August 29, 2007 at 5:54 pm 8 comments

Well, something I wrote got me thinking about sex scenes. One nifty bit of advice I learned not to long ago from Jenny Crusie and Bob Mayer is to think of a sex scene as a scene that has sex in it. I know it’s just a play on words but it makes all the difference. I have scenes in my book where my characters are talking over coffee, searching for a culprit, and burning up the sheets.

Why is it important to realize the last example needs to have conflict just like any other scene? Because gratuitous sex is bad. May not be in real life, but in a romance, especially a romance, that scene better have a purpose.

What I’ve found to work for me is to write the scene, write the scene after it and look at the whole picture. What happened before they had sex to lead them there? What changed or what can I see changed between them after they had sex? In my head I see the scene as body language. What are the character’s not saying verbally but are saying in how they interact and move. Does the heroine take complete control and does the hero allow her? How does that differ when they actually have clothes on? How can I show and maintain characterization in this scene? How can I deepen it?

The answers vary from character to character and what point the h/h are in their relationship, the level of trust they have, who’s realized their in love first, and what makes this time different than all the others.

A sex scene isn’t just about sex. Go ahead and let the hero insert tab A into tab B and see if I’m wrong. I’ll wait . . .okay I won’t, but comment if you want to add or argue.

Yes, you already know writing isn’t easy.


Entry filed under: sex, the process, writing.


8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jennifer Elbaum  |  August 29, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    I’ve got to agree with you. In fact I often write “insert sex here” in the middle of a “sex scene” just so I can get the rest of the scene written.

  • 2. Mel  |  August 29, 2007 at 10:58 pm

    Sometimes it’s easier just to let the scene suck until you get a handle on it. To me (sex scene) is what will make or break your romance novel.

  • 3. Allie Boniface  |  August 29, 2007 at 11:19 pm

    Good advice…I wish I had time to read their blog/writing advice on a regular basis…

  • 4. Mel  |  August 30, 2007 at 12:11 am

    I think the site is going to stay up until December and then they plan to publish it as a book. So I say print off what you can now and what you think you need help in and wait for the book.

  • 5. Samara Leigh  |  August 31, 2007 at 2:52 am

    Hey Mel,

    Thanks for the great advice on sex scenes. I often struggle with them. As a matter-of-fact I’m traveling around the blogosphere posting because I am stalling on writing the next steamy sex scene of my WIP. 🙂

  • 6. Mel  |  August 31, 2007 at 4:07 am

    Sex scenes seem scary because you think sex is sex right? This is going to be tedious, flat or boring or worst all three. But it’s not. Find out the why and you’ll be fine.

  • 7. Kate Diamond  |  September 3, 2007 at 3:33 am

    Are they really going to publish it as a book? I hope so… I’d love a chance to read and highlight at my leisure!

  • 8. Mel  |  September 4, 2007 at 3:10 pm

    I think Jenny mentioned it in the comments once. Something along the lines she wanted us to comment so that they can get a better understanding of what they weren’t explaining or elaborating on in there post so they can get it right when they write it as a book.

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