Thursday, January 27, 2011

NaNoWriMo and SEX?

I suppose this is one of those big YA questions. Should sex be in YA, how much, and how much should be "on screen."

I think that writing about sex is part of writing for young adults. So I have no problem dealing with sex in my writing. But I have come to a part of the story that I am not sure how to get to the sex that I know is coming.

My main character is currently traveling with a beautiful but distant/mean girl that he studied with at school. He thinks she is beautiful but has not worked out whether he likes her or not.

The girl feels that the main character is interesting due to his potential, but really sees him as inferior to her because she is street smart and he is book smart. She thinks he is cute, but cannot get over how naive he is. So there is room for this to grow into something, but in her mind he is more casual friend material. However, if he started up some trouble it would be a different story.

Now comes the interesting part. While traveling they have met a handsome farm boy who is charming and witty, but also has shown an ability to protect himself when danger is around. The girl is completely smitten with him, and has been reduced to giggles on more than once occasion.

So here is the question. The girl would totally have sex with farm boy, like right now, if the opportunity arose. But, if this happens, main character will be turned off of her for good. However, if I throw the brakes on the sex for now and let the relationship develop more it could turn into an interesting series of love points to explore in the story.

So that is my dilemma, any advice?


  1. ummm a. i really would be interested in reading this when you're done. b. you know about the blueboards, right? c. to address the question at hand - i'm a fan of just enough on-page sex to make it obvious what's going on while not having the actual event on page. does that make sense? enough to heighten the senses, to build some excitement, but the actual EVENT happens off page.

  2. I agree with Kelly-that's what I like too. I don't need a whole romance novel scene! But I also like tension built up and if she goes with cute farm boy now, it kind of ruins any romantic tension.

  3. Oh, and no he doesn't know about the blueboards even though I've mentioned it!;)

  4. Lol that is a scary dilemma. Hmmm....

    Maybe you should let boy number 1 only end up friends with the girl. It's something different for once.


  5. Wow. That is a tough one. There's so much to consider and it's hard to say without knowing the characters inside and out like you do.

    The girl is kind of stringing your MC along, right? She kind of likes him, but would have sex with the farm boy? That does make her sound pretty mean. The only way I'd see sex with the farm boy working out is if the girl learned something from doing it (like she discovered that she really likes your MC because the farm boy was just a fling and what she could have with the MC is more genuine). Or like you said, the MC stopped caring about the girl afterwards and she realized that she wants to be with him after all. Otherwise, I'd just avoid it. Maybe you know she would have sex with him, but the oppertunity just never comes up?

    Plus, just because she has meaningless sex with some guy doesn't mean she can't be with your MC. He could learn to forgive her, see her in a different light, etc.

    I may be way off base though. You'll know what's best!

    PS - Have you read The DUFF? There's sex galore in that one, so I wouldn't worry about too much on-screen happening.