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Authors helping writers > Let's write about sex, baby

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message 1: by Riley (new)

Riley Banks (RileyBanks) | 6 comments For those of you who write sex scenes in your books, I posted a blog with 5 tips for writing sex scenes that don't make people cringe -

Would love to get some discussion going on it, so here are a few questions for those of you who write about sex.

How do you tackle sex scenes? Is there a set routine you have? Do you write sober or need a drink first? Do you have to get yourself 'in the mood'?

What is the one piece of advice you'd give authors tackling sex scenes for the first time?

What is the biggest mistake you've seen authors make when writing about sex?

What is the most embarrassing sex scene you've read/written?

Have you ever lost touch with reality as a writer?

message 2: by Riley (new)

Riley Banks (RileyBanks) | 6 comments Dianne wrote: "Let the sex scene be a natural part of the book, not contrived and thrown in just to titillate!"

Absolutely agree. I think this was one of the negatives to 50SOG opening the bedroom door in literature, and that's that everyone thought they had to inject some sex into their novels. Even more, they thought the sex had to involve BDSM because it was supposedly popular. If it fits the storyline and characters, fine. If not, leave it out. No use trying to fit a round peg in a square hole...

message 3: by Emma (new)

Emma Faragher | 32 comments I think it's entirely dependant on your characters. You can use it as a plot device or just a general everyday filler in the book. Like having a meal. Although in non-erotica books I feel that less is more on the details. You can chose when to do the fade out as it were depending on your audience. Alternatively you can go for the Anita Blake approach and put major plot developments in the middle of very involved sex scenes.

My logic is that if an event is important to your character and the emotional aspects build the character then include it but nothing ruins a storyline faster for me than random sex scenes for no reason that don't mean anything. Might just be personal preference though. For reference I have one sexual scene in my book (i do a fade out, it's a very important part of the storyline for my character) and my books have been described at new adult.

The key seems to be, would removing it detract from the story, just like with all the other scenes you have to weigh up in editing. If a readers is looking for sex scenes they will tend to read an erotica book.

message 4: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Forster (rebeccaforster) | 59 comments I love reading what everyone has to say but it also reminds me that I got 'fired' from romance. I kept killing everyone before they had sex. My editor suggested thriller/suspense might be a better genre. Boy was he ever right. Kudos to those who can write great and believable sex scenes.:)

message 5: by Riley (new)

Riley Banks (RileyBanks) | 6 comments Rebecca, that is hilarious! Love it.

message 6: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Forster (rebeccaforster) | 59 comments Riley, If only it weren't true. I think I may be the only author ever who didn't just get a rejection I got a pink slip!

message 7: by Emma (new)

Emma Faragher | 32 comments I never even tried to write romance, there isn't much at all in my books. I write urban fantasy. Lol. At least you found a genre you do better!

message 8: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Forster (rebeccaforster) | 59 comments Emma, I definitely do this better lol. It's been a 29 year career but I don't write for New York anymore. Went indie about 4 years ago. It's been wonderful and it's still thrillers. However, relationships are key to my work and readers find them romantic (thank goodness) in a different way than we typically think of romance in books. I guess I just finally learned that emphasis is where I was missing the boat - or better analogy would be my romance is now a beat underneath a thriller rather than a symphony of romance as the focal point

message 9: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 26 comments Rebecca, I think you are on to something. One of my friends recently published a "romantic thriller" (or whatever you want to call it--an equal blend of suspense and action and the other kind of action), and even though I don't read romance, and don't read many thrillers, for that matter, I found myself enjoying her book because (I think) the two elements mellowed each other.

Or maybe she's good :) The Offering

message 10: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Forster (rebeccaforster) | 59 comments Rebecca, I think the story (not the plot) needs to dictate the amount of romance/sex/relationship action going on. My heroine and her long time boyfriend (for lack of a better word) are older - 40s, very independent which means they choose to be together and aren't really driven by only by sexual attraction even though that is a huge part of their relationship but by respect, love, and a shared sense of justice. I think, too, as an author gets older sometimes the joy is in writing to deepen fictional relationships. I've now explored these two for 6 books and 7 is on the way. However, my readers tell me eventually they would like a happy ending in terms of a legal commitment. It's so fabulous when readers become that engaged.

message 11: by L.F. (new)

L.F. Falconer | 25 comments I find it rather jarring when I'm reading a book and run across a sex scene that seems to be thrown in for no discernible reason. If it doesn't bring something important into the story, I say leave it out, or if you must, less is usually more. I'm certainly no prude, but I find most erotica pretty tedious to read unless it's extremely well done. (Kind of like drawn out car chase scenes in most action movies)

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