[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 112: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
Is sex necessary in an ongoing mystery series? : Writers' Block Party • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Is sex necessary in an ongoing mystery series?

What's going on in your writing world? Connect with the writing community here and talk about whatever's on your mind.
gracie
 

Is sex necessary in an ongoing mystery series?

Postby gracie » Sat Feb 18, 2006 5:26 am


gracie
 

Is sex necessary in an ongoing mystery series?

Postby gracie » Sat Feb 18, 2006 5:26 am

It seems like every series character has at least a couple of books where they fall into bed with someone. Kinsey Milhone does it now and then, Stephanie Plum is ALWAYS doing it, even Hamish Macbeth does it. I realize that sex is a big part of the human condition, but what if I don't WANT to write about my main character's sex life? What if she doesn't even have one? What if I don't ever want her to have one?

In your opinion, can a series-sans-sex survive? I know I sound prudish here, and that's not the case. I just wonder, is all.

jmar2
Major General
 
Posts: 3626
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2005 2:22 pm
Location: Marco Island, Florida

RE: Is sex necessary in an ongoing mystery series?

Postby jmar2 » Sat Feb 18, 2006 6:24 am

No, I don't think it is. Read a Dick Francis mystery. He will occasional share a glance bewteen two characters, sometimes even write about an upcoming dinner, (usually interrupted by some type of foul play), but he rarely writes anything about an actual sex event. He'll have a lot of romantic thoughts, maybe some limited physical contact - hugs, kisses. But his novels all seem to dwell on the introverted observer type hero. The person who has seen life at its best and worst and now is simply aware of the middle. Bad things happen and when they happen to him, instead of running to the authorities, his heros tend to work things out for themselves. Sometimes not very well, but I think quite true to life.

In real life, we don't always get the girl, or guy. Sex isn't always available, especially just after you've had the crap beaten out of you or after you've killed someone. In real life, at the end of a hard day, you're tired and probably would much rather have a hot shower and some milk and cookies than jump into the sack with somebody who isn't at all interested in how your day really went.

Think Edgar Rice Burroughs: Both Tarzan and John Carter managed to fight off evildoers and get the girl and even have kids without any "sex" being written into the stories.

Poe, the frequently mentioned 'father' of the modern mystery. Murders Of The Rue Morgue has no sex.

Nero Wolfe series. Sorry, don't remember the author, maybe Rex Stout? Anyway, Mr. Wolfe is the brains, his 'agent' Archie does all the footwork. Much allusion is made to Archie and his love life, but only superficially and defintely no 'sex'.

Finally, one of the greatest and most sustained series of all. I invite you into 221-B Baker Street. You'll see a certain sadness cross his face when someone mentions 'her', but SEX? My dear, this is England! It just isn't done.

I really think it depends on you and the rapport you have with your character. If you can make her come alive with depth and feeling in the environment you create for her, then you don't need to worry about sex/no sex. Her character will help you if you're smart enough to listen to her. She'll tell you when, if ever, it's time. She'll also tell you whether a 'rapidly beating heart' and her 'skin feeling like fire wherever he/she touched her' ring true.

Remember, she can fall in love and have that lover(s) be the axe murderer, the married homicide cop, the aloof stockbroker who doesn't even see her, etc. etc. She can also grab the doorman to her penthouse suite and drag him upstairs in frustration. As you get to know her through the many stories, she really will tell you how she feels. At least my characters do, and they are sometimes quite pushy about it.

Love to read about her, either here, commercially, or privately via email, no .doc please. (use .rtf)

John




Jamesaritchie
Commander in Chief
 
Posts: 8276
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 12:11 pm

RE: Is sex necessary in an ongoing mystery series?

Postby Jamesaritchie » Sat Feb 18, 2006 7:53 am

Nah, you don't need sex. And you certainly don't need on stage sex. What you need is a good story and good characters. The rest is up to you.

Aspiring
 

RE: Is sex necessary in an ongoing mystery series?

Postby Aspiring » Sat Feb 18, 2006 8:09 am

I've been wondering this myself because I've completed a novel involving two happily married sisters & their six kids who stumble upon a mystery while their husbands are otherwise occupied, and I've started novel number two with the same characters. I worked hard to think of a subplot for the first book, because romance, at least, is often a subplot in a lot of the stuff I read (Patricia Cornwell, Kathy Reichs). I haven't fully devised a subplot for the second, but it won't involve romance or sex. Also, I just learned from an agent that my mystery belongs to the subgenre of cozy mysteries, and apparently there's not much sex in those either (Think Agatha Christie & Miss Marples). So, I think (and hope) we're okay!

Good luck.

User avatar
Georganna
Brigadier General
 
Posts: 3423
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2005 1:14 pm
Location: San Diego, CA

RE: Is sex necessary in an ongoing mystery series?

Postby Georganna » Sat Feb 18, 2006 8:52 am

Excuse my crudity, but sex sells!

You must have noticed.  Why else would you be asking the question?


Aspiring
 

RE: Is sex necessary in an ongoing mystery series?

Postby Aspiring » Sat Feb 18, 2006 9:59 am

I think Gracie was hoping for confirmation, as I am too, that a well written book with a strong plot and no sex could sell too. I think we got an answer from other Forum members. Thanks guys!

Jamesaritchie
Commander in Chief
 
Posts: 8276
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 12:11 pm

RE: Is sex necessary in an ongoing mystery series?

Postby Jamesaritchie » Sat Feb 18, 2006 10:23 am


abqwriter
Vice Commander in Chief
 
Posts: 7123
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2005 7:49 am

RE: Is sex necessary in an ongoing mystery series?

Postby abqwriter » Sat Feb 18, 2006 2:48 pm

To my knowledge, Harry Potter hasn't had sex yet, and he's selling just fine to adults and children alike.

If, however, you're trying to write clean erotica, you may have a wee bit of an issue.

I think it depends on the story.  If it's Bridget Jones's Diary, then the sex is part of the story.  But for every book that is filled with lurid sex scenes, there are plenty that aren't.


Sheri
 

RE: Is sex necessary in an ongoing mystery series?

Postby Sheri » Sun Feb 19, 2006 2:27 am

John...you put it nicely.
James...you said it!

Though sex "sells" I have personally never purchaced a book because of its sexual content. I have spoken with many of my friends about this since reading the question and some of the answers and they all seem to agree.

There are plenty of books and magazines available for readers, or those who just enjoy pictures, to find their "sex" but someone who isn't as narrow minded and can appreciate the efforts of a good writer doesn't need any of those things to enjoy your book. And there are tons of us!

The shelves of your local book stores will show you that. You just write and stop worrying. I'm sure it will be just fine with or without it.
:)
Sheri

Next

Return to Writers' Block Party

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests

cron