And the prize for bluntest title goes to…
It is perhaps surprising that I’ve never blogged about sex before, since plenty of novels feature it (don’t ask me for stats, oh no). However, a conversation with a Scribophile writing buddy earlier today set off a mildly illuminating wee train of thought. I thought I’d share.
“Sex or no sex by the end of the book” was the question (man it feels weird not having to cite sources #historystudent) and the answer was “…um.” You see, I myself have come across something rather intriguing as I approach the close of the 2nd draft of Ironfang. Val, my protag, isn’t getting any, and its through no fault of mine. You see, in the script she was lined up to get it on, albeit only once and non-gratuitously. But it just hasn’t happened, and nor is it showing any signs of occurring in the near future.
Now, I’ve always scoffed at writers who say “oooh, my characters are always defying me and doing stuff I never intended.” I’ve always been like “pft, yeah. That’s just another of those writer myths we tell muggles to make ourselves seem more mysterious and muse-ey.” Now, however, I find myself faced by categorical refusal from my own main character. I can do nothing but allow this sass to stand – Val is right, the babymaking wouldn’t fit the overall plot or even the tone of the book.
When asked “sex or no sex,” my response was along the lines of “be true to the book, but when in doubt go for it – humans love to be titillated.” My words still stand, but the revelation about my own character’s recalcitrance has been an eye-opener. For the record, Val’s prospective mate has been equally reluctant to drop his trews, consistently closing scenes with explosive action or awkward moments, neither of which are generally any good for seguing into the bedsheets.
The upside of all this is at least now I can be one of those annyoing people who goes on about how “true” they are to their characters. It also means I can focus on proper yucky stuff, like werewolves eating people.