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  1. afrodite7
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    afrodite7 Senior Member

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    the obligatory sex scene and other things

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by afrodite7, Nov 19, 2012.

    -in romance stories and stories where romance is there ,there usually a sex scene.thing is,I don't know if I shoiuld write it in.when I imagine the main romance/important plot point,i wrote it with a sex scene.problem is,I'm dealing with characters aged seventeen and eighteen.Is the sex necessary?

    -there's also the amount of violence.its not too much but its definately there (super soldiers with machine guns,people setting of bombs,etc).there's a particular scene when the protagonists love interest gets shot in the head and spits the bullet out before pistol whipping the crap out of the person who shot him and kicking him across the room somewhere(he's a vampire,super strength and regeneration).does the fact that some of the characters are inhuman matter?and this kind of thing,what age group would it fall under? while the main characters and alot of the cast are teenagers,some of them are adults .so its basically somewhat of an adult novel with teen protagonists.how will this affect publishing?
     
  2. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Your question about what age group this would fall under brings to mind a currently raging issue amongst publishers and agents. Some people are pushing a new category entitled "New Adult," which is basically YA, but with sex. The characters are generally older teens or adults. Some agents despise this title, and refuse to consider anything suggested under that category, because it hasn't been officially established, and there is, as they say, no section of the bookstore currently called "New Adult." So unless you see a specific call for something in that category, I'd probably call it YA with crossover appeal, or if the themes are very mature, just call it adult whatever -- paranormal romance, or whatever genre your story is.

    Which brings up your question about sex and violence. This is an oft-discussed topic, and generally the answer is if it is important to the story then it should be in there. That's another way to say don't put in gratuitous sex or violence. It doesn't sound like that's your problem, but rather that you are hesitant to write a sex scene. There don't always have to be sex scenes, but your story might call for it. I found a book called The Joy of Writing Sex that talks about this issue, and I think does a good job. Basically, you can leave a lot to the imagination. You should focus on the thoughts, feelings, and reactions of the characters, rather than the physical act. I can't answer your question of whether it's necessary -- that really depends on your story and on your characters. If your story heavily focuses on a romantic relationship between two characters, the issue probably does need to be explored. You just need to be careful that you don't start writing pornography or get carried away in a sex fantasy. But if you try to keep it focused on what the characters are thinking and feeling, you should be okay.
     
  3. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    It's not obligatory. Ain't no sex scene in Breakfast at Tiffany's, and she's a working girl! (the book) Ok, not quite romance, but as you say, there is usually, not there is always.

    It won't hurt you either way, just don't get overly graphic.
     
  4. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    Too much sex could make your book sound like an exotic.
     
  5. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    I agree with chicagoliz, do what you have to for your story, but don't overdo it!
     
  6. Fife
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    Fife Senior Member

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    My intuition tells me that it ultimately boils down to who you are writing for. If it's for you, then you write what you are comfortable with. If you are trying to sell the story (to readers), you need to consider what the readers want. I don't really read too much, but my wife and I had an interesting conversation. As trendy (there's usually a negative connotation with trendy) as it may seem, she's a fan of the Twilight series. Her cousin was a fan of the True Blood (TV) series. Turns out there's a big difference between them--mostly sex content. I've never read the Twilight series nor do I intend to, but have seen the movie that just came out a few days ago, and there were some sex scenes, believe it or not (and the story, in my opinion, is significantly popular among young teens).

    I think there is a level of obligation to have sex scenes in romance stories because today's generation equates sex with love (for better or worse). And in doing so, creating the scene can make or break your story. A Wham-Bam-Thank-You-Maam scene definitely defeats the purpose of illustrating passion. Getting too flowery can turn your sex scene into cheese. Conversely, take a look at a different culture, like Bollywood movies where actors never kiss (at most, I've seen them rub cheecks together, embrace, and hold hands). Be it movie or written piece, it is storytelling. I think Western culture typically equates love (or perhaps passion) to sex.

