I’ve enjoyed reading the other Debs posts this week about S-E-X. It seems we all agree that including the dirty deed in our novels should only be included if it feels right. “Doing it” when it feels right is all well and good, but how do we write it well?
Study the Greats: This is definitely the best place to start. Pick up a few romance novels and study how these authors set up a great scene. A few of my favorites include Diana Gabaldon’s steamy scenes, A.S. Byatt’s Possession, Eloisa James, and Sherry Thomas.
Bring on the Emotional Tango: Think of the emotional connection (therefore chemistry) as a tango. One partner leads, another pulls away–and the leader whips the partner next to him in return. There’s a flash of leg, a sexy pout, a push and pull. While not every novel calls for this dynamic, the concept is the same. The emotional push and pull between characters (and eventual physical deed) is what makes the story interesting. In fact, without it, a novel lacks conflict and tension and is a snooze fest.
Choose the Level of Nitty Gritty Wisely: When I read a romance novel, I have to admit, I want to read some nitty gritty, otherwise I’m a tad disappointed. Problem is, what I consider nitty gritty may not be what someone else considers nitty gritty. I mean, I don’t want swear words and all the lubricated mechanical movements described. I do, however, love a passionate exchange with a little detail for visualization. But if I’m reading in any other genre, a sex scene (or amazing kissing scene) feels like a little bonus package dropped inside the novel that I relish–and that little dash is all that’s appropriate. Decide how much touchy-feely makes sense to the genre. Oh, and I wonder if books should come with a rating label…
Never Forget, Sex Sells: An old adage that’s completely true.
How sexy do you like your novels–for reading? If you’re a writer, what’s your take on the sex?
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