Given the recent overwhelming popularity of certain fanfic-turned-original fiction stories, this astonished me, especially since with regards to romance, one would expect sex scenes to be an important factor in a story. Then too, there are some publishing houses that have a set formula that authors must maintain: a sex scene every so many pages.
I ran my own mini-survey among some fellow authors on a chat over Thanksgiving, and the general consensus was that if the sex was rote, if it didn’t reveal anything about the characters or move the story along in some fashion, many of my fellow authors skipped it as well.
I was kind of floored by this–after all, we’re romance writers! I like sex: I’m interested in the subject, I expect a certain amount of it in my romances, I enjoy writing a smokin’ hot scene that I hope will reveal something about my characters when they are at their most vulnerable. I put a lot of time and thought into writing these scenes, trying to keep their fresh and interesting. I assumed they were important to the reader as well–a major factor in what made a romance (erotic or otherwise) different from say, a mystery or a sci-fi story where the romance (if any) was a subplot.
And then last night, while reading a story in which the characters where a little too perfect, where they accepted even the kind of relationship assumptions that would try the patience of most of us and leave us in high dungeon (rather than making out in the closet when no one was looking), I caught myself skimming. *gasp* I know, I know! But I did!
I asked myself why, and I realized that it was because of the complete lack of believability of the scenario as it was set up, and the improbability of the character reaction being what any real person would do under similar circumstances. Which lead me back to my poll of the Thanksgiving Chat. Now I want to know: do you skip the sex scenes–the presumed reason for reading the romance in the first place? If so, why?
You know what that means, right! Time for a poll!
And another one!
And one more…
Okay, maybe a couple of more, but only for the purposes of curiosity.
Right, well, it’s back to the WIP for me now. My deadline is looming and I’m entering what I hope to be the final third of the story. So enough procrastinating, yes? Yes!