    As far as teens, that gets a little racey, I think. Depending on the age of the characters (and the legal age of consent or he morally accepted age of consent), you may scare off potential readers.
     
  7. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    For me the sex scene isn't as necessary as the sexual attraction. Like Fife says sex assumes to create the automatic illusion
    of attraction or love - when that couldn't be further from the truth. In this day and age so many people have sex for the wrong
    reasons a wrongly handled sex scene could backfire.

    Passion and love can be expressed in some many different ways that sometimes the obvious culmination in sex seems to be, almost not a cop out, but predictable.
     
  8. Michael Collins
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    Michael Collins Contributing Member

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    I think it depends mostly on what you want to achive. Do you want your story to be controversial? Do you want it to be erotica?
    Or do you just feel that a sex scene would fit nicely it that particular point of the story?
    Done this, you have to see the difference between writing and describing a sex scene. You can write about character having sex, you can write about the situation they're in, about their feelings, without having to describe the act.

    Not that describing is wrong, it just points you in a different, more controversial direction.
     
  9. Michael Collins
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    Michael Collins Contributing Member

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    I think it depends mostly on what you want to achive. Do you want your story to be controversial? Do you want it to be erotica?
    Or do you just feel that a sex scene would fit nicely it that particular point of the story?
    Done this, you have to see the difference between writing and describing a sex scene. You can write about character having sex, you can write about the situation they're in, about their feelings, without having to describe the act.

    Not that describing is wrong, it just points you in a different, more controversial direction.


    Double post. Sorry. Please delete if you can.
     
  10. Fivvle
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    Fivvle Contributing Member

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    Just do whatever you're comfortable with.
     
  11. James Berkley
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    James Berkley Banned

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    you could be a tease and never have it quite work out.
     
  12. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    You would know the answer to that better than we would. They're your characters. In my current project, there are two love interests (so far). The main one is between two kids who are 13. No sex. The other one, the boy is 18 and the girl is 14. No sex there, either. Not because sex between young teens might be offensive to some, but because of the way the relationships evolve. If you do feel that it is warranted, remember that this is one area in which less is definitely better than more.

    Does it matter to whom? In what sense? It probably makes the violence easier to accept and digest, or at least to rationalize.

    If by age group you mean the readership - as in YA vs. Adult - that would be determined by the level of sophistication of the story rather than the ages of the characters. I can think of several novels with child or teen protagonists that would definitely not be considered YA fiction.
     
  13. marktx
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    marktx Contributing Member

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    Obligatory sex is the worst kind, in my opinion. I've written erotica (not romance...erotica) in which no actual sex took place in the story. And the story sizzled off the page, even without an actual sex scene, based on the response I received from readers.

    So, no. If the sex isn't there for a reason, and if you're not into writing it, don't do it. It's an in-for-a-dime, in-for-a-dollar scenario, and it's never worth writing it just because you think you're supposed to.
     
  14. robertpri007
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    robertpri007 Member

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    I tried to add some sex scenes in my stories and the wife just laughed at them. Not very encouraging. So now, if it's an important part of the plot to know two people had sex, I begin with the setup, dinner, dancing, talking, etc., and make it clear what is on their mind. Next, it's morning, and it's easy to allude what happened, without actually describing it. Seems to work for me.
     
  15. SuperVenom
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    SuperVenom Contributing Member

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    I always think we (as a people) put too much emphasis on sex nowadays, and we are getting so desensitized it really has almost become mundane, so we have to resort to more shocking tactics, creating a vicious circle grrrrrr.
    We don't need sex that much in most stories, i agree there is a time and a place but its not as numerous as we believe. I would use the readers own imagination, build the story in there mind, just by making suggestions and building the scene as if leaving them outside the proverbial bedroom with the door closed so they have a picture in there mind. Up to them how dirty they make it.
     

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