It turned out to be a whirlwind weekend. Saturday was awesome at my local RWA Chapter meeting. Deb Werksman, and editor for Sourcebooks, spoke in the morning. Her talk relied heavily on data, and what Sourcebooks can do for an author’s career. I liked her, and think Soucebooks is innovative and motivated. In the afternoon Lauren Dane spoke–she was fresh, passionate and so funny. She warned right off the bat she was going to use some of “those words” while discussing writing hot sex scenes. But she did it so well, I didn’t see anyone taking offense.
Her overall point was that the sex scenes should be woven so deeply into the emotional fabric of your book, so that you literally can’t remove the sex scenes without ruining the book. Otherwise, why have them at all? I’ll recap what I remember, but I am paraphrasing from memory not quoting as I didn’t take notes:
–Make sure the sex scene has a purpose related to the theme of your book.
–Sex must change characters in some way: They learn something about themselves or their partner, one of them exposes secret or has an emotional revelation. Something that leads to character growth and touches on the theme of the book.
–Keep the scene concise, take out every extra word or action. For example, we don’t need a play by play of using protection when one mention will do the job. Unless the protection is part of the characterization in some way. She went off on a wickedly funny point about a possible latex allergy that had everyone snorting laughter.
–Dialogue. If the characters are talking, make sure they stay true to their character. So a former Marine isn’t likely to use silly names for parts of his anatomy. Language is important. On the other hand, a former Marine who never swears can be very interesting. Just make sure you know your characters and keep them true to themselves.
— Most people know what sex is, and most adults have sexual experience. Don’t make it so unrealistic that the reader is bored, rolling their eyes, or worrying about “chafing” The chafing comment created another burst of laughter. She had perfect delivery on that, LOL!
Those are just a few things. Lauren did a great job of outlining the intimate and very human connection of sex, and how if an author is going to have it in their books, make it significant and real, while staying true to who the characters are.
And now I must get more of her books just because I liked her. She also had a really cool Mac laptop that I am jealous of :-).
Saturday was a great day, I got to see a lot of friends and had a great time, but man, I came home exhausted. Then Sunday we celebrated Special K’s birthday and had more fun. All that was great, but the heat is getting to me and I think, most everyone else here in California.
Now I’m just begging for time to write.
Oh, and a week from today SOUL MAGIC releases!
How was your weekend?