Sunday, February 12, 2012
Sex and the Writer- Part One of Five
Our sexuality empowers our writing.
Family members hate to hear writers discuss such things. Ever see a child recoil at the thought of their parents having sex? So if you're going to read this series of posts, please don't tell your family.
Our readers don't like to think about it, either. It's okay if our characters are sexually attractive or charismatic, but not you and I. We're the storytellers. We're supposed to be the trusted narrators of their stories, not vicarious participants.
"I wish they'd take writer's pictures off of their books," one reader told me. "It spoils my image of their characters."
Now that's odd, I thought. We write the stories, but they don't like to think of us in the stories. That's especially true when it comes to sex. We'll take a closer look at this phenomena in the next post.
After that, we'll explore the complex relationship between sexuality and creativity. I won't look at sterile, stilted surveys and studies, but I will be exploring why only sexually driven writers can create intensely engaging fiction. I'm not talking about creating sex scenes, I'm talking about the ability to create powerful fiction.
What about the great social fiction that has nothing to do with sex?
It might be a great topic, but it's not our topic. But to deal with the question tangentially, I believe only writers who are intensely sexual can create powerful social fiction. Our creative power comes from our sexuality. Social tensions, if you really examine, are strongly rooted in out sexuality.
It's a complex topic, but let me start you off with something to think about- when you write your story, have you ever considered the image your reader has of you, the writer? Are you good looking- as a narrator? Are you a man or a woman? Are you powerful? Are you ruthless? Are you lonely? Remember, I'm talking about the way you come across to your readers, not your characters.
Think about it- who are you (as a narrator) to your readers? Who do they imagine you to be?