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Author Chat > I came across a reviewer who says she doesn't want to read any sex scenes

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message 1: by Leon (new)

Leon Kaminsky | 6 comments She also indicated she is married with kids. So, it's not like she's a virgin or something. I just wonder - why? What would be so terrible about reading that Character A and Character B did it. I understand it if people write they don't want to read/review erotica, but she completely refused to read anything with any sex-related elements in it. Is it some deeply rooted religious beliefs?


message 2: by Amanda (new)

Amanda  (manka23) | 17 comments Leon wrote: "She also indicated she is married with kids. So, it's not like she's a virgin or something. I just wonder - why? What would be so terrible about reading that Character A and Character B did it. I u..."

Personally I prefer to read fade to black sex scenes or non graphic ones. It's just a personal preference on what I like to read. But I also don't like romance to be the main focus in a novel, I prefer the focus to be on plot. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy some NA and the occasional reverse harem from time to time. But for the most part I'd prefer not to read about it. I am a person who would rather read about love over lust every single time.


message 3: by P.I. (new)

P.I. (thewordslinger) | 75 comments As an author, I write sex scenes if it is necessary to the plot and/or defining characters of alien species. I do, however, use swearing which can be objectionable to reviewers as well. Plus, I personally have found that if a novel has more than a few graphic sex scenes, generally the plot descends into erotica which then can cause the writing technique to spiral downward as well. This is not a hard and fast (no pun intended) rule, but it happens a lot. Plus I recently have been thinking about cutting down my dialogue of swearing or trying to dilute it at the very least, because if I can't write a book without cursing, I'm not as great a writer as I like to think. When I wrote my first books, there was little to no swearing and people enjoyed them more. JMHO


message 4: by Amanda (new)

Amanda  (manka23) | 17 comments I liked swearing in your book. It added to the characters personalities. Although I am pro swearing in books. I feel like it is much more natural than not swearing or replacing it with silly phrases instead


message 5: by P.I. (last edited Dec 05, 2018 06:30PM) (new)

P.I. (thewordslinger) | 75 comments I had a publisher that was Christian and the editors would use non-sensical words for hell, damn, f*ck (See? I STILL sometimes don't use that word, lol!) etc and there wasn't really any graphic sex. I only published with them one trilogy and the kickoff story in an anthology. This was like 10 years or so ago, so whether they got laxer with that, I don't know. But for The Brede Chronicles, the only character that swore constantly was Alekzander, which I didn't realize until after I'd finished it. I think that was my subconscious way of making him even more badass, LOL! I did enjoy writing those (Future Imperfect trilogy) books even with the restraint on language and sex scenes. I am so happy that you like my book and I thank you for posting about it! FYI Book #2 is going through my edits now and hopefully, I can get it back to the publisher next month.


message 6: by Leon (new)

Leon Kaminsky | 6 comments Me too, me too! I'm also pro swearing if necessary.


message 7: by P.I. (new)

P.I. (thewordslinger) | 75 comments Well, cozies (my sister used to write them) have another set of "rules" and a different audience as does paranormal. So, you have to know about the basics of those genres to comprehend their rules...and know how and when to bend them. Sometimes I think that writing cozies must be fun and that I should try them but I haven't so far...


message 8: by Alicia (new)

Alicia Ehrhardt (aliciabutcherehrhardt) Amanda wrote: "I am a person who would rather read about love over lust every single time. ..."

Lust is easy. Love is difficult, and complicated, and messy, and full of things like ideals, and promises, and integrity. And tricky, oh so tricky, to write well.

Plus most people have enough imagination to fill in scenes without explicit help.


message 9: by P.I. (new)

P.I. (thewordslinger) | 75 comments Leon, I also prepare a reviewer if there is something they might object to such as swearing, graphic sex, or graphic violence before they read the book. I feel it's not fair to get them to promise a review and then ambush and alienate them. Reviewers are hard to come by these days and free reviewers are almost non-existent. So I include a sentence such as "There may be swearing, graphic sex or graphic violence. JYI." If they truly object, that gives them a way out without causing problems for either of you. But again, that's just how I deal with it.


message 10: by Amanda (new)

Amanda  (manka23) | 17 comments Alicia wrote: "Amanda wrote: "I am a person who would rather read about love over lust every single time. ..."

Lust is easy. Love is difficult, and complicated, and messy, and full of things like ideals, and pro..."


