Every once and a while my buddy Ashely of Truth About Books and I chat about different topics pertaining to writing, reading, and reviewing fiction. I figured I’d open it up to followers here too, if anyone wants. Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts!
So this week, the question was “How Much is Too Much” in terms of adult content in fiction?
I must admit up front that my sensibilities about adult content are very America. I’m far more comfortable with violence than I am with sex.
That being said, I think there’s a place for both. It all depends on what you’re comfortable writing.
For example, I get pumped when I’m about to write an action-packed battle or fight scene. I’ve had characters stabbed, loose limbs, gotten arrows to the eye, all sorts of fun stuff. It simply doesn’t bother me (all though you could argue that it should), but I’ll be writing a sex scene a quarter after never. Even when writing romantic subplots, it feels too personal and invasive to put down on paper. A “fade to black” works fine in my opinion.
Then again, I primarily write YA fantasy, so there’s not a real demand for hot sex scenes, but violence is par for the course. It’s a niche perfect for me because it’s equally important to find readers that have a similar comfort zone.
Ashley’s been at this longer, let’s hear what she has to say.
Gosh, Tay, this one conflicts me since up to a certain point, neither is completely uncomfortable for me. But, I think at the end of the day sexual content is something I find easier to deal with.
I can say for certain that I could possibility be more apt to write adult sex scenes all day long before I could write a decent fight scene.
Truly, though, I am so much more comfortable with sex than violence. Please don’t misunderstand that I think smut should be taught as an elementary class. I suppose my thought process is that, as a whole in this world, sex would be easier to explain away than violence.
Sexuality and its actions are part of our natural order. In my opinion, viewing/reading/writing sex in a certain context can be a beautiful thing. I think sex is a much more natural thing to explain to a young person, as opposed to violence. Forget just young people, sometimes violent scenes make my stomach churn and I must turn my head.
Let’s take a scene between two lovers where there is heavy petting. I would have an easier time explaining to a young adult that those people loved one another and such rather than explaining why some beefy Bo hunk is bashing in the face of some guy in a bar with a beer bottle over some piece of tail.
In conclusion, I’d have to close with the old saying that everything in moderation is the best way to go.
As posted on tabbyafae.com on Jan 31, 2017.
Image courtesy of tabbyafae.com.