SEX IS A KILLER!


… but only if written badly.

What’s my point, you ask?

Well … I’m all for a bit of rough and tumble beneath the sheets.

Even reading about a bout of five finger shuffling bothers me not in the slightest.

But if you’re gonna write a sex scene, for goodness sake do a decent job.

I’ve read books that have been full of unnecessary sex, and I’ve read books that have the occasional character developing sex scene.

It doesn’t matter to me which you’re going for. I don’t even care if it’s a totally ridiculous time to be having sex, in a completely irresponsible venue … so long as it’s written well.

Just as I couldn’t give two hoots how long you make the scene (each story/character has a fitting length, I guess—which sounds like a pun).

I’ve read scenes that have been pages long (and some have sucked big time—damn, more pun sounding comments), just as I’ve read some that have been a single paragraph long and have had just the right flavour to stir something within Mrs B (that would be me).

Whatever the length, whatever the genre, whatever the validity of the scene’s right to be in the story … PLEEEEEASE write it well.

If you can’t?

Well, then, I’m sorry to say you might be better leaving it out altogether.

Why?

Because nothing puts my back up more than a crappily written sex scene.

If it is in an unlikely genre, then I’ll skim over it … but the rest of the story damned well better be full of juicy goodness if you expect forgiveness.

If it’s in a genre where I’d expect to find intimacy (because, yes, I read a lot of romance), and your sex scene is RUBBISH, then you may have just lost yourself a reader … because in a work where romance and the romantic development between characters is a prominent part of the plot, the intimate scenes are as important as every other word you’ll write throughout—some may argue they’re MORE important—and I expect them to be as heart-warmingly, body-tinglingly, and sigh-inducingly amazing as possible. No arguments! Just how it’s gotta be!

Writing believable, relatable sex scenes is HARD! (no pun intended). That’s why a chapter devoted to a shift in my characters’ relationship can take me a few days and leave me somewhat exhausted (how these erotic writers do it as a constant is a mystery to me ::bowsdowntothemall::).

On the occasion I’ve struggled with a scene (because I’ve written from a male POV), I’ve sought help to ensure I get it right.

Researching the intimate scenes should be as important to you as researching which brand of guns holds 9mm ammunition (for example)—and no, that doesn’t mean you have to duck off to the nearest woods to see how much gravity it takes to drag your ass out of the tree during upside-down sex whilst hanging from a branch … but you do have to pay attention to the order of events and you DO have to sweat the little things. These scenes deserve as much attention to detail as everything else you thought was worth getting right in your story.

If you don’t think it warrants that amount of TLC? Then why the heck put it in there in the first place? It’s obviously not that important a scene, right?

Make EVERY scene count—whatever the content. That is all.

How about you? You get peeved over badly written or un-attention-deserving sex scenes? Thoughts please.

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10 thoughts on “SEX IS A KILLER!

  1. Well, since you asked…

    I dunno, I think sex scenes are kind of like pizza, even when they’re not good they’re still not bad either. 😉 I’m not that picky. I go for overall story. Even if the sex scene is a bit bumbling or over the top, I’ll forgive it and move on.

    1. You’re more forgiving than I, then, Claire 🙂 Too often, writers get lazy when it comes to the intimate scenes, and don’t do them justice.

      1. I don’t know if I’d necessarily apply lazy because many writers, even very good ones, complain about how hard sex scenes can be to write (no pun intended…something must be in the air). They aren’t everyone’s cup of tea to write. Some people, on the other hand, can write killer sex scenes, but then they plop it in a plot so ridiculous I want to throw the book against the wall. The latter type of writing bothers me…but I still read ’em cause I’m a perv. (Had to switch pen names after I wrote that last sentence. LOL)

        I just read a series of 4 (?) books by an author I loved. The two MCs FINALLY hooked up in the last book. The sex scene was not very good. But I was just so darned happy they finally “did it” I didn’t care a whit. I jazzed it up a bit for them in my own imagination and kindly explained it away as the author being coy or tongue in cheek (again, no pun intended) when in actuality, I know from her tweets that she struggled mightily with that scene. Should she have omitted it altogether rather than write a scene she was uncomfortable with? (This is often given as advice to writers.) No, I don’t think so. Her fans, including me, would have had her head after making us wait so long for the deed.

  2. Sex? In a novel? Egad! 🙂 Who would do such a thing? Ptht. 😛
    And on that note, I’m totally with you 100%. I can smell a bad intimate scene in the first two lines and I’ll skim right then and there. But suck me in with the intimacy of the moment and I’ll ride it on through (pun intended). 😉

  3. If the scene is relevant to the plot, Lila, then it should be in there. However, there are plenty of places out there (and I declare that everyone should have a top-notch writer buddy) where you can get help/support/guidance/opinions on your work (pre-publication/submission), so why aren’t people who are (evidently) struggling to write these scenes (and others, for that matter) utilising these invaluable tools (most of them free)? Think that may have to be next week’s blog post. 🙂

  4. The only bad scenes I’ve come across are actually in erotic romance books. Yeah, seriously. Didn’t finish any of them and barred that writer from my future reads list.

    It seems like the writer is squeamish about the whole subject and it came through in the writing. How did the books get published? Hell if I know.

    I think it’s one of those things you’re either good at, or you’re not. Maybe they just need to ::ahem:: broaden their own horizontal adventures and try again. At least it’s working for Katharine in The Circle. 😉

    1. “At least it’s working for Katharine in The Circle. ;)”
      Ahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa This is true. 😉
      I’ll admit there are some real shoddily written erotic books out there–whihc makes it worse if the sex scenes are the main focus of the plot, dontcha thunk?

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