Friday, 12 June 2009

More sex in romance writing

From my limited experience in the romance genre, I find the sex scenes the most challenging to write.

For example, how does one describe all the body bits and pieces without sounding like (a) a gynaecologist or (b) a 16-year-old boy out to impress his mates?

And how too does one write about the sexual act in such a way that it is both subtle yet titillating? Poetic and horny? It's got to be a turn-on for the reader, but it can't be vulgar or bawdy.

In a film with a romantic angle the director simply cuts from the kiss to the morning after. Or goes soft focus, with the camera panning artfully over the curves and dips of the entwined couple and honing in on the rise and fall of their bodies as they reach an exquisite climax - simultaneously. Like, get real.

In the romance novel, the writer has to describe the love making, including the foreplay and apres cigarette, in detail. And that's no mean feat.

So, what do you call a penis or vagina in romance writing? Not a penis or vagina, that's for sure!

The other challenge for the romance writer is to keep the sex scenes lively and varied. It must be earth-shattering every time for the hero and heroine - and versatile (unlike the love lives of most ordinary mortals).

That means finding a range of creative euphenisms - not just a 'shaft' or 'soft mound' (don't laugh - think about it in context) - to describe the male and female genitalia.

Sex in romance writing is an art in itself. For the author, it's the hard labour of love.


jennjmcleod said...

Hey that cluster map is looking pretty good LOL I've just done a love scene (note I call them love not sex scenes). It is an optional chapter so I can take it out or leave it in. -in, out, in, out - whenever I like!!!!!!

Shayne Collier said...

Hi Jenn
I think the poor ocean swimming community is having to endure the romance writing side by side with swimming stuff. I don't know why or how people are reading and finding it.
And love scenes does sound more committed. Good luck. I'd love to read it.