There's a chapter in A Darker Crimson in which Tiberiu Korzha, my vampire hero, is possessed by the demon Jaise and then encounters my heroine, Claudia. While I was in revisions, I ended up substantially changing that chapter. I've had a lot of reaction to that. When I told my early-draft readers that I had deleted whole chapters and substantially changed others, all of them said, "You didn't delete the possession sex, did you?" And, others who've heard about it had a similar reaction.
The Original Possession Scene
In my original draft, my demon-possessed vampire has intercourse with Claudia, but it's against his will. Claudia does not want to have sex either, but eventually she realizes Tiber is possessed and further that if she complies, she will get her daughter back. Toward the end the demon's sexual frenzy has gotten out of control and it's all Tiber can do to keep Claudia from being badly hurt. Keep in mind, that all this is happening while Tiber is posssessed by the demon.
The Final Possession Scene
Although I still refer to that scene as "Possession Sex" they don't actually have sex in the final version. Most of the emotional power of the scene remains, however, since it involves Tiber dealing with his own sexual response as well as Jaise's. In addition, there's also Claudia's realization that Tiber is possessed. There's touching and biting and a few other other intimacies, but in the final version Claudia manages to get the both of them out of the situation.
Why it got changed
My editor, Chris Keeslar, was worried that in the first third or so of the book, Claudia was too passive and, I do think he was worried about non-consensual sex. After all, early on, she gets bound by demons and then hauled into the demon world against her will. When she tries to rescue her daughter, she extends an offer of sex to a demon guard in order to distract him. And then, there's her sexual bond with the Bak-Faru Lath. So, he definately had a point. Chris has excellent instincts, and what's more, did not have my emotional investment and closeness to the work. His opinion was (and is) extremely important. So I changed the scene. I think it works better now, but given the reactions I've heard, I wonder if I shoudn't have left in some or all of the sex. Regardless, it's better the way it is now.
What do you think? email me your opinion. I'll post comments, if people have them.
San Diego RWA Chapter
October 17, 2015