Friday, December 16, 2011

Unavoidable Sex

I'm enjoying my WIP quite a bit. At 30,000+ words in, I know the voice of all the characters, and I'm deeply embedded in the story, so the words flow out rather easily. This is the fun part. Choosing and tying together all the different threads of the plot and characterizations was difficult, but now it has all come together and I am sort of letting creative gravity carry me forward.  I love this part!
Except....there is one more hurdle to cross. One more Kilimanjaro sized speed bump to cross. The sex scene. I call it unavoidable for two reasons: I write romance and it is expected, and the character arc is leading there with flashing runway lights.  After all, they've kind of been infected by a sex demon, and they're falling in love. Its gotta happen! And it has to happen in the next two chapters.

Of course, because I'm a plotter, I know exactly how it will happen. The overall scene, I mean. But I don't know how IT will happen. The act itself. The dirty deed. Who's on top, when they switch, etc. Whether to have it in the heroine's POV, or the hero's.  This is the part I hate. My official least favorite part of being a romance writer. Having sex is spectacular, talking about it is fun, reading it is great, but writing about it can be extraordinarily painful.

Suddenly your options for description and dialogue are limited to a set number of body parts. Then it becomes a numbers game. How many times have I said kiss and lips? How many times did he stroke or caress her breast - because it can't happen too many times in a row. My old friend the thesaurus only helps so much. Tingle, quiver, shiver, thrill, chill.....same thing. No repeats! Lick, touch, slide (I'll never use fondle, because I can't stand the word - it has a very negative connotation to me), brush, lave - there aren't that many options. He's excited, she's atingle, and now what the heck happens? It can't sound too clinical, but it still needs to sound realistic, since I don't write Regency novels where things can be cloaked in euphemisms. But I still need to sneak in the romance, since of course their joining will be like none before, opening both of them to the realization of true love. That is a lot of pressure to put on the simple act of inserting Tab A into Slot B!

Please tell me I'm not the only one. That somebody else out there thinks the sex scene is one of the most difficult pieces of the writing craft. And now I'm going to dig up my sex scene music from my last book, and hope it still gets the job done this time around.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, good lord, I feel exactly the same way! It's basically an action sequence, which I also find difficult to write, but with fewer options. There are only so many words for penis, after all.

    I've found that I cannot write a sex scene without first finding the right soundtrack. I write to music, and I have to have that perfect song, or songs, before I can begin writing.

    I've written to Maroon 5, Foo Fighters, John Mayer, and Rihanna, depending on the mood. But once I find that song, it really does flow. Music helps me hone the scene's emotional arc and overall tone. I put it on repeat and listen to it a thousand times until I'm finished -- and then think of sex every time I hear it thereafter!