I never intended to write a book with the sex life of the main character as one of the driving plots. I really didn't.
(Spoiler alert, if you haven't read the entire manuscript I'm about to give a good bit of it away)
I don't plan or outline any of my writing. If I am writing something new, I just sit down and do it. If I am writing something new with chapters, I re-read the last chapter I wrote before I start writing the next one. That's it. I usually have a general idea about where I want the story to go, but especially with fiction, I like to let the characters develop on their own. I like the characters to drive and tell the story. I know that may be a little unconventional. But that is how I do it.
For this blog post, I have a general idea of what I want to convey. Past that, I'm just going to write. It's just going to happen. I don't get writers block, I don't stall, I don't have to think things out. It goes from my mind to my fingers pretty quick. It's like in some ways my mind has already written this, I just haven't realized or read the post, but I don't worry about it, my mind will work it out and tell me what to type.
And when I sat down to write, "Who Is Olivia Green" I was thinking about writing a novel with a badass female character, who worked for a secret government agency, and was going to assassinate a bad guy during The Masters. I knew she was going to use her sexuality to her advantage, and that because she was so 'type A' she would own her sexuality as well.
And that's pretty much it. That's all I had in my mind when I sat down several years ago and banged out the first two chapters of the manuscript. Like I said in the earlier blog post, I woke up the next day and realized I had written a sex scene. I immediately wanted to delete it, that was my first thought. But when I re-read it, I thought to myself, "It really isn't too bad."
But I've been writing enough to also realize that if I didn't delete it, or at least minimize it, that her sex life written as it was in chapter one would have to be a plot line. I wrote Chapter 3 and 4 the next night. That is when I connected the dots in my mind and figured that Olivia was going to thrive on some exhibitionism. The way I put it together in my mind was that she needed the excitement a secret agent life could give her, which propelled her into a self-realization that she needed that excitement in every facet of her life. Including her sex life.
Before I knew it I had an 82,000 word manuscript where the main characters sex life was a pretty big plot line. As the novel moved forward, her sex life had to with it. Which pretty much culminated in Chapter 16 where she screws her boyfriend at a swingers party in front of six strangers.
I swear, I really do, I never thought I would have written the book I did. It just sort of happened. And while I said I don't get writers block, I really don't, I do self-edit. And the editing of the sex scenes was some of the hardest editing I've ever done. I didn't want to use slang terms unless it was in dialogue, and I really didn't want to use words like penis. It took a good bit of effort to get the scenes to a point where I was comfortable with them. (Thanks to all who read the first draft, and to Brandi who edited)
And, now that it's been published and sent out to the world, I hope I did a good job with that.
This is where I'm a little torn though. There is a part of me that is nervous, almost embarrassed that I wrote a book with sex as such a big sub-plot. Then I rationalize that and tell myself that sex is a good thing, and it shouldn't be minimized.
And then I talk to my mom on the phone and she tells me that she is re-reading my book now that she got her book from Amazon. And she is talking on the edges of the sex scenes with me, we're discussing her book club reading it, how my grandfather wants to read it and I'm telling her to make sure he is prepared for the sex in it, (he's 93) and so on. The she kinda giggles and says, "Well...um never mind. Never mind."
Me; "What? What is it mom?"
Her; "You don't want to know," followed by laughing.
Me; "What? You aren't going to embarrass me, mom."
Her; "Your dad just likes it A LOT when I'm reading your book..."
Me; uncomfortable silence.
Her; small laughs and uncomfortable silence.
Me; a little more uncomfortable silence followed by, "Well tell him he owes me a bottle of scotch the next time I see him."
Her; telling my dad, "Dave says you owe him a bottle of scotch since we've enjoyed me reading his book this week."
Off in the distance I hear my dad say, "Tell him I owe him two!"
Then they both laugh.
Me; uncomfortable silence.
The truth is, sex is a good thing. It shouldn't be minimized. It doesn't need to be in every story, and maybe I could have told mine without it being as descriptive as it was. But there is no going back now.
I'm sure there are some people who won't like it specifically because of that plot line. There might be people who like it because of that plot line.
But it's a plot line either way. And I'm still proud of the story.
On a side note, I've changed the settings so past blog posts won't appear below. They are still here but the blogs will now post the most recent one under the page, and the older ones will be accessed from going back in the history. And I was Facebook messaged from a girl I've never met asking me if I have published anything else yesterday. That was pretty cool. I created the contact me page on here and I can't express how cool it would be to be emailed by someone I don't know asking me questions about my book.
Pretty sure I'd celebrate with Whiskey yelling "I've made it" if that happens.
Until then, if your mom says, "You don't want to know." Trust her.