* This post is part of a short series:
Christian Fiction, Background (PART I)
* * *
Short Version: I’d like to try (sometime next year) my hand at a project which centers around sex/uality, without going the graphic/explicit/erotica route. It might venture into Christian Fiction territory (if I wanted to specifically label the genre).
Longer Version: I usually like to plan things out beforehand (down to the details — I usually do profiles for my main characters too). The other day, I was thinking of some erotic projects I’d like to continue next year.
I’ve had some Christian/religious folks read/express interest in me/my work. I thought that was quite interesting, considering some of my erotic material navigates the lines of gender and desire (which run contrary to orthodox, fundamental Christian beliefs). I think the basic principle of every religion though is to “be kind to others,” and that probably does influence most of my work in some way or other (and my whole life, in general).
I was baptized born and raised Catholic (in Singapore). I attended Mass every week until I was about age eighteen. I decided to go an autonomous route (which eventually led to a more spiritual, than religious, outlook, which I currently still adhere to in a very general/personal sense), because I just felt largely disconnected from a lot of the doctrines that were repeatedly stated every week by the priest during the sermon. I felt like I was dragging myself to receive a “mass scolding” every week, and that anything pleasurable was going to be written off as “bad” according to the laws of the Church.
I think the turning point was a church camp when I was fifteen. The camp’s theme was on sex — and I distinctly remember never feeling that my inner soul/spirit had been heard, acknowledged, or listened to. I expressed whatever I could to the camp facilitator, and I think one of the priests too (during confession)…but they couldn’t really tell me anything that made me feel better. And I remember a form we had to fill out. It asked us to list a range of “sins” from the least to most severe. I think I placed “contraception” right at the top (least severe), and I think several of my peers did too. I remember one of the facilitators checking out our answers…he said something like, “Many of you [have not got your priorities] right, especially the girls.”
Now looking back, I know that the intent was not to “stratify the girls” (I think…), but at the time, I was incensed! So I eventually started to attend church out of routine repetition…until I got tired of that, and decided to go find some meaning in life for myself, outside the context of religion. After all, what about people who had always been freethinkers? Or people in ancient times who had their own religions? Were they evil just because they were of a different religion?
I felt a lot freer to think/be/do whatever I want, once I decided not to identify with a religious association. And I was very angry for quite a long while (particularly with the church’s teachings on sex and sexuality). I felt like I had been brainwashed for years.
I kind of simmered down after completing my first two books (EyeLeash and 4:Play — both on sex). I got “a lot of things out of my system” that way. And I didn’t do it by venting about Christianity, and saying all sorts of nasty things about Christian folks. I may have ranted a few times in private journal entries, but I think bashing of that nature does not really achieve anything in the long run.
So I was just wondering that it’d probably be interesting for me, to tie in some of the elements I enjoy working with (sex, desire, lust, etc.), with Christian aspects that can run contrary to a person’s natural drives and desires. I have always had a high sex drive, which I enjoy channeling into writing erotica. I try not to write “plain porn” — there’s got to be some kind of story behind all the sex, to sustain my own interest (if nothing else).
And I remember/know how this dichotomy can be a source of real frustration and endless tension for a person that follows the Church’s teachings closely. There were times in my life when religion played quite a big part in my life (as it does with my mother, and most of her side of the family).
But I don’t want to get all preachy about things, or patronizing, OR boring. I think it is possible to navigate spiritual warfare/sexual tension territory, without getting prosaic or “sensationalist” about it. I think I have already done a little bit of that with certain erotic short stories — though I think Christian folks would enjoy reading something less graphic than what would be considered “erotic fiction / erotica.”
I might get a few new erotic pieces “out of my system” early next year, before fiddling around with plots and outlines for this non-erotic-but-centered-around-sex project. I am quite interested to see if I’ll be able to come up with something workable and palatable, that the target audience would be able to identify with and appreciate.
P.S. I do not mean that I am going to steer clear of erotica for the rest of time — I just like doing new things / doing things differently (full list of ever-growing number of projects available @ http://jesscscott.wordpress.com/writing/ — the range of genres is ever-increasing too, lol).
P.P.S. Possibly influenced by Linkin Park’s “The Catalyst” too. I liked their first two albums VERY much (Hybrid Theory and Meteora), not so much Minutes to Midnight. And I don’t know if “The Catalyst” makes them something like a Christian rock band, but man, I just enjoy listening to a good/nice tune at the end of the day.
“Christian Fiction” Posts: