A Snarkling wonders
I write women's fiction, and my current WIP opens with my main character engaging in a romp with a local cowboy she picked up in a bar. It's not written in a sexually explicit way, and the scene focuses more on what is going on in her mind during the interlude. I've had feedback from some in my critique group that this may close some agent doors as this type of opening is "old and been done a million times before." I really believe in my ms, and I feel that this opening is truly the gateway to rest of the story. So - I throw it to you...
To have sex or not to have sex? That is the question.
So, the critique group has seen this "a million times" huh? Did they name any titles?
It's certainly not something I've seen a million times, but then I don't read the hard sciences or much self help either.
Here's the deal: if you write it well, it doesn't matter what anyone else does. If everyone did it and you did it so much better, you'll get noticed. Think of it like basketball: everyone in the NBA can sink a two pointer. Michael Jordan just did it more often and with more flair than anyone else alive.
What I get annoyed about is not that the situation is common but that the writing is pedestrian. Flowing blonde mane and heaving bosoms are a one way ticket to the "not for me" missionary position. Same with whores with hearts of gold, and serial killers stalking coeds. You have to write REALLY well to make that fresh and original.
Sex is very very very hard to write about. Reading about some prince licking some peabrain's toes while she moans "the sacrifices I make for England" is very low on my list of things to read about.
So, if you think it works well, captures the reader's interest and is absolutely the best writing of your life, tell your critique group to go..er....never mind.