If you haven’t read Part One of my Sex in Literature post, please be sure you do, HERE, otherwise this won’t make much sense to you!
City on Fire has been an ongoing writing experiment and challenge for me–but it also has been a massive blessing. I’ve never felt so at ease with myself as a writer and an author. And believe me, that whole idea is completley strange because I’ve tested every single boundry I have with this novel. Last week we talked about the pivotal point I’d reached in the novel’s creation — whether or not to have my couple have sex at 2.5 weeks into the relationship and exactly how I was going to have them do it–if I had them do it.
While being slightly distracted by Stephen Amell’s muscular structure, I hit the ah ha moment. I stopped thinking of the restrictions I put on myself and really thought of my characters and what they would want. So at the end of Chapter 21 they do not have sex.
As an author, I feel my characters are as alive and breathing as you and I, but I am the God, for lack of a better word, of their lives. I make the decisions for them for what comes next, and I realized for Levi and Ana sex wasn’t it. They actually needed something far more intimate than what sex would be for them in that moment. They needed something that would connect them on a deeper emotional level and as individuals–and that is what I did.
While Levi is a playboy billionaire and Ana hasn’t had any action in years, these two are very different than the people the outside world feels them to be. Levi has been a playboy his whole life because he’s never been willing to let someone in, and with Ana that all changes. Each of them are laden with both physical and emotional scars. I realized by physically having their scars touch, their emotions would touch too–and at that point everything would spiral into something completely different. They needed to understand one another’s scars before accepting them as their own scars. Only at that point would sex intensify their already complicated relationship.
Which brings me to the latter part of our discussion last week–to the scene where I often find myself twitching. While I didn’t have them have sex in Chapter 21, last week I did write that scene.
The best part? I completely forgot about what people have said about the cleaner approach, and what people have said about me not going far enough. I simply sat down and took my time to write something I could be proud of. There were actually moments where I stopped writing, closed my eyes and just thought. I challenged myself to finish the scene– and do it my way…
So I avoided using direct descriptions, didn’t use funny words like lengths or cores and concentrated, as I always do, on the emotions linked within the act. But I did…gulp–take it all the way. While the finality of it took me about five minutes to determine exactly what word I would use, I figured it out–and you know what–it still makes me uncomfortable.
I’ve never written that sort of scene in it’s entirety, so I’m not sure what my readers are going to say. Am I still writing clean? I think so, but I’ve had people say my other books weren’t clean (a very small portion of readers), so that will always be open to interpretation.
My goal was to strike a balance between too little and too much, and I realized for myself that “too much” wasn’t completing the scene/act, but it was in the way it was done.
So I’m uncomfortable with it, but I’m proud of it.
And I continue to be epically in love with City On Fire and it’s characters–and for the first time ever, I’m wondering how I’ll be able to let go of these characters when it’s time for the end.
Hopefully, you’ll have a hard time too.
Don’t forget to comment and vote as you read, and let me know what you think of *cough* the scene!
Oh…and your viewing pleasure…