K is for Kissing. When I began my first book, I wanted to produce a story that my (then) young nieces could read. I ended up with a mid-grade to adult story. It is heavier on violence than sex as it begins when my protagonist is a young child and follows her through her teens. I struggled with how hot to make the relationships. I must have rewritten the one real love scene a dozen times. It went from graphic to benign and back several times. The final edit produced a scene appropriate for a fourth grader to read but that an adult would see as a love scene. At least that’s the way I see it. To a child, a shirt crumpled on the floor is laundry. To adults, it reads as sex. So how much is too much kissing?
I was reminded by my (now) teen-aged niece that teens are all hormones. She indicated that for the teen market, there can never be too much kissing, as long as it serves the story. There was a time when I thought that writing a trashy novel (with lots of kissing and sex) would be fun. The world I have created for Marabella is not that kind of world.
Romance novels and adult content books most certainly have their place. A glass of wine and a steamy novel combine very well for a relaxing night at home. Fifty Shades taught us that the market for such books is tremendous. But when writing fantasy, science fiction, steam punk or adventure, do you need to bring the heat? Is sex a necessary component of writing for the masses? Do writers feel pressured to include a love story or some sort of physical relationship in modern fiction?
I leave these questions unanswered because I believe the answers are in the hands of the individual writers. I will continue to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell their own story. Though it would be interesting to know what other writers think of this topic. Can there ever be too much kissing? K is for Kissing. #atozchallenge