So if you haven’t already read Chapter 9, you may want to ignore this posting for the time being and come back to it when you have. I wouldn’t want anything I say here to spoil Chapter 9 for you.
Waits patiently for folks to avert their eyes.
Um, well, I was thinking now would be a good time for people to review my earlier posting about sex, which you can find here. Just don’t fill out the poll at the end. We’ve pretty much given up on polls at this blog given how shy most people seem to be 🙂
But the posting itself is timely because, as you can imagine, that incident with the coach has left both Josh and Nolan pretty shaken and upset; and when people are feeling like that, they often feel the need to be comforted. And when you’re sixteen and seventeen years old and not fully in control of your emotions, well, who knows? Sometimes things get out of control pretty quickly. You know what I mean?
Now the reason I’m encouraging everyone to read that previous posting is because I’m hoping it will encourage you to stop and think about what makes a story worth reading for you personally. And I realize everyone is going to be different that way. There is no way I could possibly satisfy everyone as a writer even if I wanted to. I mean, yeah, sure, I suspect I could probably satisfy a majority if I went in a certain direction. But writers can be funny that way. The only person I’m really looking to satisfy in the end is myself.
I suppose that sounds kind of egotistical. But I don’t mean it that way at all. What I’m trying to say is that I have to be satisfied that what I write is true to my characters; and the truth is, I know my characters better than you.
Still, even knowing my characters as well as I do, writing about sex is not the easiest thing in the world. Oh yeah, sure, I imagine I could string a bunch of words together about body parts and what you can do with or to them. Just about anybody who wants to can do something like that. But the truth is that Josh and Nolan are kind of sweet and innocent boys. They’re not porn stars and writing about them as if they were would not really be true to them. Of course, they’re only two of the main characters in this story. We’ve not met the other main characters. And who knows? They may turn out to be entirely different than Josh and Nolan. Or maybe we’ll just meet them at a different point in time. If so, I might have to treat them differently.
All of which is just a long-winded way of saying that how we think about sex, what we do sexually, and how we do things in bed changes over time depending on who we are as a person right then. We’re not the same person at sixteen as we are at twenty one, twenty six or whatever particular age we happen to be. But capturing those differences in words is hard. And since it is hard, one way to to deal with the whole thing is by just not going there at all. I’ve explained some of the other reasons for that in that previous posting of mine.
Still, that other solution, while certainly easier, is kind of disappointing in its own way as well.
“We stayed near that pond for a long time. In fact I didn’t get home until almost 5 A.M. After all, we only had this one night together in who knows how long? What did we do in all that time? Let’s just say Otto and I made the most of our time together, and leave it at that.”
We never really get to know the characters as fully as we might like and that’s kind of sad, at least to me.
Of course, it’s hard enough to know ourselves fully, let alone someone else. And that option would certainly save me a hell of a lot of words and that’s definitely tempting 🙂
But I’m going to try to see whether I can find another way here, a way that’s right for Nolan and Josh. I suspect I’ll fail. Like I said in that other post, I’m not really a good enough writer to pull it off and I do apologize for that in advance. But sometimes trying something hard is what you need to do to have any hope of ever becoming a better writer.
In any event, the long and short of it is keep your expectations for the next two chapters low. Not low as in the gutter 🙂 but low perhaps in terms of the entertainment value of the writing.