Writing Sex Scenes Part II.

I’ve only completed two novels–that’s the disclaimer. Readers have commented on how much they love the sex scenes in my books–that’s my validation. That’s what qualifies me to give tips. I don’t purport to be an expert. I don’t pretend these will work for everyone. I’m sure others write better scenes…or ones more suitable to particular tastes. But I have had some experience with it. And since I’m still a lowly indie author, I’ll actually take the time to share my techniques with you.

WARNING: This is another post for the grown and sexy. Do NOT read further if discussions about sex offend you…and you happened to have missed the title.

Last week, Thomas Bryant and I discussed writing sex scenes. It was short. It was funny. And it was a good intro to today’s tips for writing sex scenes. You can read it here.

After said post, fellow indie author, Alesha Escobar, had this to say: “Okay, I confess I’m still a wimp when it comes to this. If I’m feeling awkward, it’s going to come across in the scene–then I just look like a dork. I know I’m supposed to stay away from purple prose and laughable metaphors. So any advice? :-)

Thomas Bryant’s advice: “I did mention a bottle of wine, didn’t I, Alesha?”

I agree with Thomas. Wine does help.

Here are some other tips for writing sex scenes:

1. Enjoy sex. Enjoy talking about it. Enjoy watching it. Enjoy reading it. Enjoy writing it.

Why? Because…

a. If you enjoy sex and make it a daily part of your discussions, thoughts, and lifestyle, that passion will translate on paper.

b. If you don’t enjoy it, you’ll hurry through a scene. You’ll have a bunch of words with no depth. You’ll just be going through the motions and so will your characters.

c. The more you enjoy sexy situations, the more you will write them. The more you write sex scenes, the better you get at sex writing sex scenes. 🙂

Downside: you may go overboard. I have been told by one reader to tone DOWN the sex a bit. So, take my tips with a grain of salt. Decide how important your sex scenes are to your story and prepare accordingly. My characters are sexy, wild, daring, and risky. So sex is pretty integral. I keep the characters in mind, not readers. My target audience will love the characters AND the sex scenes.

Which leads me to…

2. Forget everybody else. If you’re thinking about what your mommy, preacher, children or whomever are going to think, you won’t be able to let your characters go in order to do what they want to do. You’re writing fiction. Later for whoever doesn’t get that.

3. Get in a sexy mind frame before you start writing a scene. If you’re doing #1, this will be easy. And this is where Bryant’s suggestion of wine helps. I like to create a sexy atmosphere. Visualize what my characters are going to do. Then describe it as if I am in the moment with them. Freaky? Maybe. But it works.

4. Read lots of sex scenes. Figure out who writes the ones you enjoy the most. Figure out why. Learn from that author.

I’ve read LOTS of books. Discovered I liked books with sex in them the most (which is why YA is not my favorite genre). Disliked the overly sappy ones. Disliked the solely erotic ones. Enjoyed a good plot with good sex scenes the best. Once I started reading J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood, I was ruined for other authors. I discovered I liked the choppy style. The fast-paced, raunchy way of describing the acts. And that’s where I adopted my style from. It’s uniquely mine, but highly influenced by hers.

Find your influence. Roll with it.

5. Don’t be awkward. Be fun. Be sexy.

How?

Remember that sex is a natural part of life. As far as I know, we all come with genitalia and the urge to use them for more than bodily functions. In fact, with nearly seven billion people in the world, it’s obvious there’s a lot of sex going on. It should be celebrated. Revered.

Don’t feel embarrassed. Don’t feel shy. Keep in mind you’re writing about something everybody does…or wish they did. It’s what people do behind closed doors. And that’s where they’re going to read your books with YOUR sex scenes.

6. Write the scenes as your characters would experience them. You’re just the narrator. They are the participants. My character, Joanne, in Shameful does some bad stuff…but none of that is as bad as what my character, Willow, does in Sleepy Willow’s Bonded Soul. Why? Because Willow’s a vampire based in fantasy and Joanne’s a wife and mother based in reality. Willow and Joanne both have sex, but their experiences are very different because of who they are.

