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Writing means different things to me. I'm a storyteller, a book editor, and a songwriter. For me, it's like breathing.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Romance—Writing those dreaded sex scenes

I must be weird because I write romance, but I dread having to write sex scenes. I’m not a prude. The time I spent in an all girl hard rock band taught me more than I needed to know about, well, sexually related stuff and made it all seem so normal. I think what I dislike about writing sex scenes is I want to avoid making them too stiff (no, I didn’t mean this as a pun) or too laughable (as in purple prose). No matter what I end up writing in the sex scenes, I can’t read them without giggling.
So, what is the best way to write a sex scene? I try to bring the characters’ personalities into the bedroom scenes and sometimes humor. Real life sex isn’t always perfect so I want to add that bit of realism, but not too much realism that it will turn a romance reader off. The key to a good romance is to have some fantasy for the reader to enjoy because that’s why people read romances—to escape reality.

By revealing a character’s personality in a sex scene, a writer can show how a character would act or react. For example, a Pict king in my Dark Goddess trilogy is shown enjoying being bitten by my blood drinker heroine, which reveals his wild side. For some humor, I have an ongoing joke with my hero and heroine in my Dark Goddess trilogy—their enthusiasm in the bedchamber breaks many beds.
My biggest challenge is naming all those pesky body parts without sounding too graphic (who knew that cock was a vulgar term for a penis?) or too flowery (her ‘rose petals of love’ won’t do). I also have to keep my terms relevant to the time period I am writing so I can’t use modern slang.

I don’t want all of my sex scenes to sound the same either. Too much caressing, stroking, entwining, writhing and thrusting can get tedious. A change in scenery can help break up the monotony. Or some honey instead of whipped cream. That just gave me an idea. Maybe this isn’t as hard as I thought. All I needed to do was to experiment a bit. Smile

Kelley Heckart
'Timeless tales of romance, conflict & magic'
http://kelleysrealm.blogspot.com/ Check out my long hair hotties!
Three different women, one ancient curse…

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