Monday 15 June 2009

I read this paragraph this morning and it’s been sticking with me all day:

I asked some writers at dinner today about it. Is there such a thing as writing about sex too much? One joked that he never stops writing about sex. Another said that it’s only too much if you’re doing it to avoid talking about intimacy. I think that’s spot on. In writing as in life.

(from http://​www​.michaelfau​ver​.com/)

It intersected with something that’s been troubling me lately about this story: why nearly all the sex is either violent or twisted, or “fades to black” before we get to the good parts. (Or the good parts are spoiled by the discovery of bruises on the woman’s arms, or whatever.)

I was beginning to wonder whether something was wrong with me! I have been finding it easier to write scenes like Llen’s recent tryst with Aia than I do (or WOULD if I ever wrote any) tender, loving sex.

So that quote made me think that I am perhaps not twisted, but simply avoiding writing about something that’s harder to write about than sex. Who knew?

I’ve often said that there has to be conflict in every chapter, but maybe I follow that rule too strictly. Or maybe my definition of “conflict” is too narrow. Or I don’t know.

I feel like this plot is moving forward too slowly as it is (though with the current chapters it’s finally picking up, I think). So I don’t know whether I can afford any chapters that are just… characterization for lack of a better word. (I do believe that if there isn’t conflict there had damn well better be character-​​building going on.) So I don’t want to just toss two beloved characters into a bed and write a documentary about their experiences. But there must be opportunities out there that I am missing.

As I’ve often said, I’m using this story to challenge myself and learn and grow as a writer, and I think this will be one of my new preoccupations. Writing about sex is becoming easier — now I need to tackle writing about intimacy.

Fortunately Magog is on his way. :bunny:

For that matter, I think Intimacy + Magog = Inner Conflict anyway…