Sunday, June 28, 2015
How to Write about Sex & Respect Yourself in the Morning
Human beings are whole beings. They are born, grow, learn to use their bodies and minds, often have sex, procreate, create symphonies and novels, slow down in time and eventually leave the home planet…
Few topics breed as much controversy as sex. Some like it cold. Some like it hot. It's as different for each person as individual appreciation of the stars and moon…
Alice Orr has a long and distinguished history with Mystery Writers of America and Romance Writers of America. Award-winning author, literary agent, editor, lecturer - she is highly regarded by many writing institutions. She has been one of the strongest guiding lights in the development of Mystery Writers of America, New York Chapter, for many years. I am honored that she shares her expertise in so many areas of the publishing world with our very talented team at CWC today!
I recommend her book NO MORE REJECTIONS - 50 Secrets to Writing a Manuscript That Sells - to both new and experienced writers.
Thelma J. Straw
Badly written love scenes are often written solely to titillate the reader. They don't deepen our understanding of your characters or advance your story in any real way. They aren’t about authentic real life because they don't reflect the complexity of human sexuality.
Worst of all badly written love scenes turn off editors and agents who’ve already suffered through reading too many of them. Though they seldom read them to the end. Those authors cared too much about tweaking the libido and not enough about touching the heart and that sent them to the rejection pile.
Notice I refer to love scenes not sex scenes. When these scenes work they’re about love in its many facets not just sex in its single facet.
I'm obviously not talking about writing pornography – a perfectly legitimate genre if you choose it but not my choice here. Not because I’m going all moral on you but because I’m going all market on you.
The readers of novels are mostly female. Romance. Fantasy. Literary. Even Mystery. All read mostly by women. Fifty Shades of Grey not withstanding – most women readers aren’t captured – hooked in storytelling terms – by slam-bam sex-only lust-making devoid of love.
The sales potential of pornography also has its limits though erotica is now finding a mass market. Nonetheless mainstream fiction – both commercial and literary – has broader potential for book sales over the broad expanse of a career. Note how few pornography titles become bestsellers – Fifty Shades of Grey not withstanding.
I don't mean you should write lukewarm love scenes. You should write hot love scenes. Love scenes are hot when they’re passionate. Passion isn’t only a physical turn-on. Passion resonates throughout your characters’ lives far beyond the bedroom.
It's okay to be honest about the turn-on. In fact it’s essential. Well-written love scenes turn readers on sexually. They also turn you on when you write them. If they don't you should probably rewrite because you’ve probably failed to create true passion between your characters.
If you fail to communicate passion to yourself how can you communicate it to your readers? And if you fail to communicate with your readers how can you respect yourself in the morning?
My current novel is A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 – available at amazon.com/author/aliceorr. This is my 13th novel and if you don’t like passionate love scenes you should avoid Chapter 26.