As I'm writing the prequel to Dragons in our Midst, I'm realizing that the story I want to tell cannot be fully understood without explaining some sexually provocative details. Of course I can't do that in young adult fantasy in the Christian market. And I don't want to do that anyway. I have a desire to protect young readers from an infusion of sensual thoughts in this already sex-saturated culture.
It's kind of strange, though, that the Bible is not too skittish about giving us some provocative stories. Just yesterday, in our family devotions, our Old Testament reading came from Genesis 38, and there's some pretty edgy stuff in that chapter. The details seemed important enough to include, and they gave us crucial insight into the family situation. I wonder if such a story would be publishable in the Christian market.
But, I digress.
The challenge for me is to write the story in such a way that adult readers and more mature young readers will be able to figure out what's going on, but readers who are too young to benefit from the details or might be upset by them would not catch the underlying meanings. (That was a mouthful!) I tried to do this in Circles of Seven when Billy had to face a temptation to lust, and I think it worked out well.
This new story, however, presents a more difficult challenge. The reason for the existence of a continuing antagonist requires an aberrant sexual union between an established evildoer in my story and a Bible character of ill repute. Don't hit me with the heresy club yet. This union is well within reasonable interpretation principles. The problem will be presenting this source of evil without writing anything provocative or titillating, while at the same time giving the feeling that something very evil is taking place. The sense of darkness is necessary, but I don't want any of that darkness to be left in my readers' minds.
If anyone else has gone through this process, I would appreciate any hints on what you did to pull it off.