Monthly Archives: February 2019

Love and Sex

The topic for this month’s round robin is an opinion on love, sex, and relationships in books. What seems acceptable? Is it necessary in a story? And what goes too far?

Every book and every character is different, and each situation is unique. In terms of how explicit (or not) I’m willing to be about sex, I’m willing to open the door only as far as necessary to advance the plot.

In my novel Geek Games, character is  fourteen, gay,  and develops an attraction to another by a couple of years older. I faced deciding not only how far I wanted to go in terms of the plot, but also how what I wrote intersected with my publisher’s guidelines.

Yes, I asked, and I sent along a couple of scenes I was concerned about, one where they kiss and another where I wanted to show that they were doing more.

The kiss is a big deal, a turning point for my main character in terms of his feelings about himself, and thus it was important for me to describe, and, yes, the description was all right with my publisher and made it into the novel.

In the second incident, I hinted at what was happening but the action takes place off-stage. My initial draft was a bit more explicit about it, but after passing it by my publisher, I modified it. However, what was important about the second incident was the attitude of the adults about it, and not what the boys themselves were doing.

If I had written a different novel, it might have turned out that the activity was important. Would I have described it? Given my druthers, I’d rather not write about 14-year olds doing anything more than kissing. Would I, if it were important to the plot? Yes, I would.

Two boys kissing might make some readers squirm, but making my readers comfortable is not my primary aim. I want to explore my characters’ journeys. It’s not always an easy place to be.

Margaret Fieland
Skye Taylor
Victoria Chatham
Beverley Bateman
A.J. Maguire
Marci Baun
Dr. Bob Rich
Rhobin L Courtright

Diane Bator