Thursday, January 27, 2011

Not That Into It and the Battle Beyond

My biggest nemesis - the love scene. I interrupted my progress this week, working myself into a snit about it. The way my story is written, the scenes have to be hot and passionate; expressing the love between two strong, independent people. The problem? I'm not that into sex.

Let me clarify - I'm not that into writing sex scenes. I'm referring to the ones having all the body parts exposed and labeled; with intimate details of the act. Other authors are into it, and do it very well. Knowing that I'm not one of them, I didn't know what the hell I was going to do. I re-read scenes in the existing manuscript where the characters move from the action climax, through the romantic buildup to the romantic climax.

Awk-ward. Now what? I'm doomed!

A twitter conversation with a writer friend helped the light bulb go off in my head. Thank you, Kathryn Magendie! She's katmagendie on twitter. With her help, I was able to figure out my  new rule. It's very simple: If I'm too embarrassed to read it aloud, then I need to rewrite it. Period. I have to find the balance that works for me and my style of writing. I'm sure it can be better, but here is the first attempt using my new rule...

Battle weary survivors; their eyes meet, their hearts touch. Each finding solace in the other's embrace. Comfort gives way to desire, a more intimate heat starts to rise. She reverberates with his heartbeat; her every breath filled with his scent. She raises her head from his chest, her lips searching for the first taste of him. Wrapped tightly around her, aroused by the sensation of skin touching skin; he lowers his head and presses his lips to hers. The heat rages. Burning, intensifying, fueling their caresses. They yield one to the other, their bodies erupting in waves of unbearably exquisite rhythms. Gradually their breathing slows, their movements quiet. Sated, they drift, cradled in each others arms.


#ROW80 update, 01/30/2011:
  • Goal 1: My progress on the outline ground to a halt this week. I questioned my ability to write scenes with sexual tension and more intimate encounters. I took this week to figure out how to write the scenes I need to write, resulting in this post. Needless to say, I'm not going to finish the outline in January as I had planned, but I'm not unsatisfied with my progress.
  • Goal 2: Held to my goal of three hours per day for the first three days of the week. The next three days I wrote very little, but got back on track last night. I found that I'm able to outline the love scenes far more easily now. I understand my style.
  • Goal 3 -Still posting!
Hope your week was better!


  1. Wonderful! It's beautiful and sensual. And, it's what comes from your own voice, your own style.

    People expect certain things from their authors (and characters) - so, if suddenly we give them something that seems as if a discordant tone in music, they will notice! WHen we write what WE feel comfortable with and what feels right for us, it translates in the whole, symphony! :-D

  2. Advice from Kathryn Magendie is to be savored. Her writing is magical. Also, I love your paragraph. Maybe I should try out this rule of yours. :)

  3. Hey Kat! Glad you stopped by to check it out. Happy that I'm (finally) on the right track. Thank you so much for taking the time and for your thoughtful comment. I really value your opinion.

    J., I agree wholeheartedly about Kat's writing! Glad you enjoyed the paragraph. As for the rule, I'm sure lots of folks are laughing their heads off, because it's nothing new. I'd just gotten myself all twisted up in knots and luckily, there was someone to help me get straightened out again. :)

  4. Whew! I got embarrassed reading that rewrite.....

  5. Hopefully that's a good thing... ;)

  6. You've got to write what you're comfortable with. My love scenes usually aren't explicit with body parts named. I have one book that's a little "hotter", and I'm still having trouble letting my mother read it. But it's mild compared to most I read. LOL.

    You have to follow your heart and mind to discover what you feel like you can write. I think your paragraph shows feelings and desires without being explicit. You did a great job with it.

  7. hi i'm also not comfortable when writing explicit sex so use a minimum of words to lead the reader hopefully to fill in the gaps - it looks like you have found your way - well done

  8. Stephanie Beck, a friend of mine and writer of romance novels, had a pretty good post (God help me but I can't recall where - will find the link if you like :-) about where to 'draw the line' on details. Some folks want to know about what's happening with someone's thumbs, some like it breathy and ethereal, some like to know the entire play by play. You have to be able to stand behind it, at the end of the day, and I think your style is a pretty good compromise. It's comfortable for me to read and I'm a Major prude!! (and, am having a hell of a time writing my horror story because of the freaky things my characters have done, so I relate to the squeamishness)

    I totally applaud your goals, and wish you a fabulous week. You are disciplined and it's clearly showing. I'm glad I ran across you here at ROW 80!

  9. One of the things slowing me down on my current work is the romance sub-plot - I suck at writing it :) Sounds like you found a fantastic compromise for the love scene side of things, which I'll definately be copying!

  10. That was a very lyrical romance scene. Well done. I avoid reading mine out loud at all costs. LOL

    As for your goals, a few days off course ain't no big deal since you're back on now. That's just how some weeks / months are.

  11. Doesn't sound like you were too far behind on your goals if you were thinking about how to make your romance scenes work...if you ignored the problem, you would just end up wasting time in the long run, so way to go!

  12. Good job! I personally think love scenes that name body parts read more like biology lessons. Kinda of takes away from the mood.

  13. Lauralynn, I'm with you about cringing at having mom read what you write. I know that feeling!

    Thanks, Alberta. Glad you liked it.

    Shari, thanks for your comments and well wishes. I read Stephanie's blog and if the post you're thinking of is there, I'll find it.

    Thanks for stopping by, Jason. If it helps you, go for it! :)

    Thank you Claire and Claudia. I'm thinking the same thing about the goals. If I hadn't tried to fix it now, I may have blocked myself and created a bigger problem.

    Wishing y'all a great week!

  14. Lols Jessica, I agree! Since I'm so really bad at that style, it's a really boring lesson in my case.

  15. So glad you figured out your style - I'm still awkward about mine. LOL.

  16. While not "to goal," it sounds like the last week was very productive! Figuring out your style for certain bits can be an awesome jump. I'm still struggling with action scenes. (There seems to be more fighting and eating in my books than sex...)

  17. Claire, I'm sure you'll get there.

    Thank you, Katen. Action scenes gave me trouble too.


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