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How soon is too soon?

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Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:53 pm
hockeyfan87 says...

I am writing a romance story and I want to make it novel length, a few hundred pages. Its about a teenager and her boyfriend and all that but I was wondering. If the plot was going like they have sex, his friends find out, they tell people and make fun of her, she gets mad at boyfriend, they break up, etc. how soon is too soon for them to have sex? Like about how many pages into it? I know you don't wanna rush the reader but I don't want to bore them either. Thanks!
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Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:19 am
Rosendorn says...

There is no clear answer to that.

Everything depends on the pace of the story and how much else is going on in the plot. Personally, I want to know more about two characters than their relationship, so I'd toss in more sub-plots. But that's my personal preference.

Just write it and see what feels natural, then see if it feels rushed after rereading it (let it sit at least a month before rereading) or post it on YWS to see what critics say.
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Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:34 am
Lauren2010 says...

Also, it depends on what the main action of the story is!

If the story is about the act of them having sex, then you'll want to hold off and build to that moment throughout the story, making that the climax of the story. If you want the story to be about the aftereffects of them having sex, you can start the story closer to the actual act.

I always say that the closer you start to the action that sets off the arc of the story the better. Most of what comes before it is needless, to a point.
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Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:20 pm
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ofir says...

I just wanted to point out that you have to define the audience you want for this book, age wise [I guess younger people would take more time adjusting to the idea of a physical relationship, and would perhaps feel more secure if they knew the characters and their relationship well, while an older crowd wouldn't mind it so much], and what lessons you want them to learn from it. For example, only getting physical with a person once you're both very serious about each other and in love and all that, or getting physical too quickly is a mistake that you'll regret later on, or it's good to just flow with things even if you mess up sometimes... You have to choose :) I think both comments above are a great help, btw.
Good luck!
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