View Full Version : Taboo Subject
July 29th, 2002, 06:56 AM
OK, I am writing a novella length story that is in the dark/fantasy genre and **SEX** is an important ingredient.
My fave authors often skirt around the issue and some avoid it like the plague, the two lovers embracing and then that's it!!! End of chapter!!!
Whilst I don't want to get graphic and indeed there is no need for it, I do not want to avoid the issue.
As writers and perhaps more importantly, as readers, what are you prepared to accept as 'in context'?
This is quite a hard topic I feel, and an even harder one to address when actually writing a 'bedroom' scene in a story.
Your opinions gratefully received.
July 29th, 2002, 07:23 AM
Personally I've never understood the need for graphic sexual descriptions in the sf/fantasy, or even horror genres...save that for Mills and Boon and the erotica pulp fiction, IMO. :)
I find that implied liasons and events can be so much more descriptive and powerful for the reader than an in-your-face commentary, but that's just me.
There is no explicit sex in any of my books thus far, and this is not because I am a prude or anything, but because I find it isn't needed in the genre I write in. Usually, graphic sex in a novel is only there to ensure its sales if the story is a weak one! I also don't use overly graphic language in my books, unless it is absolutely necessary to the story line.
These are just my opinions and methods, and others will see it much differently I imagine. :)
July 29th, 2002, 08:03 AM
Thanks Erebus. I tend to agree with you I.E. it is often best to let the reader make up the bits the writer leaves out.
This is the first time I have ever felt the need to 'write' the sex, as Fantasy is my chosen genre and seems to do just fine without it.
Having said that, I still think it is important in this particular tale. Don't get me wrong, I am not talking about graphic 'hardcore' description or profane text to illustrate my point, I just need the reader to feel the passion and 'horror' of what is occuring to my main character.
There seems to be a wider issue here though, many Fantasy fans are fine with decapitation and ruthless murder, yet find something that can be beautiful disturbing.
July 29th, 2002, 09:59 AM
Well, I certainly don't pick up books at the bookstore looking for porn, but the use of sex as a plot device can have as much or as little prominence as the writer wishes.
It really depends on the story. Younger audiences and more conservative readers might be put off by it, there might be a market for a fantasy story with more adult themes. All I can say is try it and see how it works. Just don't let any youngins' read it!
July 29th, 2002, 10:03 AM
Am I coming across as Hue Heffner???
There is no Porn or Profanity and I have no intention of adding any of these elements, I just...
I know, I'll write it then attempt to get it posted at SFFWORLD. If it gets rejected for being too wude, I'll know I have failed.
July 29th, 2002, 10:15 AM
I understand what you're talking about Juzzza.
I have often wondered, when writing a story with sexual content, how much detail to include (if any). A lot of people do seem to be put off by it. I don't think there's anything wrong with including sex in a fantasy story, as long as it's A) done tastefully and B) a necessary part of the story. As you already said it's a part of the plot, so I don't see why you shouldn't include it.
I agree with you that it's strange that extremely graphic violence is accepted in books but many readers feel uncomfortable with sex, which IMO isn't as bad as violence! Especially when written well it can be beautiful and touching.
That having been said, it's still better if you leave the juiciest bits to the reader's imagination, so your work doesn't take on the tone of a romance novel. But I'm sure you'll write it well.
Go ahead and try to get it posted. I look forward to reading it.
July 29th, 2002, 10:17 AM
Thanks M, will do.
You have totally understood where I am coming from. (No pun)
July 29th, 2002, 10:38 AM
July 29th, 2002, 10:40 AM
sorry, Juz, didn't mean to imply you wanted to write porn.
I just meant to say that how much or how little you use will depend on A) your audience and B) the story itself.
Fantasy readers tend to be younger than general fiction readers, so that's something to keep in mind. But hten again, the LotR movies and what-not may ave greatly widened the audience, and it might be an ideal time to write a story tackling more adult or 'real' issues for that new market.
I certainly wouldn't object to it. Graphic depictions are USUALLY tabboo, but then again, I could see where it might be necesarry. So 'll accept whatever you feel works in the story. If you do a good job, I'll continue reading. If not...well, it doesn'tmatter how much or how little you include. Morally, I'll accept anything that works in the story. Once it corsses the line into gratuitous sex I'll likely lose interest.
That's about the best answer i can give. In essence, you're free to put as much or as little in there as you want. Just do it for the sake of a story, not for the sex.
July 29th, 2002, 10:42 AM
Point well made.
And it is because the story demands it that this thread started in the first place. I would appreciate your opinion when/if it is posted.
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