People always mention the sex scene: reviewers, coworkers, parents of friends and loved ones, fellow writers, and random fans on the Internet and in person. Without fail. Always.
The sex scene.
Some back-story: I have a scene in my book where the main character runs over another person with a police car. The guy who gets run over was shooting a gun at the time. In a different part of the book, the main character bites a dude’s ear off. But do these various readers ever talk about that exciting and dramatic prose? Nope. The sex scene wins out every time.
I once spoke on the phone with a reporter from the SF Weekly here in San Francisco, a reporter who wound up writing a review in said newspaper. She thought the book was kind of like “cop-porn” at parts. I laughed and then promptly sighed with deep, heartfelt resignation.
Just to be clear, there is ONE sex scene in my book. One. It’s in the first few chapters. It happens in a bathroom, so it’s not very long - a few pages at best. Two people can only have sex in a public restroom for so long before it becomes either terribly apparent that it:
a. smells really horrible or
b. you get kicked out.
It’s not really a romantic endeavor. It’s more carnal and usually brief. To carry such a scene on any longer would completely blow the suspension of disbelief.
None the less, bam. Every-freaking-time.
I ask of this blog’s readers: have you ever read any William Gibson? Even if you aren’t a fan of the cyberpunk/sci-fi genre, you have probably heard of his novel, Neuromancer. It’s generally considered to be the first such novel in the genre.
Well his books are literally filled with sex - sexual tension, sexual innuendo, sex with underage girls, violent sex, sex in cyberspace (long before anybody had any idea that would be something that could actually happen one day), and sex in various forms of transportation.
I guarantee you nobody ever asked him about the sex scenes in his book. Why? Because he was brilliant. I’m just a hack who hopes you like fart jokes and violence. I guess sex in bathrooms, too.
Daniel B. Silver wrote a book once and you can buy it through OTP and B&N. Laugh with him or at him via www.dangersilver.com. Follow him at @DangerSilver.