At a yesterday’s book club we discussed Grace Draven’s Master of Crows – a good read if you’re into romantic fantasy. The discussion meandered to this question: how much sex is too much?
It’s an interesting query.
In the book there are plenty of erotic scenes. They were well done, and I certainly didn’t mind reading them. But did they further the plot? To be fair, some of them did. But to be equally fair, some of them didn’t, too. It got to be a bit… much… after a while.
But how much is too much?
I say it depends on genre in which you’re writing in.
Erotica is supposed to be sexually charged, but Middle Grade isn’t. The genres are for two different readers and so are written in two vastly different ways.
But what about a book that’s Romance but not Erotica? Where does one halt the bodice-ripping? Is there even a line between the two anymore?
To answer one of the questions – yes there is a line. For example, you can’t have a YA Romance and have it written in the Erotic style, while some YA books do get pretty detailed, it’s certainly not as detailed as the Erotica section. For another example, Romance books generally have a plotline to follow and characters to define a bit more then the rough-n-tumble of an Erotic novel.
As for the others, personally, I think it depends on the story you’re writing and the characters themselves.
If the plotline calls for it and the characters arcs develops further whilst doing the deed, go ahead and put it in. It’s called Romance for a reason, you know, you do need a bit of steam. A sex scene can be a wonderful thing to call attention to a relationship, to solidify a deeper bond between two characters and yes, even draw more readers. (I’d caution you to only have one or two scenes depending on the story length though. More than that and it’s a bit overboard.)
Because really, in all honesty, sex does sell.
If, however, you’re putting the scene in but it doesn’t really further the characters or plotline you’re skewing it more towards the Erotic. To be fair, of course, I’m sure some Erotic books have decent plotlines and interesting characters, but they are mostly written to feed the human’s need for physical intimacy. if that’s what you’re going for, throw more than a few good scenes in there, with this genre the steamier, the better.
I’m more of a Romance girl myself.
What do you think? Comments, questions and thoughts are always welcome!