Thursday, August 14, 2008

Writing Lessons: Sex is Action

In case you haven't seen this -- from "Steam 101" by ANgela Knight.

When goddesses speak, I listen. Even when you know this stuff, seeing it
distilled sharpens the focus -- at least it does for me.

Sex is action
One of the hardest things about writing a good love scene – particularly when you've written a lot of them – is how to keep them fresh and different. After all, the physical actions of sex are basically the same – kiss this, stroke that, insert tab A into slot B. You can spice things up by using different positions, locations and props, but that only works so many times.

Besides, readers are not dumb. They notice when you've got three sex scenes, and you tick through the basic positions in them: "Okay, we'll do missionary in this one, and female superior in this one, and in this one he'll..."

Yuck. Getting into porn territory again.

I've found that to keep sex fresh and different, love scenes needs to grow out of the characters themselves, not my reference copy of the Kama Sutra. Every time the hero and heroine go to bed together, it should reflect where they are in their relationship. In fact, ideally you should be able to read through the sex scenes alone and track the progress of the romance through the book.

In that first scene, maybe they're uncertain or cautious or exploring – or maybe they just go nuts from pent-up sexual tension. In the next scene, maybe they've had an argument right before going to bed together, and that anger bubbles under the surface so that the love scene becomes another expression for the conflict. And so on, until the last scene in the book, when we see how they make love now that they're really in love and committed to one another.

Sweet, tender action will do more than flowery declarations of love to tell the reader that these folks really will live happily ever after. Remember, too, that each love scene should not only mark the progress of the relationship, but also advance it. The characters are sharing a deeply personal interaction, exposing themselves to each other emotionally as well as physically. It should change how they relate to each other.

No comments:

Welcome to my Blog!

Thanks for popping by! Don't sit on the whipping horse unless you want to find out how it's used. I speak my mind and annoy many people, but all of it is meant in good spirit. Feel free to argue with me. I like it.

Best way to reach me is by email: