Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Writing Lessons-- Getting Over Your Ick Factor

Lena asked me to give a few pointers about writing sex (or any other type) scene that you've never had experience in. First, you are NOT your character. You have to distance yourself from your own personal biases or as Lena and I put it your own "ick" factor.

Second, if you've never experienced something, take a visual trip through it - rent a video! If you're doing an anal scene, rent a movie that has it - then STOP the video during the scene, imagine you are seeing your characters doing it - now write it, repeat as often as necessary to get it across on the page.

This way, even if you haven't done that particular act, or don't find it enjoyable, your character should and those actors are at least pretending they do. This same sort of thing would work for a travel video for scenes in another part of the country or world - cheaper than a plane ticket! As an editor, I can't use my own biases in my reading. Even if I have done it with multiple partners, and yes, all the groping for room on the bed, or landing on someone's hair or leg can get really funny, there are some acts that I'm not crazy about. I can't swallow - can't, won't, but I can imagine it with a character. That's what I mean about getting through the 'ick' factor.

Third, if its something about wanting to be more varied in your scenes - and as an editor, please do this! Redundant actions in multiple scenes or even books get boring - Get yourself a set or two of those foreplay or sex dice. When you are in plotting the where's and what's of a scene - roll the dice. It will keep some spark in your scenes and take some of the pressure off you feeling like "sXXt, not another sex scene, I just did that two chapters ago."

Fourth, and this one is funny - use the dolls, whatever, and do a type of home movie with them. That way, you position the dolls, take your video camera (some Libraries and the like will have them to check out, I've heard = or borrow one from someone) and make your own porn movie. Reposition them, give a running commentary if you want (hands here, etc.) take another part of the "movie", and keep doing it until you get through the scene. Use this to help with who would see what as you go through the scene. When you are done - ERASE THE TAPE! This is not something that you want the kids, family, or anyone else viewing. Unless you want to be blackmailed by your spouse.

And if you think I've never told my authors to do this - just ask Lena. I've given her "homework" assignments. Enjoy, and let me know if any of this helps.

Peggy Roberts

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