NaNoWriMo. Day Eight. I have to write my first sex scene. Oh dear…

Posted: November 9, 2011 in NaNoWriMo
Tags: , , ,

Word count: 17,310.

Gulp.

Yeah, I’ve never done this before. Didn’t quite expect it and I’m not sure how to go about it.

I’ve certainly read enough of them in books and to be honest, I don’t quite care for them with few exceptions.  I much prefer the author let me use my imagination.

But, now it’s important to the character and the story because, well, she’s been having a rough time lately and really isn’t into the whole “trust thing” with guys and this scene needs to convey a few things and one of them is her vulnerability with this guy.

This guy. The great guy that no one knows yet how great he is. In fact, right now you can’t determine much about him or whether or not he’s worth her trust OR just another loser that’s come into her life.

So, there they are and it’s time and it has to be written perfectly to move the story onto another level and make the relationship cohesive.

It also needs to be just right to play into the back story of the loser husband that she dumped and sex with him was, well how to you say this? Let’s just say she wasn’t sure she even needed to be in the room with him when it was happening. Know what I mean, jelly bean? Thought so.

I am a believer in letting a reader use their imagination as much as possible with a story. Tell them enough so they know what’s going on and keep it moving at a steady pace, but don’t give them too much detail. Let the reader see what they want to see and let them, with their own imagination, contribute to the story.

That is one of the reasons I don’t care for heavy sexual scenes in movies or in books. The same with violence. I don’t need anything shoved in my face. Let me read or watch and participate with my own thoughts and ideas. Let me enjoy a story the way I want to.

I didn’t quite expect this to go this way with the story. Yes, I intended for them to get together, but I’ve written a much deeper and complex woman than I originally thought I could. I hadn’t thought that this scene would be so important to her and the story, but it is.

Maybe I should go pick-up some romance novels, which I don’t generally read.

I can’t believe I am blushing while I write.

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Comments
  1. It sounds like you need to mainly keep the focus on the interior thoughts of your character. You’re writing the sex scene for the right reasons (to move the plot forward and develop character relationships). Don’t get hung up on the whole “insert tab A into slot B” thing and focus on the feelings. Focus on the things that are unique to the act between those two people, not the things that are pretty much a given in that situation. Your readers will know the basic physical aspects, so you don’t need to rehash those things any more than absolutely necessary to ground us in what’s happening.

  2. Susan Lewis says:

    Cameron,

    Thank you so much for commenting and your advice.

    It really is more about the emotions, which is what I want to focus on. I don’t want to have too much detail or skip it.

    I think I’ll just go ahead and write it and I’ll know if it’s correct or not. It is a bit tricky.

  3. R. K. MacPherson says:

    I’m almost in that boat. I think I have about 20,000 words before The Deed gets written. Likewise, I’ve only read one author who could actually write sex scenes that rocked and that’s some of Eric Van Lustbader’s earlier work (The Miko in particular). It IS important to the story, and the protagonist in particular. It’s going to be a lot more about emotions, but it’s gonna be…awkward.

    • Susan Lewis says:

      R.K.,

      I will have to check out this author.

      Since this only my first draft, I won’t spend a lot of time on it so that I can keep my word count going.

      But awkward is right. Let me know how you do!

  4. Some things I’ve learned (and yes, I have managed to write a few steamy scenes without blushing myself out of existence, and no, they’re not all “in-your-face” graphic):

    1) A tactical scene cut can be your best friend. Talk about the foreplay, and how it makes her feel, and have her ask herself whether she’s ready, etc. Then have them starting to get down to business…and cut to them cuddling together in bed afterward. Works great.

    2) This really is one of the times when “less is more” — all you have to do is sketch out the outlines, and the reader’s mind WILL do the rest. I had one beta reader take me to task for how “pornographic” one of my stories was, when it really only had two interrupted sex scenes (one where they never even got as far as undressing) and one all-out sex scene–which lasted about two paragraphs. But to hear her talk, I had written pages and pages of smut.

    3) Euphemisms are a double-edged sword. Given the sort of scene it sounds like you are going for, you probably don’t want to use clinical, anatomical terms for things (or it’ll sound like porn). But you probably also don’t want to go too far to the other extreme, either (e.g., “his throbbing, pulsating rod” or whatever). Pick the middle road, and remember that this is one place where subtle inferences (e.g., “she felt his warmth pressing against her”) can work for you. We don’t need to know what part of him is warm or just where it’s pressing against her.

    4) Keep an eye on your dialogue. This is a place where it can easily get cheesy or stilted. Remember that people don’t usually talk in complete, coherent sentences when in the midst of the act. And be on the lookout for cliches–they can slip into a sex scene oh-so-easily!

    5) Finally, remember to have fun with it. Just relax, and remember, unlike real life, if it doesn’t come out well, you can always edit it later!

    Good luck. Let us know how it turns out!

    • BTW, I just added a link from my blog, crazywithkeyboard (http://sheilamcclune.wordpress.com/) to yours, because I think folks who read my blog would also be interested in what you have to say. 🙂

      • Susan Lewis says:

        Excellent!

        When I come up for air this Sunday, I am going to do the same for yours and everyone else who has been kind enough to comment.

        I’m far from a tech geek on these blogs, so I have to be well fed and well rested before I start messing around because God knows what I’ll end up doing with it.

    • Susan Lewis says:

      Sheila,

      You got me to laughing! Two paragraphs and it’s porn? Ah, that reader doesn’t know what porn is!

      Yeah, I’ll stay away from the graphic details for sure. I do think it’s about emotions and when I came up to write the scene, that’s what I thought about.

      I will have fun with it! I’ll let you know how it goes.

      Thanks SO much for the help!

      • Well…I’m pretty sure my friend has since learned what porn is. She works at the Department of Corrections…and one the jobs she had for a while was to read the incoming mail for the prison where she worked. Some of the stories she brought home from that were truly…spectacular.