These are tips from the top of my head. I’ll do a Part III when I think of more. If you’re an author with a tip to share, by all means–leave a comment.

An Interview With Dicey.

EDITED ON NOVEMBER 28, 2011 (see below)

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This is an interview I did for ILoveVampireNovels.com in preparation for the release of their first anthology. I was thrilled to have the first five chapters of my debut novel Sleepy Willow’s Bonded Soul: The Narcoleptic Vampire series featured in their book, but I have yet to see this interview posted to their website, an author page, links to my book, or “tons of ‘Viral’ promotion opportunities so your new fans can help spread the word about your books!” as listed on their FOR AUTHORS page. Since it was completed over two months ago, I’m beginning to think it has fallen through the cracks and they have moved on to other things.

Nevertheless, I took the time to do it. So, I will make sure my fans have an opportunity to read it. Keep in mind it was submitted September 13, 2011, so some of the information is outdated now. 😦

1. When did you decide to become a writer?

In the middle of my eighth grade year when I was fifteen-years-old, my family and I moved to another city. It wasn’t that far away from our old place, but far enough that I had to change schools, neighbors, and friends. Well, not all my friends. Especially not Pam. We kept in touch. But this was pre-internet days so I spent a lot of time writing long—I mean, loooong—letters to her. It was my escape, my refuge, my way of remaining connected to someone safe…someone strong. In fact, I made it through my years of teenage angst due to writing those letters to Pam. From there I wrote songs and poems, but never shared them with anyone because it was just my way of coping. It was the foundation for me wanting to become a writer. Now that I’m an adult, I still purge my aggressions out on paper. Writing what I think and feel is my preferred outlet. Some people sing. Some dance. Some cry. Some take pills. I write.

2. How long have you been writing?

I wrote as a means of dealing with my emotions when I was a teenager. Then, I wrote academic papers throughout school. Next, I wrote on blogs, submitted essays for contests, and free-lanced small jobs. Within the last three years, I’ve devoted a significant amount of time to writing fiction books.

3. What types of books are you reading?

Paranormal romance. It’s an addiction. I don’t favor books that are just romance or just paranormal. I LOVE when there is a mixture of both. And I especially love it when there is a series. I will read every single one of them, one right after the other.

4. What was your favorite part of writing your book? The hardest part?

My favorite part of writing SLEEPY WILLOW’S BONDED SOUL is when my characters took over. I mean that, really. I was happily writing according to my outlined plot and characterizations, when suddenly my characters decided to do something different than what I’d planned. It happened a couple of times. In re-reading my story, those surprises were the best parts of the book.

The hardest part of writing my book was getting over what my parents, my pastors, and my super-religious-holier-than-thou friends would think of my graphic sex scenes and foul language. When I realized it shouldn’t matter what they think because this is what I like to read and write, it was a breeze. I’m sure to give people a warning message before they say they want to read my book though. Beware!

5. Tell us what it’s about.

Instead of regurgitating the synopsis, which can be found on my website (diceygrenorbooks.com), I will say, SLEEPY WILLOW’S BONDED SOUL is about Willow, a vampire who has narcolepsy and works at a fetish club where she specializes in necrophilia. She’s attracted to Remi, one of her fans who happens to have a personality disorder. Max, Willow’s maistre vampire, doesn’t play that Remi shit. And while Willow’s working through her relationship drama, VET, the vampire extermination agency, is after her ass. And they aren’t the only ones.

The book has lots of twists and turns, lots of supernatural beings and elements, and lots of suspense and action.

Visit my website, click on Books, and view the official synopsis.

6. What are you working on now?

Besides marketing/promoting SLEEPY WILLOW’S BONED SOUL, which will be released on Oct. 1, 2011 as an ebook and Dec. 1, 2011 on paperback? I’m writing the sequel. I’m also gearing up for the release of my other novel, SHAMEFUL, on Nov. 1, 2011.

