by H. Linn Murphy
Recently I read a question on the ANWA Facebook page about sex selling. It's a topic I've been thinking about for a long time.
I read extensively. I read a variety of genres and time periods. That's also how I write. I put pen to the page and write what hits me. I am a storyteller. I write truths.
I thought back over several of my favorite books and series. It's anything from Lord of the Rings to Pride and Prejudice to Martian Chronicles to Elizabeth Hayden's books, Book of Mormon to How to Stay Alive in the Woods and A Light in the Forest. From Runemaster to Dangerous Favor to First Year Latin. Through out all of those books a single thread runs: No sex, no bad language. There is some violence (in the Book of Mormon of all places and among others) but it's not graphic.
I'll say it again. No sex. No bad language. It's trash. We don't need it to tell the story. If it's a story that cannot stand without sex, it isn't worth telling. What needs to come out is the truth of that story--the truth of the character. And that can happen without letting fly with the exact swear word put to paper. It can fly without telling us about falling zippers.
I thought about what I'd do if a publisher insisted. Then I made a decision. No. I won't do it. I don't write that kind of trash. I'm not saying my books don't contain some tense situations. They do. But I'm trying very hard to write books I'd want my kids to read.
I say this: Don't buy into the false ideology that if it isn't 59 Shades of Murk it won't sell. That's what those who are working for the Destroyer want you to think and to help them peddle. This is the deal. If your publisher insists that you have to add sex scenes for it to be real, hit the highway. Because he's lying to you. Otherwise Jane Austen wouldn't be selling a single book. Every one of her books has sold millions of copies, been made into movies, audiobooks etc. Even Mansfield Park, my least favorite. And not a single one had an ounce of sex in it. We were hard pressed to read about a single kiss.
In actuality, the Church has recently come out with information labeling romances with heavy sex in them pornography. That's right. There are now addiction classes for sex-filled romance.
I personally know of at least one instance where the wife got addicted to reading steamy romances. She bought them by the ton and read them non-stop--even on the way to church and the temple! She is now, because of those books, looking at the back end of a four year separation and a vitriolic divorce. Those books actually changed the chemistry of her brain. They change how a person looks, feels, and acts about the real act and about love. It renders a person incapable of recognizing real love. I've seen that first hand.
Bad language clogs our brains so that the Spirit cannot enter. It sits in our minds like silt, waiting to bog down any good thoughts and fill us with darkness.
Be the shining light. Be that huge beacon on the hill. Blaze forth with REAL love, REAL sacrifice. A REAL story for the ages.