Thursday, June 30, 2011

My Story Conundrum and a Little Food for Thought

Recently, I got sucked back into a story I started back in middle school and then abandoned.  I'm entering my senior year of college so a pretty good chunk of time has passed...yet I can't seem to let this story go.  I've done a lot of rewriting, shifted gears from 1st person to 3rd, created 3 new characters, and really fleshed out the whole the point that I don't know what it is anymore.  The two MCs are a seventeen-year-old boy nearing eighteen and his sixteen-year-old girlfriend. 

Originally, I intended this MS to be Young Adult.  There's nothing supernatural in this story.  With paranormal being such a hit in MG, YA, and Adult books, I know this story's a bit of a risk.  It deals with events like first loss, first love, trusting someone and being led astray, acceptance, growing up, etc., etc.  Those several themes I listed are not uncommon in YA. 

Here's the catch: I have a sex scene.  And it isn't some vague setup: "they fell into a tangle of limbs...passionate kissing" end scene before the good stuff.  I use words like "erection" and "breast" which are obvious no-nos in the YA genre.  I SHOULD just scratch the scene and rewrite some vague, glossed over idea of it...and yet I can't. 

I find the United States' stickler about sex so ridiculous.  We try to avoid it and scare the young population away from it (even though it dominates our music, movies, and television) by talking about the diseases.  As a result we have TV shows about pregnant 15 and 16 years olds.  And it isn't uncommon to hear through the grapevine about some middle schoolers having sex and winding up pregnant--at 13 or under. 

Sex is a natural thing.  By avoiding it--we end up with horror stories like these.  In Europe, they show an animated clip in Sexual Education that, along with the possible diseases and the necessity of using protection, actually shows how to touch the erogenous zones so that sex is pleasurable.  Another common incident here in the great US or A is that a large number of women fake orgasms.  Why?  Because people don't take the time or effort to learn about sex in today's busy world.  Europe's number of pregnant and diseased teens is also less than ours.  Of course, this video can't be found ANYWHERE online, but I had the opportunity to watch it in a special, one time class at school, and it was actually smart.  It made me think seriously about our country's Sex Ed choices, which I find lacking.

Now, I know that I can't change our Sex Ed, and fighting to keep the sex scene in my MS is a sure way to not get published, but I feel like it's important.  It's a very real part of growing up, trial and error, and first love.  I guess what I'm getting at with this little rant is that I wish there was a bridging level between YA and Adult where the characters could still be teenagers, but the sex scene could be true. 

And now that I've shared my thoughts on the matter--and I hope you'll share yours--I can get back to working on the story mentioned.