Moville author Sharon Thompson makes a change from her DW fiction series to reveal an unseen issue for authors.
Let’s talk about sex.
This part of everyday life does come up in my character’s lives. However, I don’t know what to do about it. Yes, I have said it aloud. Written it down. I don’t know what is acceptable anymore and neither do my characters.
For instance, Peggy in my novel The Abandoned. I could’ve shied away from her being with a man, but Peggy’s not shy. I took the bull by the horns, as it were, and wrote the scene. If there’s one scene people mention to me – it’s that one. Peggy doesn’t mind and I suppose I don’t either, but I find it fascinating how people view sex in fiction.
Some of my characters get up to all sorts and if it were ever published, my husband and I, could have difficulty showing our faces in the supermarket again! Then again, many of my characters have no sexual lives at all. Why is that? Yes, I am scared of what readers will think.
Is it still taboo to write about ‘doing it’ in general fiction? Do we still expect the TV to cut away and go to commercial break when the bed scene appears?
Obviously people read ‘Fifty Shades’ in their millions. However, we can’t say that we enjoyed the books? Can we? Do we? Shouldn’t there be more explorations of other sexual needs in fiction?
I truly do need help with this conundrum.
As modern Irish women/people do we still think ‘Sex in the Country’ doesn’t happen? Do we want to read about romance, love and life and still want the characters to keep their clothes on? Do we want characters to be intimate with each other? Or is it best to leave things to the imagination?
‘Sex scenes must be done well. It must not be too graphic,’ I have been told. But, sex is not always done well and it is quite a messy business (or so I’m told). Like everything, writing sex takes practice. How do writers write sex scenes, if they don’t practice writing them?
In Ireland, sexual matters are not always discussed openly. We might be safe enough, if they are written in the pages of a book? Do we even care anymore? Is it just me who has the issue here? Are readers waiting for writers to tackle the taboos? Or, do readers just want us to write and not worry about it?
Sharon Thompson is the author of Amazon #1 crime novel The Abandoned. She has signed with leading crime publishing house Bloodhound Books UK for two more books. She is the co-founder of #WritersWise a trending, writers’ tweet-chat (www.writerswise1.wordpress.com).
Check back next Sunday for another short story from Sharon. If you are a local writer of stories or poetry, email [email protected] to inquire about featuring.