Saturday, September 1, 2012

I just need to do research for this scene, that's all! ;D

Here I am writing a rock novel and there's no overt mention of sex until chapter 23! The saying is "sex and drugs and rock & roll" so will people be disappointed with only two out of three?

On the beach 2
Photo by Ambrozjo/ stock.xchng
Seriously, I didn't write my first sex scene until chapter 23. It just didn't fit. But now one of my two protagonists has alone time with the woman he eventually falls head over heels for, and she becomes a minor character, so it definitely was appropriate.

But I'll confess it was difficult to do because I felt like such a voyeur! It's good to know your characters and all, but aren't there some things we don't really need to know? Maybe. I couldn't think of the scene as a learning moment because, well, there isn't much new info to be uncovered. Both people concerned have agreed that they're doing it because they're lonely and they're attracted to each other.

I've avoided sex scenes in the past because I figured most people know the basics and unless the story is a romance, it wouldn't add anything important. However, a couple years ago, a writing instructor said that he felt sex scenes absolutely add something important, if they're appropriate to the story.

I've been thinking over what he said. Once I reached the point in my story where these two characters come together, I realized that I've spent 20 chapters getting readers emotionally involved with this guy, and now I can't get away with skimming over something so emotionally charged.

But it's a short section, once they get to the bedroom. It's not an erotic romance so I don't feel I need to add many details. It needs more than the usual first-draft tweaking because I felt kind of creepy writing it so it's bound to have a goofy feel. Still, once I got to the end, I understood that it provides a mid-stream minor catharsis for readers. They see he's a nice guy who's been painfully dumped (twice that they know of) and they want him to be happy. It's kind of a calm before the storm, once the story continues.

Photo by thesaint / stock.xchng
So that means that once my other protag gets propositioned by the woman he eventually falls for, I have to show (some of) that too. How interesting, I just realized that both of my guys are not initiating, at least for these particular scenes. Maybe that says something about my psyche, but we probably don't want to go there :D

I'd be really interested in hearing how it went the first time you added a sex scene in a WIP. Were you looking forward to it, did you have it planned out, what did you feel it added to the story?


  1. lol...a voyeur? And believe me, