I’m halfway through with writing a book, Undesirable. The plan? To have it chock full of hot, romantic, adulterous pioneer sex.
The result so far? Not even a kiss between the two main characters. This is a romance, they’re supposed to at least kiss.
Not until chapter six, I guess.
So, the question on most non-writer’s minds is most likely why can’t I just force the issue? Aren’t I, as the author, the one in control?
To which I answer, I was in control, but now I’m not. I created the setting and conflict. I created the characters, each with their own lives and motivations. They’re not 3-D, more like 100-D, with that many dimensions to them. Again, why can I not ‘write’ them what to do?
Because my work with creating them is done. It’s kind of like having adult children. You can set things up to be easy or difficult, but in the end, character drives their actions. I think in the best stories I’ve ever watched or read, the characters are always true to themselves. Sam in Undesirable is a straight arrow, intent on right and wrong. Even if wrong is where he wants to go, he won’t because that’s not who he is. Marie, his love interest in the novel, is also an honest person. Her feelings for Sam are growing but her love for her husband is keeping her from giving in to them. Me? I’d planned on them having a make out session in chapter one, and yet, it’s in chapter six that they kiss. I’m not even sure they’ll do that, to be honest.
So now I put it back on you. Are readers in an instant gratification world fine with extended sexual tension? Can characters be truly that strong in a writer’s mind that they call the shots? Is adding violence a good way to substitute for the lack of sex?