Intimate relationships catalyze stories in ways other actions do not. I believe that if I could write all the emotions that go into a really satisfying poop, I’d approach a similar feeling. But then, unless the character involved was a part of a really intimate relationship, this character would be alone after the poop as well.
Person-to-person connection is a fundamental part of life. The past few novels I have worked on has seen little of the sexual side. A novel I essentially finished in 2009 has the few sexy scenes of a budding relationship. It’s great. I got hot writing it. I get hot reading it.
I want more of it.
Despite needing publication, self-growth, an audience/platform, and practice, writers usually write for themselves. I love writing, and to read what I write. I hope we all do, as writers. I hope we all get a profound joy out of it.
Sex was a subject I kept tied down. My life the past few years has been very un-sexified, without much real life intimacy beyond seeing someone once every few months. Oases in the desert. My writing about these oases, with their greenery and water and ecosystems, was a painful thing, and I ignorantly avoided it. Stuff I could have, but chose to not have, all of that.
I didn’t enjoy writing about it, so I didn’t write about it. But now my characters are alive, grand, strange, powerful. One is 55. One is 20. Protector/student perspective is about to crack.
She, the 20 year old, wants out from under him and to live life with love, intensity, humanity. She wants more. He, 55, looks at books, knowledge, survival as the most important thing in the world; history collection, mapping humanity, the collision of words and thoughts that inevitably happen when people plumb the depths of knowledge.
The two halves of my inner coin at the moment of conception for this book. 122 pages in, no sex. She thinks about sex. Sexiness. The idea of sex. Laments a previous partner. Wants it. I don’t have it, in real life, so she doesn’t get to have it either. They’re on a “mission;” they need to focus. They need to–no.
That’s mean, right? Mean for me to not write about. So I started, recently, thinking about writing sex in my book. And it tore the doors of my real life discussions wide open (as it will always do). It tore me down. Broke me up. Dissolved the relative stability I had in a relationship and tossed me, panting, onto the ground. Strangely more alone than alone. Strangely, upsettingly, unstable.
Yet now, there were thoughts of sex. Thoughts of gratification. Thoughts of power and sharing and messiness. Like some mental skin-shedding, my lizard brain eats the old husk as I write this. So now what? I still haven’t written a word on Corpus Paradisum in a month and a half. Mostly because of other homework needs. Partially because all of it feels fundamentally different now, and I’m not doing my 20 year old character justice. So. How does one?
Re-write? Halfway through the book? Inject sex? Inject another character? Have the two halves of my coin combine in a manner that breaks tradition? How does that change my 55 year old character? He, who is fine with her shooting people but terrified of her fucking people. How does this change me?
This desert needs watering.