1. Enyo
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    Enyo Member

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    Sexuality of age progressed characters

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Enyo, Aug 21, 2015.

    Sorry for the length, but I’d love your help if you can wade through my dribble.

    I've been working on a story for a few months ago that has an age progression for a female character. The story starts when she's 9 and ends at 16 when she passes away. The essence of my story is about the complexity of the human experience socially, politically, emotionally, and spiritually. Even though she's young, my character comes from a war-torn part if the world, was enslaved at one point, and has seen things no child should see. So the four aspects I am focusing on are very plausible for a child.

    Towards the end of her life, I really wanted my character to have sexual experiences with her childhood love because it's a huge part of the overall human experience. I didn't think it was enough to just say it was beautiful and move on. My male character isn't the nicest of people, though he's always been wonderful to my main character. Though he is quite "experienced" and she is not, I want the reader to see how they influence each other. He learns how transformative a love-based sexual union can be, and she learns that she actually naturally sensual with a good sense of eroticism, but was too afraid of this to let it play out with anyone until then. There are two full scenes where you get serious detail, and the rest is just reference to their “activities”.

    The backstory with the violence is not actually included. It comes up as she talks to other people about her life and it's never in detail because people don't push her too much. I feel it gives the story an initially innocent feel because it starts when she is given to a nice woman to be raised as a daughter. I don't want the reader to be shocked when our sexually innocent girl is suddenly making passionate love on a regular basis. To balance this out, should I start the book with the rough parts of her story to give it a more mature feel from the start?

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I think the more we care about her in the beginning, the more poignant the story will be and the happier we will feel for her when she discovers something fun that makes her feel good - both sex and love. If you make the tone at the beginning very innocent and child-like, we'll feel for her because she's a child seeing things no child should see. If you play up the violence at the same time, we feel even worse for her.

    What age of reader are you aiming for?
     
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  3. Enyo
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    Enyo Member

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    The strange thing is, the story is really just for me. I'm just trying to write it as if others were going to read it. I want it to make sense. It's interesting that you asked about the age group because I've been wondering that myself. It felt like a YA book, but the sex changed the tone so now I'm not sure where I'm at right now
     
  4. Fernando.C
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    Fernando.C Active Member

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    I don't think it would be shocking to anyone that your MC is having sex at the age of 16. Sexual desire is a natural part of growing up and a essential part of any human's life. Just because the MC is an innocent 9 year old at the beginning, the readers can't expect her to remain so throughout the story.
     
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  5. Enyo
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    Enyo Member

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    This is how I see it. But that it goes back to what Tenderiser said about the target age. It comes across as being a book for the middle school set, but then turns into something for older teens at the end. I don't have kids, but I wonder how a parent would react if their 12 year old kid was reading the book that seemed okay and saw that part of the text.
     
  6. Fernando.C
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    Fernando.C Active Member

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    I think you should first figure out your target audience. That would help with the dilemma. You might be able to get away with the sex scenes if you aim for YA, but if you're going for a younger audience then you do have a problem.
     
  7. Enyo
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    Enyo Member

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    Perhaps I'm overthinking. In the end, this story is for me, and I might be overwhelming myself by trying to label it the way people do when hope to publish.
     
  8. Fernando.C
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    Fernando.C Active Member

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    If you're not planning to publish it then you really shouldn't worry yourself about this issue. Hell even if you decide to publish it someday, the healthier attitude would be to write it the way you like it because if you're not comfortable with your story nobody else would be either.

    Anyway, good luck to you! :p
     
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  9. AmyWriter
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    AmyWriter Member

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    What an interesting story idea. I wish I could come up with something as interest as that. Sadly, I am too stupid. Do you have a name for the story yet? I would like to read it when it comes out.
     
  10. Enyo
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    Enyo Member

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    Thanks you! No title yet, but it's just a pet project of mine so I can feel as though I can complete something for once. I fear publishing it would leave me too vulnerable.

    ETA: Never call yourself stupid. That won't get anything done. Trust me, I know.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2015
  11. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    To avoid shock, all you really need to do is make sure her decisions make sense, that there's plausibility to her psychological development. If she's timid about sex, she probably won't jump right in without some nervousness, right? Think about how you'd feel in that situation and work from there; how she'll overcome her reservations, why she'd want to be with this boy, what happens when they do something sexual for the first time and how it affects her, and so on.

    I honestly don't think there will be shock if you can justify your character's decisions. This kind of stuff happens.
     
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  12. Enyo
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    Thank you. What you've suggested has been written into the story, but it's weaved into the first few romantic encounters. She doesn't address these things before. It's while they are starting to get physical that those questions and issues are addressed. I feel like it's a natural progression, but I kind of wanted it to be a little sudden to the reader because it's sudden to her. They have wanted each other romantically and sexually for a while, but each holds back for different reasons. When he tries to make a physical advance, she does get a little freaked out, but then they find a happy medium (he becomes more relaxed and she becomes more confident) pretty quickly. Once that happens, everything moves pretty quickly because it's been bubbling up for so long. I'm not sure why I'm so worried about it...
     
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  13. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Well, to me it sounds like you've thought this through and have a pretty good idea how to write it. What you've got there seems plausible, so perhaps you're worrying over nothing. :)
     
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