One of the hardest things for many authors to write is sex scenes, as has been often acknowledged. How can one write about sex, without being either too explicit (if one is not writing erotica) or too prudish, leaving out too much. I have written on this before here, and on the process of writing my now published novel Australian Fugue: The Antipode Room, including in the post Sex, Art and the Inner World: Women Artists Claiming their Creative Birth Right
Showing how topical and significant this topic is, this short article is the most viewed article on The Daily Fugue.
This has come up again for me, as my novel is now published! and has its first readers, who have bought it from the online shop at amazon.com. One of my very first valued readers (who is a medical doctor) made the remark, when I had the pleasure of speaking with him yesterday by phone, that in the 70 pages he has read so far, all seemed to be ok, but the one thing he noticed (apart from 'there is an awful lot of drug taking'!)* was the word I used in the voice of Margarita to describe her feelings for Ray. "I don't want to ----him"
Which word do you think I should have inserted here? And yes there is a word in the novel. At first I had put 'fuck' but then that was too coarse for the dialogue, as I explained to him.
It is a sentence I mused over for months, and tried a few options: shag, bonk, or fuck? Which should I have used, should I have used another euphemism "bed him", or "sleep with him"?
What difference does it make, of course one used the criteria of being truest to the character. But what kind of character does want to write or portray when it comes to sex, and their sex life? How far can one go as an author, or should one go in writing about sex?
If you want to find out what term I did use, and whether you think it works, and how I did write the sex scenes, the book is now available.
It is on sale as a print book, and as an eBook in the next few days. I will post details here, when it is.
Meanwhile it is on Amazon, where you can read the first few pages:
*the drug taking, by two characters, is necessary to the narrative- as I will write about in my next article posted here. The novel is as it turns out a moral tale.
Australian Fugue: The Antipode Room, Newcastle: PostMistress Press, 2014
Skilbeck, Ruth (2013), Sex, Art and the Inner World" Women Claiming their Creative Birth Right, The Daily Fugue, 24 March, 2013.
Kindle Edition ebook is now available:
Ruth Skilbeck is the author of a novelAustralian Fugue: The Antipode Room, PostMistress Press: Newcastle, 2015.
The print book and kindle ebook are both available globally: