by Karen J Mossman
November 19th is, believe it or not is World Toilet Day. Who’d have thought that was a thing?
How often do you nip to the toilet?
No, don’t answer that, it was one of those rhetorical questions. Just think about it for a moment. It’s a normal part of our day. We all talk about it to each other and it’s as natural as talking about what you are going eat.
Has it ever occurred to you that your favourite TV characters rarely goes for that natural break? Neither do the book characters. Why? How many times do you say to the person you are with, “I just got to wee.”? Or whatever terminology you use.
I read a book where the hot male lead eventually finds the female he’d been searching all day for. Does he say something worthy when he finally locates her? No, the first thing out of his mouth was: “I gotta take a piss.” He then disappears into the bathroom as she waits with bated breath for why he has come. I loved him for that. Considering this man had travelled a long way, this was likely outcome. Yet normally its a fact generally ignored. Well done to that author for bringing in a little realism.
In another book, the women is and escaping her lover’s bed went to sit on the toilet to contemplate for a while. That works. That’s normal, too.
Having thought about this, I went into overdrive as a scene played out in my mind. It went like this:
The beautiful girl lies across the bed in her bra and briefs. Her hair cascades over the side, flowing to the floor. She is waiting for her lover to return.
He opens the bathroom door, his hair falling slightly over his chiselled features. He’s wearing a white vest which is pulling taut over his ripped torso. Boxers show off his strong sturdy legs.
The toilet is still flushing behind him. He’s been in there at least five minutes. A smell follows him out…..
What? It’s natural. It’s what happens, except it doesn’t really work. It’s not necessary. It’s what our boyfriends and husbands do in real life. We want escape, not normality!
So yes, it’s okay for our characters to nip to the toilet. It’s real.
Now, I’m going take it one step further. How many times do you or someone around you fart? No, don’t answer that either.
I’ve read hundreds of books and only in one did it happen – The girl lay under a tree with her boyfriend. They were talking and laughing together. Suddenly she let out a little lady fart (is there such a thing?) And that was it. Never was it mentioned again.
Have you ever read erotica? All the wet slapping sounds make me wonder what’s the difference? Anything and everything goes these days, so it’s only a matter of time before natural functions are included.
So let’s keep our writing real and know our own boundaries. How far would you go to keep realism alive? How far does a reader expect an author to go?
I wanted to make an example and use a ‘toilet scene’ in one of my books and make it real. It isn’t crude, but everyone farts, right?
In The Ghost on the Stairs, I experimented and wrote a scary book, but I couldn’t help myself. My stories tend to be a mixture of things, just as life is. Life might be scary, but its also humorous. So my toilet scene is very funny because there is nothing better than to embarrass your main character!
Am I wicked? Yes!
When a good-looking guy walks into a café and asks for you by name, you sit up and take notice. Cassie is instantly attracted to Damien Mathers, who is also a World Super Bike Champion. He needs her help to banish a ghost. That is not what Cassie does but Damien is very persuasive!
The Ghost on the Stairs takes clairvoyant Cassie on a journey she won’t forget. It leaves her unnerved and scared—not because of it, but what it unleashes within her.
Damien doesn’t believe in the paranormal until he witnesses something he can’t explain. He is falling for Cassie but how can he love her dark side, too?
Can Cassie hold on to Damien? Can she banish the ghosts and save her relationship?