I’ve been asked to speak on a panel of romance writers at a library, am the only erotic author on the panel, and hey, there are only two other authors speaking. I can only imagine what kind of questions I’ll be asked. I know the basic ones:
“Do you do all of that in real life?”
Sure! Just like Stephen King chases his family around mazes with an ax and JR Ward bites people on the neck. And the DD’s are fake because I really am a bisexual male.
All joking aside, and pushing aside the fact that I asked the very same questions in the beginning (whistling while eyes dart around the room in innocence), I know this question will come up. Same with asking about using certain words or formulas. For certain words, the answer will be yes, you have to get over yourself. If you want to write an erotic story, you have to use those “naughty” words. Velvet sheath and throbbing tumescence isn’t going to cut it. As for formulas, there’s only one: don’t forget that it’s a romance.
To me, the most important aspect of writing any book in any genre is to stay in character, and that goes for sex scenes, too. Everyone knows Tab A goes into Slot B (um, ok, or C or D). It’s about what that feels like for those particular characters, physically and mentally, that sets the sex apart from simply being porn. It’s bringing their personalities into it, their idiosyncrasies. Do they have hopes? Fears? Past mental or physical issues with themselves and/or former lovers? These are the things that make those characters unique, and make them memorable to the reader.
In other words, it’s no different than any other scene in the book, or from any other scene in any other genre. Sex scene or not, same rules apply.
So that's what I'm basically going to say. Heck, maybe even verbatim. I'll also include the sample below:
Example from Winters’ Thaw:
This is their first kiss scene, which basically says:
He leaned in, stroked her upper arm with his hand and hesitated, so she wrapped her arms around his neck and pressed her lips to his. It was exciting for them both.
This is the actual scene of the first kiss, which has the same movements, but tells so much more about the characters:
He wanted to kiss her. Holy cow! She realized she couldn’t remember the last time she’d been kissed with any passion. The thought of doing it now, with this man, was both exciting and intimidating.
“Wanna find out?” Kevin leaned closer, looming over her by nearly half a foot.
His entire hand now stroked the skin on her upper arm and she felt surrounded by him, yet completely safe. God, he even smelled good! All earthy male with just a hint of sporty deodorant.
He waited there, hovering not six inches from her face, those green eyes staring straight into hers as he waited for some form of permission.
Elizabeth took a deep breath and slowly closed her eyes.
She expected him to move quickly, to take her mouth a bit roughly as set by the tone of the moment. He did neither. She was about to open her eyes to see what he was waiting for when she felt the first gentle brush of his mouth on hers. Then another. His lips were soft, sweet, hinting at the underlying taste of Kevin Springer.
Elizabeth wanted more.
She leaned forward at the next contact and sure enough he lingered, deepening the kiss, giving her more of what she craved but not nearly enough.
Why wasn’t he giving it his all?
Edie’s voice carried across the internet. C’mon girl, what do you need? A billboard invitation?
No but apparently he did. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she pulled him closer and slanted her mouth over his, swiping her tongue across his closed lips.
His body jolted and he finally kissed her as she craved, accepting her tongue to duel with his. When she retreated he followed with a groan, pressing her back against the wall.
So, pretty big difference there, right? What would you ask an erotic author on a romance panel? Inquiring Minds want to know.
Print Version: Tempt the Cougar