I read a lot of books, across multiple genres, but I want to make a statement here about what I plan to write.
I have chosen to write Young Adult books because I fell strongly that there is a need there for female characters who work to find where they belong. Setting these in a fantasy world allows me to play with situations that wouldn’t exist in the real world. Shifters anyone?
But along with that I want to write books that I’m proud of and that respect my values. For fiction purposes the two important ones are that they will be low smut and low violence.
I’m a Brit, so I am a prude and very private about personal things. Discussing sex is way out of my comfort zone, so I would much rather not write explicit scenes. Also, as a Christian I believe that sex is a god-given gift to enrich our relationship with our chosen, long-term partner. I don’t write or talk much about my faith, but it is deep within the core of who I am. I won’t promise that there will be no sex within my writing, but what there will be will be after a marriage/bonding/hand-fasting between the couple in question (whatever is most applicable in the fantasy context I am writing in). And it will be more implied rather than written out explicitly.
Secondly, I prefer to read stories where the conflict is more nuanced than everyone bashing each other with big swords. Violence has it’s place, but I want to work to limit the use of it in my stories. It is very easy as a writer to have a huge battle, but that leaves so many dead. How many people die in Harry Potter? I can’t count. And I find that unrealistic.
So I am making a pledge to write different types of conflict, that don’t end up with half the cast dead. I’m sure characters in my stories will die, but like when they have sex, it will be carefully considered and only where I consider it to be absolutely necessary to move the story forward.
I think it’s great to show conflict that isn’t all about mighty sword fights – it helps to show lessons that are more applicable to every day life. And also, I agree 110% on relationships – it is more important to show the relationship building then to include love making scenes.