I agree it is SO tricky to write well. Most often people think they achieve it, but it isn't real love. My favorite depiction of love is the Strange the Dreamer series. Sarai and Lazlo.... their dates in dreams. THAT is love, THAT is romance. Most other romances I am like meh. BUT LOVE?? I will pick that everytime. Strange the Dreamer is a book any fantasy author should study. LOL


message 11: by Amanda (new)

Amanda  (manka23) | 17 comments P.I. wrote: "Leon, I also prepare a reviewer if there is something they might object to such as swearing, graphic sex, or graphic violence before they read the book. I feel it's not fair to get them to promise ..."

I think this is really important.

Also I think that as far as sex goes it's important to notify the reader of just how much.

Let me know if there is sex, but if it's not overly graphic. Let me know if it's steamy and it's basically erotica. Let me know if there are a few sex scenes, but they're fade to black, or if there is just one.

I almost denied a review request because of sex then read a line that said, there is only one sex scene and it's not too graphic. If the author didn't include that I would have missed out on a great read.

There is nothing worse than getting a bad review because of something like profanity or sex, not the book itself. If you want to avoid that kind of review you should give your reader warnings beforehand.

I'm also accepting review requests on my blog. Shameless mini plug as P.I. just mentioned that it's hard to find reviews or free reviews.


message 12: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Woods (woodsever) | 6 comments If she doesnt like sex scenes then she can read the ones that say “clean romance” or somesuch! Those are the ones I avoid because I feel like it’s prelude to a YA book which I avoid. I recently told an author who writes dystopian novels that she needed to be real with her characters and stop writing as if mid-20-yr-olds were eunichs!!! Her entire storyline deals with very serious adult situations but they act like 13-yr-olds when it comes to sexual attraction!!! I think she gets it now!!! Im an older woman who reads a book a day! My personal interests are in dystopian and historical fiction.


message 13: by Leon (last edited Dec 06, 2018 04:04PM) (new)

Leon Kaminsky | 6 comments I definitely agree re: warning the reviewer about objectionable material, though in my case (my novel is called "Raw Sexuality") it's pretty self-evident, haha (I still warn them).

Re: writing well and writing about love. In the past, I must have started about five novels and never managed to finish them, because somehow it didn't feel right. And then it slowly dawned on me that rather than writing well, one needs to be able to write honestly. I wouldn't be able to write about love, but I very much enjoy writing about the ugly aspects of romantic relationships (and life in general).
So, I think once you've learned to do this kind of "striptease of the soul", it will work out. Of course, this is not everything, but this was the core of it. And writing it was such a joy, as opposed to the previous attempts!

After that, I tried writing sci-fi, but again, it didn't really work, because it came from the mind and not so much the heart...


message 14: by Alicia (new)

Alicia Ehrhardt (aliciabutcherehrhardt) Cindy wrote: "If she doesnt like sex scenes then she can read the ones that say “clean romance” or somesuch! Those are the ones I avoid because I feel like it’s prelude to a YA book which I avoid. I recently tol..."

Ah, the perfect reader: a grownup.

I remember reading everything I could get my hands on while growing up in Mexico City (books in English were harder for me to get, and there were no libraries); if something was a little racier than I was used to, I'd skip that part until I was older. Word meanings came from context, not dictionaries (and certainly not seeking out an adult to ask - no time for that).

Glad I have all that in my background as a writer, but I keep my writing PG-13 for my own convenience. I'm far more interested in conversation and build up and motivations and dialogue. Characters and plot and language.


message 15: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (michelle_sutton) | 19 comments Some of my books have them and some don’t but I never describe things in detail. You just figure it out. It’s more about the emotion when I write those scenes.


message 16: by Faith (new)

Faith Jones (havingfaith) It sounds like she's just a prude. Don't worry about it.


message 17: by Natacha (new)

Natacha Lalande (natacha_lalande) | 10 comments sounds like a very prude person linked or not to strict religious beliefs.. of course not all religious people are against sex scenes, i'm pagan and very open to almost every kind of sex scenes, kids and animals are my only NO. Personally i don't get how someone who has kids can be that prude to the point of refusing top read ANY sex scenes.. Even my cousin & my mom who are total prudes, would read sex scenes if offered to them in a book.


message 18: by Adam (new)

Adam Martin | 7 comments I think the reviewer is confusing graphic erotica with sex scenes. It's like reading porn instead of watching it, but it's in text and does nothing to move the plot along after we know the characters sleep together. Personally, I find erotica boring because it's pages and pages of everything you've seen on The Discovery Channel, or read about in the Human Sexuality textbook , and then the police knock at the door...


message 19: by Leon (new)

Leon Kaminsky | 6 comments The police knock on the door??


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