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?
October 12th, 2015 at 8:46 am · Link
I love what Lauren had to say about S-E-X. LOL That’s something a lot of romance writers need to remember. I try hard to do that. Sometimes I even succeed.
Happy Belated to Special K!
I stuck close to home. Wrote. Read. Watched sports. My teams were batting .500. Was really hoping for .1000 but we take what we can get.
Interesting about SB. I’ve heard a lot of former SB authors complaining that she can be a bit difficult. I’ve considered submitting but I don’t think she’d pick up the two series with one book out and I don’t have time for anything new at the moment. Which makes me sad. Because soooooooooooo many ideas!!!!! I need to clone myself. Or figure out how to write a book a week. *flails*…*thuds facedown on desk*
Speaking of, hoping to have the first draft of THE DEVIL’S CUT done by this weekend. I have a
shitload of non-writing stuff this week so I foresee lots of odd times doing the BICHOK thing. And mean like up at midnight. LOLOL
Have a great week, everyone! And with each new Wingslayer Hunter release, I’m getting closer to my marathon read. YAYAYAYAYAYAY!
October 12th, 2015 at 10:23 am · Link
And that’s one reason why I don’t write sex. I rarely read a book with them where I can’t flip past and still keep the story thread. Yada yada, get to the story. So, if I can’t see the point as a reader, I won’t see the point as a writer – except where sometimes readers expect sex and I just can’t bring myself to feel that’s a big enough reason to write it. But that’s me. I still enjoy books with sex scenes – even if I do flip past them.
So glad you had an awesome weekend. Happy B-day to Special K! Sorry about the heat. It was pretty mild here. Even had to turn the furnace on for its 2015 debut. I’m sorry but 67 in the house is too cold for my old bones.
Watched some good football, worked on editing, laid around like a fat dog. All in all a good weekend.
October 12th, 2015 at 11:32 am · Link
Silver, I should have said, I’m not recommending SB, I just listened and thought she did a decent presentation. I was writing this blog when I was dead tired last night. But I’ve heard a few things as you have. For you, I think you have your path pretty well figured out.
If you figure out how to write a book in a week let me know!And yep, all the RLC (Real Life Crap) is slowing me down in a big way. I’m flailing with you.
Hope you get DC draft finished!
October 12th, 2015 at 11:37 am · Link
B.E., you should not write sex if you don’t want to. And no one should try to convince you to write it. First off, now the market is completely saturated with the hotter books so that trend will probably shift. But more importantly, that’s not the story you want to tell, and it’s important that you stay true to your voice. Okay I’ll leap off my soapbox now
I’m jealous of your cooler weather! I have no idea if my furnace even works. But it’s a good think yours does!
Sounds like a nice weekend for you!
October 12th, 2015 at 3:56 pm · Link
Sounds like one busy and fruitful weekend for you :).
I’m glad you had a nice time at the RWA meeting. It must be really cool to get other authors thoughts on things like that. I’m sure you all help one another out quiet a bit this way. As for the sex scenes, I have been known to blow right over them too. Sometimes they’re stupid. Makes me wonder what the author was thinking (I need a higher word count ;)).
Did Special K love her lemon pound cake. I’m still envious :).
Friday afternoon I took hubs back to the doctor. The thing she removed from his back 9 days prior is skin cancer so now I get to apply his chemo to his back twice a day for six weeks. This poor guy has really had a bad couple months. I’m praying it stops.
Other than that nothing interesting this weekend.
I hope you’re having a great day and that the heat has broken out there. Man has it been hot for you guys.
Have a good one :).
October 12th, 2015 at 8:27 pm · Link
Viki, Special K loved her cake. We had a lot of fun going out to dinner, playing the with dogs the having cake. Special K is a lovely woman, and we are so lucky to have her
Oh no on your husband’s skin cancer. That can be very serious, I’m sorry you are both going through this. I didn’t know you couple administer chemo at home, is this topical? I’m very curious. I hope his bad luck stops. He’s had a rough go of it with his bike accident and now this. And it’s hard on you too.
The humidity is back today. Eventually we’ll get fall weather (well, fall for So Cal which is very mild compared to what you guys get). My RA doesn’t like the heat or humidity much.
October 13th, 2015 at 3:34 pm · Link
Jenn, The chemo is a topical cream that I have to apply to the site twice a day adding 4mm to the perimeter to get a clean margin. Oh, and I forgot to mention that he also broke his tooth eating Halibut Sat. night. He was at the dentist today getting set for a crown. Poor dude.
I hope you’re having a good day :).
October 13th, 2015 at 9:54 pm · Link
Viki, oh boy he’s really having one thing after another. Unbelievable how it all happens at once. I really hope the chemo cream does the job and he’s not having any side effects.