Friday, April 07, 2006

SEX...and writing

If you’re a published writer, then you’re not only going to get fan mail (which every writer adores getting, btw :D ), but you’re also going to get emails from unpublished writers asking questions about markets, writing, and all sorts of other stuff. I have no problem with this—indeed, I can all too easily remember what it was like trying to find information and get help in the time before I found MRWG, RWAustralia, and my crit group, the Lulu’s. Writing is an inherently lonely job—basically, in the end, there’s just you and that empty computer page—but when you’re just starting out with a head full of ideas and enthusiasm, but absolutely no idea about the market and the rules, it can be quite scary. Especially when you just don’t know where to turn for help. It all became a whole lot easier for me when I found somewhere where I could learn information and ask my questions—who knows what would have happened to me as a writer if I hadn’t found RWAustralia and MRWG?

So, I always try and answer questions people ask me. Or at least, provide ideas about where they can go for help. But one of the questions I’ve been asked a lot lately is….is sex a requirement in all paranormal/ dark urban fantasy novels? Is there a place for a books without sex?

The easy answer is, yeah, of course there is The market is a huge place, and there’s plenty of room for a well told story, whether or not it has sex in it. Moon Called, by Patricia Briggs, proves that (great book, if you haven’t read it.). Sex and erotica is ‘hot’ in the market place right now, and just about publisher imaginable is after sexy stories—particularly hot, sexy paranormal or urban fantasy stories—but that doesn’t mean there’s no room left for a great story that has little sex, or no sex at all.

Thing is, the one thing all publishers want, above everything else, is a great story. They want a story that grabs them—and the readers—by the throat, and doesn’t let go. They want a story that they can’t stop reading, and even when they get to the end, leaves them hungry for more. Not necessarily more of the same story, but another story just like that, by you.

If you write a great story, with characters the readers care about, it won’t matter whether there’s sex in it or not.

So, that’s my advise to all those asking about writing sex in their novels—don’t do it unless you comfortable with it or the characters and the story demand it. There’s room for all sorts of stories out there—the only real requirement is a damn good read.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an avid reader, I certainly agree with you. Sometimes I like the story/characters so much, I skip through the sex scenes. One of my favorite books, WARPRIZE, by Elizabeth Vaughan, is a fantastic story with unbelievable characters but I can only find one sex scene and it's really not graphic. Just loved the story. The same goes for your series, Memory Loss, Generation 18 and Penumbra. Just one kiss and some attraction but an utterably great series. (Hint, hint) Thanks for the stories. Can't wait for more of Riley!!!

2:38 PM, April 07, 2006  
Anonymous Dolly said...

I am so sorry as I called one of your books by the wrong name - I meant "Memory Zero" NOT Memory Loss. Sorry!!

9:00 PM, April 07, 2006  
Blogger Kez said...

LOL, Dolly...I'm forever forgetting book names. At least you remembered half the name...better than I usually do!

7:24 AM, April 08, 2006  

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