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Dealing with Marital Love in Christian Novels

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  • #122139
    Chelsea R.H.
    @seekjustice

    So guys, got a bit of a thorny question (also, not so much a question for younger readers, just a heads up)

    I’m planning to return to ’18 NaNoWriMo novel, which is a New Adult fantasy novel that I’m hoping to redraft sometime next year. My question came up while I was writing it, but since I was just doing a first draft I brushed it aside, but now that I’m working on it actively again, I need to address it.

    My question basically is how to deal with love and (especially) se x between a married couple. The background is that I have three main characters and two of them are married. They’re the crown prince and princess and later king and queen of the country and were married young (hence why there’s a married couple as main characters in a New Adult novel). The subplot is an enemy to lovers romance between these two as they fall in love despite the rest of the plot that’s going on around them.  It’s also a retelling of the life of Marie Antoinette, who did not consummate her marriage with her husband until they’d been married seven years, which is also part of my plot.

    Now obviously, this book is aimed at a Christian audience, or at the least an audience looking for a clean read, so there’s not going to be any on screen explicit stuff, but since they’re main characters I don’t feel like I can completely brush it over and I do believe it’s biblical to celebrate love and marriage…so how do I deal with this in a delicate and God-honouring manner?

    Also, just to repeat, the target audience for this book is not young teens, it’s the 18-25 age range.

    Mahalo keia huiʻana

    #122141
    Zee
    @zee

    Great question, @seekjustice! This is something I’ve been thinking about myself, as I’m moving into writing the second half of a romance series–and now all the couples introduced in the first half are married, some happily, some–less so.

    Positive and honorable depictions of erotic love (between married people) are sadly lacking both in books and movies, and anything we believers can do to remedy this is good…however, it is a tricky topic. I think you can do a lot with subtle implication rather than explicit statements, but if a big plot point is the consummation of this originally (I assume) unhappy marriage, it will be tricky to give it the significance and impact it needs.

    Off the top of my head, I wonder if you could end the book that way? Like everybody knows that’s what they’re going to do, and the curtain drops? Then you could tie up some loose ends in an epilogue. Or, if it’s not quite that crucial, at least end an important chapter that way? Or tell that part of the story from the point of view of the third main character who isn’t directly involved, but probably understands the importance of the moment?

    Hope these ideas get some gears grinding…

    #122230
    Chelsea R.H.
    @seekjustice

    @zee

    Thank you for your answer! I found it really helpful and clarifying.

    It’s a fairly minor subplot, as the main plot is revolutions and treason. However, it needs to happen before the end due to PlotReasons, in the current draft I think it’s about 2/3rds of the way through and it sets in motion the final act. So I like your suggestion of ending an important chapter with a “curtain drops” type of scene, in the current draft is completely overlooked, which probably has a lot to do with the haze of NaNoWriMo writing i was in at the time 😛

    Thanks again for so much help! It definitely gave me a more solid approach to take.

    Mahalo keia huiʻana

    #124111
    Skylarynn
    @skylarynn

    The series I write in does have several married couples (it has a very large cast) and they do have intimate moments (by which I mean moments of intense spiritual and romantic love, no actual love-making), but I’m never very explicit and manage to gloss over them actually doing anything.  Generally the only indication that they’ve done something is if they have children.  I think I can afford to do it that way because the amount of characters is so large and I don’t have time to detail every single marriage’s consummation since there’s at least 8 married couples.

    "Remember, you go nowhere by accident. Wherever you go, God is sending you." - Rev. Peter R. Hale

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