, hon. That's why I ask, though you are GLORIOUS SUE! :) Thanks for the input.

See I am not a fan of long sex scenes, no matter how hot. It just seems too intrusive. IDK if that makes sense but I feel, when I love a character, that intruding too much on a sex scene is like intruding on their lives. And I don't want to intrude, so I like to see the points of the sex scene that would have the most over-all meaning and ignore the rest of it. If that makes sense?

But yes gratuitous sex is what I am trying to avoid.

I love your icon by the way!

Date: 2012-11-07 07:04 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
ext_135179: (Default)
It totally depends. I mean, I love reading a good, hot sex scene. But as well the sex itself, there are context things that make it good. Does it fit the story? Does it progress the story?

If you're writing a novel that is not a romance, then by all means include sex, but keep the description brief. Don't exclude it altogether if it fits the story, but spend more time and effort on what is going on in her life, which may happen to include some sex, rather than spending a couple of pages on what happened that week, and then ten pages of porn, if you see what I mean.

It's also really important that the reader gets why the character is having sex. Are they having a deep and meaningful exchange with a long-term partner? Explain how that feels. Are they scratching an itch? Is it someone they know, or a bar pickup? What's their criteria for picking their partner?

Don't know if that really helps, but.


Holy giant image, Batman!
Edited Date: 2012-11-07 07:06 pm (UTC)


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