Monday, July 28, 2008

Is It Hot In Here?

Writing sex scenes for romance novels is pretty much required. Of course, you can write sweet romances, inspirational romance, or even young adult and avoid this area, but for the most part, sex is required.

At first, I was embarrassed to write those scenes. Now that I've gotten more involved in the business and made friends, I've learned just how popular the romance genre is. Romance is the highest selling of all the fiction genres. There are a lot of people reading them, so why should I be embarrassed to write the sex in them?

For one thing, it's a very personal subject. Some people can't even talk about sex without blushing. I'm not that embarrassed, but I do believe sex can be a touchy subject. Let's face it, it happens. Everyday, every hour, probably every minute, somewhere in the world, someone is having sex.

I got past my embarrassment well enough. Once you write your first scene, it gets a lot easier from there.

They are difficult to write though, because you have to convey the emotion of the moment. That's not an easy task. You can't just write about the mechanics because that doesn't get people emotionally involved. We want to know how she's feeling, what her thoughts are. And what about him? It's even harder to write from his point of view. As I've never been a man, I don't know what he feels like.

Someone gave me the good advice that to write a good sex scene, you should have a 50/50 balance. 50% should be mechanics and 50% should be emotion. That sounds like pretty good advice to me.

I'm still working on improving my writing. I probably will until the day I die. I believe that you never know everything there is to know about a subject. You can be the worlds leading expert on something, but I'm sure, there is more you can learn. There is always room for improvement and ways to better your craft. So, for now, I will keep learning and keep trying to write the best story I can.

Do you have trouble with writing sex scenes? As a reader, do you have difficulty reading them, especially if they are poorly written? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

6 deadly screams:

Sarah Mäkelä said...

Great post! Sex scenes are hard to write because you do have to have the perfect blend of mechanics and emotion. I hadn't heard that about the 50/50 balance, but I agree with it. Thanks for sharing your advice!

Molly Daniels said...

I have little problem writing the sweet love scenes. My problem was getting used to the 'buzz' words in the erotic ones. Part of it comes from how I was raised; those terms were never used, or seen as derrogotory/disrespectful.

And having read quite a bit over the last year (45 or so at last count), I've discovered I'll skip over most of the sex scenes when I'm reading. I know; what???? Yes, it's true. I'll read the first sex scene, and maybe the last one. But for the most part, I skim it, unless something about the scene catches my eye!

Please don't yell at me?

Sarah Mäkelä said...

I agree, Molly. The erotic ones are harder because of the "buzz" words. I don't like to use them either. They seem so harsh to me. I write some sweet, but I tend to lean toward "normal" scenes, LOL if sex scenes could be classified as that! I like it somewhere in between.

Rose Pressey said...

I agree it is difficult to write sex scenes. Especially from the male POV.

Great post!

Gracen Miller said...

LOL. I must be a pervert. I love to write sex scenes. To me it's the easiest part of writing. And I have no problem with the "buzz" words in erotica or otherwise. I like sex scenes that are smoking hot and those that are sweet. It depends on the story and the characters, which suits them best because to me they're people in my head. I don't tend to write characters that have sweet sex though. And I've read a couple of authors that had ME blushing.

Sierra, this was a great blog and you've told me the 50/50 before. I agreed with it then and I still do.

Sierra Wolfe said...

Thanks for the comments everyone. Molly, I've skipped the sex scenes in books too. It really depends on my mood. Sometimes, I'm just not in the mood to read them. Sometimes, I just want the love story and could care less about the actual sex in a book. So don't feel bad, you're not alone.

I've never tried to write erotica. I know that would be even harder to write. Someday, I may try it, I don't know. I think it will just take time to get more comfortable with writing it. I have nothing against the genre at all, it's basically my own insecurities that stops me.