Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wielding the Inner Sex Goddess

Even if you’re not writing romance or erotica, sometimes works require intimate physical moments and you can’t always close the bedroom doors and present smiling faces and dragon breath in the morning. For some writers, creating love scenes comes naturally and they can easily spare hesitance and shyness, lacking no detail. For others, they’d rather write about battle or economics or get root canal.

I’m not prudish or inhibited and can easily discuss sex or write a steamy scene, but if I need to have a scene in my work, I will always maintain some restraint because I think readers can get my gist without me providing nitty gritty details. I won’t use crudity nor will I throw in scenes just for the sake of having them. If I include physical scenes, kissing and beyond, my intention is never to be offensive or even to tantalize the reader. There’s always a vital reason for something being there, either to show conflict building up or resolving momentarily or to usher in more emotional turmoil.

For instance, in my latest novel, one of my characters seduces a widower who’s a Christian. I have to write some kind of scene—haven't gotten to that part yet—not to show them getting it on, but rather to show the emotional zigzags that occur during the act. Her reason for wanting him is not about arousal; it stems from selfishness and pain. It’s something she feels she needs. And he feels so guilty for falling into temptation and going against his God's will, that in the middle of it, he changes his mind, leaving her in a heap of rubble. They’re both affected by their actions and I have to show that moment so the rest of their love story makes sense and healing and resolution can come to these wounded souls in the end.

If you’re squeamish and need to write a passionate love scene, it’s best if you just go with the flow and write it as raw, heated, terrible, intimate or loving as it comes to you. If you try to juggle your blushing self with your sexy beast and your mom’s opinion and scripture verses, you won’t end up with a very good scene. It’ll be stilted, cheesy, awkward and icky for readers, like watching a virgin trying to score the big one in some 80's flick. Just write the scene. Then, once you have it, you can scale back and tailor it to fit your audience, your convictions and your purpose. Lovey, touchy moments, be they tasteful or spicy, don't have to be so scary. Write on!

~ Signing off and sending out cyber hugs.

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