Ah, the dreaded three letter word that starts with S, ends in X, and rhymes with HEX.
It’s not such a dreaded word in reality (at least not for most people under whichever circumstances), but for writers who are not Romance novelists? Oh yes, that word is SO dreaded. I’m not sticking all of you other writers out there into that little box with me, but I’m definitely in it and I know I’m not the only one.
I have to keep in mind that most of you who read my blog have had zero interaction with me off of here. I email with a few people. I’ve talked on the phone to one person a few times. So yes, the only way most of us all know one another is through interactions on WordPress. In a way, that can almost give you deeper insight to a person than you’d normally get – at least in my opinion. We share our hopes and dreams on here – our pains (not paints, way to ruin a moment with a typo, C), our struggles, and our ambitions. We share our WRITING. I know you all get me on that level, which is fantastic.
I’ve said on here before that I’m a pretty closed off person in some ways. If I know you, I’ll spill my deepest secrets (or the next level above the deepest) to you in a heartbeat. I can be a very open person. But let me give you a little insight . . .
If I did NOT know you, and you came up to me on the street and started rattling off about sex scenes, one or both of my eyes would likely start twitching. I would sweat profusely. I would be polite and say, “Hey, Random Person, this is somewhat inappropriate.” At least I would want it to come out of my mouth that way. It would probably be more like, “Whoa dude, wtf are you doing?”
I’ve written a lot, alright? That type of stuff HAPPENS when you write books, because that type of stuff HAPPENS in real life. I’m a fan of The Cut-Off. If I lead up to something happening well enough, I’m PRETTY SURE your mind can fill in the gaps. It’s my goal as a writer to make that happen. It’s better that way, I think (just my opinion). At least I am better at it that way, which . . . sometime you out there can be the judge of that, if you ever want to be. When writing Young Adult, it’s almost better to do it that way, again in my opinion. And I don’t want to feel like I’d be responsible for a crapton of sexually deviant teenagers running around doing things that they do. Hey, they do it, but I don’t want to feel responsible for it. And I would feel responsible, even if nobody ever accused me of it.
Oh my GOD, ALL THE EVILS IN THE WORLD ARE MY FAULT!!
That’s how my brain works, okay?
There’s a part of me that’s not comfortable writing YA at all, as I cover a lot of subjects in my books that I’m not sure the younger end of YA readers . . . I’m stopping myself there, as I cannot say who should and should not (or would and would not be able to) handle whatever. But I’m less comfortable writing in the adult genre, in ways.
I’ll give you a scenario – it’s a truthful scenario that happens quite often with me while I’m writing (or editing) a book.
I’m sitting there in my shed (I have every intention of posting an entry about my shed on here, so let’s leave the shed at that for now), writing (or editing). Sexy scene comes up. I type (or read/write) a few words. I giggle. I type a few more, put my hand over my face, and start talking to myself (“Oh my god,” for example. “I can’t believe I just wrote that,” for another). I type a few more and giggle again.
There are some scenes in some of my books that – I kid you not – will have me nearly rolling around on the ground giggling in uncomfortableness. I do weird things when I’m uncomfortable, if you haven’t gathered.
So yes, adult books have their downside, as The Cut-Off is generally not wanted or accepted.
But I’ll tell you something I learned . . . yesterday? Two days ago? The days blur . . .
I knew that I’d done a relatively decent job with the more ‘intimate’ scenes (not sex scenes) in the book that my editor HAS IN HER HANDS RIGHT NOW. I knew that I had because my husband’s response after reading one of them in particular was, “I felt like I was intruding.”
That’s one of those things where you think about it for a little while, and then nod your head in satisfaction when you’re alone. It must’ve been good, in some way.
I’ve never really felt like that – at least no more than I usually feel when I’m writing. I already feel a level of intrusion into the character’s stories that I’m telling because I feel like I’m telling the life story of some person that has no business being told. I’m giving words to their lives for other people to read.
I have to be honest and say that I finished writing this new trilogy last week. I didn’t want to say anything on here – partially because I’ve been busy (writing and now editing), and partially because I read on a blog awhile back that talking about writing prolifically can make other authors feel bad. I’ve actually been struggling a lot with both that, and the fact that I write full-time (without pay because I have no books released yet . . . give me some time to get everything in place and they will be out there, I promise). I don’t want to make anyone feel any negative thing due to what I’m doing, so I haven’t wanted to be like, “HEY, I FINISHED ANOTHER BOOK!” And then another one a few weeks later. But hey. I have.
Guilty feelings come to me again now.
So anyway, I had to say it so that what I say next will make sense.
I was editing the first book in that trilogy and came upon the actual first legitimate sex scene that I’ve ever written. It was torture writing it, let me tell you. I was pleased with it afterward. I thought I kept it classy (as classy as they can get). I postponed writing it for as long as I freaking could, let me tell you.
Anyway, came upon it when editing.
And by god, if I didn’t feel like I was intruding then I don’t know what that was. Well, uncomfortable, yes. But intrusive. I felt so unbelievably intrusive.
So, after getting through editing it and taking a few minute break afterward to try and fix my brain back into its normal – un-uncomfortable – mode, I sat there and I thought about it.
I’ll never be a Romance novelist. Not ever. Well, I can’t know that for certain, but I know for certain that I don’t want to be. I love the natural romance that happens between characters, but I’m not trying to turn love stories into the pornographacation (*ding* new Non-Word) of a character’s life. I will write and write (and write and write) about things that don’t happen, but I like my books to be realistic enough that the other things can make those unrealistic things believable. And throwing in a bunch of words that people DO NOT THINK into scenarios and DO NOT HAPPEN . . . Where is the believability there?
I’m not writing this to get into a debate about Romance novels. People like them, and that’s cool. I just don’t write them.
What I’m trying to say is that I learned, finally, that I CAN actually write a sex scene if I feel that I absolutely must – if the story, or the characters say, “Dammit, woman, TELL THE STORY!”.
And I’m proud of myself for that because it was such a freaking struggle for me.
But hey, I’m a bigger fan of the leading-up-to anyhow. For the most part . . . I think I’ll stick to what I’m good at when it comes to that sort of thing with writing. I’ll venture out of my box to grow, but . . . yep, done that. Check.
Sorry this was so long, but I haven’t been blogging very much. Pretty poor way of making up for it, come to think about it.
Anyway, if anyone else has had the same struggles – or similar ones – feel free to share. Maybe I won’t feel so ridiculous.
Hope everyone is wonderful out there.
Now if only I can get over the thought of my mom reading these new books of mine that she’s been asking to read . . .