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  1. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    How much sex can be in a fantasy novel?

    Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by KhalieLa, Sep 17, 2015.

    I want my current WIP to be classified as fantasy, not romance or erotica. The problem, is that as a aspiring novelist I have no idea where the lines are.

    I started with the assumption that sex, or references to it, could only occur if it's purpose was to further the development of the characters and the story. There are 4 sex scenes (three are heterosexual, the other is heterosexual-ish) in the novel and I felt everyone of them had a purpose.

    The character's sexuality is an important factor in how they relate to one another, so there are other references to sex and sexuality as well. I have not had a character bluntly say, "I'm gay." But, I have included hints such as having a character say, "I'm not the kind to take a wife and produce heirs." As far as I'm concerned, I don't really care if the reader figures out that one of the central characters prefers other men; it can be in the background the way Dumbledore's sexuality is.

    Can anyone offer some insight?
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I think you're fine. There are fantasy novels with sex scenes in them, some of them fairly graphic. It becomes romance when the focus of the plot is romantic, and erotica when the focus is on, well, erotica. Many non-erotica, non-romance novels have erotic and romantic elements in them, whether in fantasy or any other genre.
     
  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Some have lots! :ohno::-D This title is not listed as erotica, but jinkies is it ever full of bow-chica-wow-wow.

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    The focus of the plot is to get the characters back to their homeland and restore the line of kings. (Intervention by the Gods, nifty nemesis, great big battle, etc, as necessary.)

    The MC (human) needs to breed and produce an heir. She doesn't know this and has no desire to marry or have children. She has three potential mates (all dwarf), two of which are secretly lovers (kissing cousins actually.) The third option is their uncle. The kissing cousins are sort of the elephant in the room. Everyone except the MC knows, no one says anything. There is a long complicated back-story as to why none of them are able to choose a mate from their own kind; which is why the wizard sent them to fetch her.

    She develops a rather complicated, sexual relationship with the pair of them, hence the heterosexual-ish encounter. Ultimately, she ends up being raped by their uncle which is how I finally get her pregnant.

    I'm seriously worried about this being slotted as romance or erotica because of the relationship she develops with the kissing cousins. At the same time, there must be some compelling reason for her to take her clothes off as the production of an heir cannot occur with out intercourse.
     
  5. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    Thanks--I'll read this!
     
  6. Inks
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    Inks Contributing Member

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    If you are publishing, then maybe it is an issue depending on the depth and focus given to said scenes.

    I have numerous (more than a dozen) sex scenes in my first 150k words. Explicit, but brief and nothing romantic or dwelling on the mechanics of the acts. For a society of 8 divinities, sex is seen as enjoyable and is referred to as a form of "playing". It is acceptable dinner conversation, and there is no "husband/wife" concept at this point yet. Some scenes are barely a paragraph or two, but they do drive the plot along while other lines merely reference and acknowledge that sex is normal. This later breaks down for practical reasons, but even among the mundane humans, the "pleasure house" is not place of vice.

    The culture of your fantasy society is different from mine. In mine, violence is obscene, sex between lovers is not. So, your choice to have rape be the act which impregnates is not one I like. Not only that the act has to be during the appropriate time, but it will scar her forever. I'd say, let her enjoy it - she's been through this much so far - or if has to be rape. make it so that she doesn't know. Little too much drink, twenty seconds of poking and nine months of cooking - the line continues! Woo. Ancient dwarf secret indeed.
     
  7. ClassyCanuck
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    ClassyCanuck Member

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    Honestly, I believe you'll be fine with listing it as fantasy. Books that fall under erotica and romance genres have their plots... or at least most of their plots dedicated to the hanky panky. :p
    Four is a safe number, and if you have reason to have them in there and they aren't the main focus of the story, you'll be fine.
     
  8. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    There's this one series--maybe you've heard of it, I understand they made a tv show about it--
    A Song of Ice and Fire?
    I believe it can be somewhat naughty at times.
     
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  9. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    First off--Thanks everyone for the advice.