7. What is your favorite part of being an author?

Telling the story in my head and having it appreciated.

8. What do you do in your free time?

You mean after my one-year-old son and four-year-old daughter are asleep? I read, write, and watch movies. I am a movie/book fanatic.

9. If you could give a piece of advice to your readers on anything,
what would it be?

Read my book if you are not easily offended. If you don’t like to read about sex, violence, or blood, share my book with someone you know who does. And you know of someone. If you read it and love it, tell the world!

10. If you could give advice to new writers, what would it be?

Finish your damn book. Edit the hell out of it. Edit it again. And then again. Keep at it until it is your absolute best work.

Interview Questions From Fans:

From Barbara Irving: if you could be any fictional character who would
you pick and why?

Bella. No, not from “Twilight”. From “Lover Awakened” by J.R. Ward. Why? Because Bella’s strong. Just look at what she had to go through, yet she survived. And she didn’t let those bad experiences dictate who she would become. When it was time to do some killing, she could do that too. She’s beautiful and confident and totally devoted to Zsadist who in turn, is totally devoted to her. As screwed up as Z is, she’s able to see past it to the loving man he is underneath. But she doesn’t take any mess from him or from her brother Rhev. She doesn’t let anyone force an agenda on her. She fights back and goes after what she wants. And she knows what she wants.

From Carrie Humphrey: When sitting down to write a novel, whether it be a vampire one or something different, what’s the first step you take?
Outline? Blurb out ideas? Just write and see where it takes you?

I spend a few weeks letting the ideas simmer around in my brain until they begin to swirl and boil over until I can take it no more. If I don’t sit down and write it down, I will forget something good. So I start writing, putting the ideas in to an outline. After I work on the outline a few weeks, I start putting the book together. Most of the time I begin writing the book by copying and pasting already written scenes from my outline. Once I’m in the story deep, the outline is just a guideline. The characters take over.

From Sarah Lynne Brenzott: How much Vampire reading had you done before you began as an author? Do you think the vampires that you got to know in literature aided you as developed both your plots and characters in your own writing?

I read series after series of vampire books before writing my own, so I’d be a lying ass if I said none of those stories aided in the development of my plots and characters. I’ve incorporated everything I loved about other vampire stories in to my own books and avoided the things I hated.

I love how Rice’s books are mostly told in first person and how the vampires are very sensual. Hamilton is queen at “revamping” her protagonist in order to keep the vampire hunter series going through twenty books. Ward’s alpha warriors are the sexiest bad boys ever and her fast-paced story-telling is amazing. I love that Harris introduces several supernatural elements and has a variety of species. I’m in awe of Kenyon’s historical tie-ins and I’m warmed by her emphasis on ever-lasting love. I love Meyer’s werewolf descriptions and the suspense she surprisingly maintains throughout her meaty-sized books.

So,  yes. This is where a lot of my inspiration comes from. But my book is uniquely me.

Rose E. Barrett: With all the “Vampire legends” and whatnot already out
there(i.e wooden stake, burn in the sun, immortal) how do you keep your characters original?

I give my characters new and improved weaknesses and strengths. There are some of the things we’ve come to expect about vampires, but how many have you read with narcolepsy? That’s just one example.

Debbie Wright: Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Keep writing until you finish the book. I can’t begin to tell you of all the people I talk to that say they want to write a book but don’t know where to start or that they’ve started but stopped before they finished. That’s no good. If you haven’t started, start. If you haven’t finished, finish. Nothing to it but to do it.

If they happen to post this interview to their site along with the aforementioned promotions, I will update this blog to reflect those links.

To read another interview with Dicey, go to CJ Johnson’s blog.

#HardOutHereForAPimp

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THIS POST WAS EDITED ON NOVEMBER 28, 2011 TO INCLUDE THE LINK TO WHERE THE INTERVIEW HAS BEEN POSTED ON ILOVEVAMPIRENOVELS.COM.