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Writing Advice & Discussion > Advice on writing sexual scenes in YA/NA fiction?

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message 1: by Sydney (new)

Sydney K. | 9 comments Hello, Lucy!

https://www.swoonreads.com/blog/ask-a... I found this website that might help answer your question!

Personally, I think it pays to be a bit cautious. I imply it just because I fear turning my readers/their parents off from the book, but I don't think that makes the book less marketable, and it's probably more accepted in NA than YA since the readers are older. Many people don't mind sex scenes. Also, as someone who fits into the target group of YA/NA, I don't really care how detailed it is or anything like that. As long as you're not crossing into erotica territory and has some purpose to the story, you're fine. Even if it is a same-sex couple (a lot of people are really wanting that kind of diversity, so depending on the publisher, they may be more willing to pick up your story).

Hope this helps!


message 2: by Susan (new)

Susan | 60 comments Hi Lucy,
These are great questions, and my blog on writing edgy YA fiction might answer some of them: http://openbooktoronto.com/news/kid_l... .
Part 2 will be posted next month.
I also find reading other YA helps!
Best, Susan


message 3: by Noël (last edited Feb 27, 2016 06:51PM) (new)

Noël Cades (noelcades) | 1 comments The big issue with sex scenes in books is that if they are "titillating" (or supposed to be) then Amazon will not accept them unless the characters are over 18.

Many works still fall under the radar for this, so you will find examples of YA with under-18 protagonists in detailed intimate scenes. Those authors got lucky. Generally if you are self-published - traditionally published works get much more leeway - try to avoid any explicit scenes unless it's clear that your characters are over 18. Of course your under-18 characters may have sex, teenagers do and it's not even illegal in most places. But you need to "fade to black" rather than give details, unless it's something like sex-gone-wrong and NOT erotic.

Otherwise your entire account can get banned.

Another tip is to NOT tag your work as "Romance: Erotic" as everything under this tag is getting put into the Erotica category. If it has Mature scenes, mark it 18+, but just put it in Romance: Contemporary and Romance: YA (or whatever is appropriate).

You want to do all you can to distinguish a novel length romance from short erotica.


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