There is no more common denominator in life. Sex literally makes the world go round. Every single person on the planet is the product of a sexual liaison.
~Bestselling author, J.T. Ellisonhttps://www.jtellison.com/lets-talk-about-sex/
Sooooo…when I first started on this journey I figured I had plenty of time to decide on my audience. After all, how much could I really write in a day, right? I was sure it would be awhile before I had to decide on the dreaded sex scene and whether or not I even wanted to tackle one. I mean, YA would be perfect! The first conversation I had with my husband about writing a novel included an exchange that went a little something like this:
Him: So what’s your audience? Are you making this adult or more of a teen fantasy book?
Me: I don’t know. Adult fantasy books usually have sex in them, right? I can’t imagine trying to write a sex scene. It would be so embarrassing.
Him: Yeah, better not do adult. (He probably laughed at me a little then. Yeah, there was definitely laughing).
There was no way for me to predict that the words would pour out of me at an alarming rate. Still, writing the scene had me anxiety-filled. After awhile, I was totally invested in my characters. And I also realized quickly that sex was going to be inevitable for them. There were only so many times I could have them passionately kiss or give each other sexy eyes (don’t worry-those are not the words I used in the novel). I literally googled, “How to write a sex scene” and read a bunch of articles online. I thought bestselling author J.T. Ellison’s post said it best. After all, every one of us literally is “the product of a sexual liaison.” Another post I found helpful was 3 Ways to Write a Better Sex Scene, on Standout Books Publishing (check out the article at: https://www.standoutbooks.com/sex-scene/). This one has some great quotes, and some great advice on how to craft a scene that is tasteful and depicts mutual agency.
I guess, in the end there were three crucial factors for me in writing about sex:
- YA just didn’t work for me in the end. There are genre word count guidelines that I am trying to stick to as a first-timer and even at halfway (or a little over half) done with the book, I am at almost 75,000 words.
- I have know since the start that this book is the first in a trilogy. It’s a good vs evil tale that just can’t be over in one book. To further the plot, there needs to be a baby…and the stork wasn’t going to magically drop it in the main character’s lap.
- My leads are in love. They are soulmates. Soulmates usually do more than peck each other on the cheeks, at least in my world.
In the end, I became so invested in this couple that I had created, that when the scene finally came, it just flowed right out onto the page like everything else. The research helped, but trusting my characters was ultimately the missing puzzle piece. I need to just let them be themselves and move forward in the story, and sex was a big part of that for them. So, for me, the answer to the question was, “Yes. They had to do IT.”