    Given the nature of my character the only way a pregnancy will occur is if she doesn't know she's had sex. Consensual sex she would remember and therefore she would take necessary precautions (pennyroyal or wild carrot). With rape, I have her drugged, also she sustains blunt trauma to the head during the struggle. That coupled with the temporary amnesia that sometimes occurs in victims of trauma means she doesn't regain her memory until it's to late for herbs.

    If it makes you feel any better, once she regains her memory she kills the person who drugged her, carved the word traitor in his chest and has the body on display at the town gate.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2015
  10. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    As much as you like if it is going to be an exotic novel.
     
  11. Theoneandonly99
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    Theoneandonly99 Member

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    I don't think the amount itself matters. I mean, as long as more than half of your book isn't lovemaking scenes because that would just be too much. I think. What matters how you want the sex to play out in these scenes. It will only be labeled as an erotica if the sex scenes play out like those of an erotica and it won't be labeled as romance as long as the scene doesn't clearly point in that direction. You could add some touches of erotica/romance if the characters or plot calls for it. Just make sure that the general focus and mood of your story is what you want it to be then the actual number won't matter.
     
  12. The Mad Regent
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    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

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    There is plenty of sex in my fantasies ...




    Sorry. :supercheeky:
     
  13. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    I posted the first sex scene from my book in the workshops section under "Erotica." I chose to post it there because of the sexual nature of the excerpt. The excerpt I posted is how my MC meets the rest of the company she joins. I wanted to introduce her as a woman whose occupation was a prostitute from the start. I was hoping to get some feedback, but so far nothing.

    The writers groups in my area are bunches of blue-haired, old women who attend church Sunday morning, Sunday evening, Wednesday night, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, and occasionally on Friday for women's night out . . . . So I'm hoping for feed back from people who aren't ashamed to see themselves naked in the shower.
     
  14. CristianOrtt
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    CristianOrtt Member

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    HAHA! KhalieLa I get a kick out of the stuff you say. One scene is "heterosexual-ish" (that is enough right there to make me read just to find out what that is) and "people who aren't ashamed to see themselves naked in the shower". Loving this thread.

    Anyways, moving on. You're plot sounds as though it somewhat centers around sex, although there are other factors at play as you've stated. Possibly there's a curse or whatever, but is the main challenge for this character that she must produce an heir at some point? That means eroticism and sexual encounters are an inevitability in your story, which is totally fine. What is wrong with blurring the lines? What's wrong with creating something with such a great story and great sex scenes that it literally gets listed in more than one genre? If the story is there, there is no way you'll be labeled solely under "Erotica". In my opinion you should WANT to be in more than one genre if the audience will accept it. Don't let the labels affect you anyways. If you enjoy writing it and you have an audience, as long as it extends past your forever-loving mother who is only ever going to give good feedback, then it shouldn't matter. People don't watch Game of Thrones for the naked people and sex scenes, but they are obviously a nice bonus. Write such a good story that the blue-haired, old women can't help but read through the sinful, shameful sex scenes to get to the next plot point.
     
  15. Meteor
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    Meteor Active Member

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    I gotta admit I actually found this kind of interesting and I agree you seem to be fairly fine as far as the number of scenes. There are plenty of novels out there classified as fantasy but, rife with sexual scenes, comments, etc. as already mentioned many times. What I found interesting is that it kind of answered my question on this matter as well and even gave me some insight into how in depth I should go into the scenes. I personally find going in to deep into erotic scenes can be a little odd feeling. It isn't something I typically think of when I think of when I think of writing. I don't think, however, that they have to specifically drive the plot. I find it at times good to express the humanity of our characters in various ways whether it specifically drives plot or not and sexual interactions(no matter how minor)are a part of humanity. How can a character be related to if they never have a sexual thought or experience some type of sexual intimacy? Its part of being human isn't it? Anyway that's just my take on the matter.
     
  16. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    If you want sex scenes, just add them but don't make them too long if it distracts the reader from the main story.
     

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