Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Writing the Sex Scene--tricky, but fun

Today is Tuesday. I've begun my new schedule for the summer, which means I'm off Sunday, Monday and Tuesdays now.

Over at "Archive" it's Poetry day.
I've taken a day off from posting at "Something Nebulous Within", and I'm getting visits all the time. Can't wait to see my first followers at either one of these blogs, but keep on stopping by.

I'm about three quarters done in the second book of my vampire series. Being that this is an Urban Fantasy, I can do a number of things with it. Including taking Sabrina places she's never gone before--or would hope to go. Thus, I've created a place--another world, perhaps a paralell world?--called Dark Realm, this is where the real fantasy comes into play and I'm busy working on the differences of that world and this one.

And because I wanted to write ahead, get into a section of the book where I was thinking about all this last week, I skipped the sex scene midway through chapter 20. Strangely enough, I've gotta be in the mood. Pun can be intended, if you wish.

Writing a sex scene would seem like it would be easy, but it isn't for a lot of us writers. I've read about some who avoid it at all cost in their novels. Reason being is that they feel embarrased about writing one, or feel it won't come off as sounding right, or it might even sound awkward. Shiness over writing one might be addressed by simply writing one, and not intend to be read by anyone.

But I digress. There are a few things you have to address, such as relationships between the two people, their own code of ethics, also their view on casual sex, romantic sex, premarital sex, etc. all must be considered when you work a sex scene into a book or short story.

In this case Sabrina is with a perfect stranger, she isn't likely to have sex with a guy she hardly knows. But I've placed her in a strange new world, and Jacob is offering to bathe her--she's in an exotic bath, and suddenly he comes in sans robe and allyummy male and in the mood. Yikes! And when she refuses him, he offers to wash her hair, and then well, the soap thing--highly erotic!

So, what's the problem? The problem is I've got my main character about to do something she doesn't normally do. In the first book she's only known one man before Dante (who tells her there is a very good reason they need to do it--to get his shiftchanger scent all over her so that the vampires don't want her so much). Well, she was okay with it, since she was really attracted to him, and he her, and it wound up that they began to see each between the first and second book. Then they broke up. A new relationship is on the horizon and it is with a master vampire who has claimed her, and they are getting hitched soon. So, I've debated on this scene, but considering Sabrina is technically free, and in a strange world, she finds the whole thing unusual, but caves due to her own raging desires.

But placing Sabrina into this situation where she simply has to give into it because she just can't resist his touch and Jacob is persistant had me wondering how to bring this about. The masage thing was out, because I just couldn't pull it together. When I decided on an exoticly scented private bath, it just gave me the best opportunity to have them together. If she doesn't give into it, then it would be rape. So, being careful, showing that she is into this, is where I'm at right about now.

Holding off writing this until I had a chance to think about how to go about this was the best thing. It's like any other scene. An action scene needs a lot of thought, as does dialogue. Dialogue moves your characters, and the story along, gives information to the reader. Action shows what your character is made of. Sex, also, determines a lot as far as what your character is willing to do, or how far they will go, or not go. The who they are is what you're trying to develop.

What does the sex scene do? In certain cases, and I'm thinking of the books I've read, we want to see the heroine choose the hot guy and go to bed with him. When I read a book I don't want to be led on and on and on until some later chapter in the book where the two get together--finally. I think Charlaine Harris is good at giving her character, Sookie, hunks to drool over and have sex with--sometimes multiple times. In some cases the mere mention of the guy's intention is enough to keep us interested, wanting to see (I was hoping she would get Sookie and Eric back together, and finally does in Dead and Gone). And she never has multiple lovers in any one book. She's seeing one guy at any one time, but when she isn't seeing a guy, she's given an array to choose from.

As far as writing the scene, we have to work in the details and find a way to make it "interesting". And if we want, we can make it funny, too. Depending upon how much detail we want to give it, I'd say a page or two is plenty. Unless you're Laurell K. Hamilton where half your book is errotic sex, about every 50 pages there has to be a sex scene, and usually goes on and on for pages. (I guess that's why I don't write erotica).

In my self-published book there is a short sex scene in early chapters with my main character, Zofia, and a man she was dating. I had her break up with him because after all he was a mortal and she was a sorceress--plus he was a cop, how do you tell a cop you can do magic? Then her husband returns (she thought he was dead), but he isn't exactly alive either, he's a vampire. I had male readers tell me they liked the hot sex scene in that chapter (I think it was 24), between the two. My husband and at least one other guy I know, said that was a hot scene,(smirk in place). I'd added red panties, a red bra and red high heals. No big deal. But it might have been different enough.

As my character, Sabrina Strong, grows in these vampire novels, her ideas about sex become a little different. Where once she couldn't even get a date--because she was thought of as wierd, because she wears gloves, as she is a touch clairvoyant, and of course the gloves can't come off during sex, or she gets emotional over-load from him. So, when she discovers that she can't "get a read" from vampires, because they can block her, and her telepathic lover, Dante can also block her, she's finding more and more how much fun sex can be. So,I didn't want her to repress her own sexual needs. Since becoming a were-creature, it seems to be more prominant a need. Especially during the full moon--and that leads me off in a few other directions with her in this book, as well.

I think I need to get back to this scene. Let me see. . . where did that bar of soap go? Oh, hell with it.

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