Sex in a book grabs us and makes us sit up a bit – it can be beautiful, erotic, physical, emotional, rich, gentle, sloppy, selfish, aggressive, abusive, crude or ugly – and it can be written beautifully, erotically, with physically orientation, emotionally orientation, richly done, gently told, rough and ready or just plain sloppily and poorly written – There is much more to sex in fiction than just capturing the action and keeping the writer out of his or her own way.
In the chosen post-from-the-past (written in May 2013) for today, I covered the lot. Reading back on it, I think my chat about perspective is probably the one area a lot of writers miss. We all know what works for us in our own identity and it’s very easy to fall into the trap of writing from our own perspective – forgetting that there is another side, a partner who may see things through a different lens.
It is something to be aware of. If your fiction is aimed one way, all may be fine, but if you want to write for a wider audience, you’ll need to take into account what matters for the opposite sex.
I also outline my own method of writing sex scenes. Some scenes work very easily and are written on the first run through, anything deeper might take longer, and something complicated by other issues might need some fine balancing. My methods helped to keep me out of my own way, but it’s also a great method of dealing with embarrassment, too – writing sex is not easy.
Basically, when it comes to sex, there is nothing worse than poorly written scene, particularly if the writer’s embarrassment shows through – if that happens, you can’t miss it, and that makes it painful for the reader, too.
So here it is, direct. Because I’m jumping straight to that particular page instead of going through an interim one, please note you’ll need to read from the top and not scoot down to the asterisk. Comments there are open, of course, and I’d love to hear of your own methods that work.
[Continue reading… The Cringe Factor. You don’t want it. You don’t need it. Pay attention. Writing intimate Sex Scenes (without Squirming).]