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A fine line

I finished my story for the week yesterday, and while I like it, I’m not entirely happy with it. In fact, it’s left me once more with the feeling of uncertainty about just where to draw the line when it comes to sex.

It is integral to this scene, and to this character, and whatever else she appears in. It’s part of the foundation of who she is and what she does, so naturally it’s going to crop up.

But how much is too much? How do you decide what you need to show, and what can be skipped? In struggling with this, I didn’t go into a bunch of details, in fact I skipped the main act and jumped to the end of the story. The point was not to just write sex, which I was worried it was going to come out as, but at the same time I feel like I missed out on the bits of the act that would really solidify things for both the character and the reader. These things were spoken about after the fact, but I feel like thats a cop out in some respects.

I think this can sometimes be a hard line to walk, and while I’ve always been of the ‘if it fills the needs of the story, and enhances/explains/shows something of the characters/situation/etc, then pretty much anything goes’ camp, I’m still unsure of just how much to include, and how much to leave out.

When I reread it, I’m sure it will become clear what should stay or go, or what should be added. But for now I am left feeling rather unsatisfied with the whole thing. And still at a loss as to what to write next week. Hopefully something crops up between now and then though!

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5 thoughts on “A fine line”

  1. I’m sure you’ll get it sorted it out πŸ™‚ I have never tried to write a sex scene. I’d be blushing the whole time, lol. I hope something comes to you over the weekend πŸ˜€ Delany won’t let you down! ❀

  2. It is difficult, but then once the context of the story is more firm in your hand, maybe that will make it easier. Sometimes I write fairly explicit, sometimes just an outline, depending mainly on the flow of the manuscript and the characters. If sex is integral to the character, I think less might not be enough, but it’s so subjective.

    As a Yank, there is also this Puritanical attitude that sex is naughty, but feel free to write all the violence and gore you like. We’re human beings, sex a part of life that gets swept under the rug, something that can’t be discussed in polite company. I think that does a disservice, in that, speaking of my own nationality, Americans will talk about anything under the sun, but still shy away from sex as if it’s still a dirty word. Literature crosses so many boundaries; as writers, why not explore sex as we do all the other emotions and scenarios? It’s not pornography, only another part of living.

    Sorry if this is too long. I’m reading one of my fave authors who does NOT treat sex as a taboo. Getting off my high horse now… πŸ™‚

  3. I can understand your dilemma. I did a lot of research and even joined a forum dedicated to the topic to get through my initial hesitation.

    One of the things I learned was that the amount written-the explicitness or lack there of depends entirely upon the audience you are writing for and what they are expecting. As well as a fair amount of the tone…what words you use to describe etc…

    I am sure that you will eventually find a happy medium.

  4. Yeah I agree with the rest there. Intent and audience are strong pointers. But being the free spirit I am, I figure if it feels right to the story, let the characters decide.

  5. I’ve written sex scenes before. The first one was a little uncomfortable, but once I got through it, it became progressively easier. Of course, I have also read a lot of them (probably way more than I should heh), so that’s probably got something to do with it. Keep working at it, though. It might be something that you never feel is totally perfect, but once you delve even more into Delaney’s world, you might get closer.

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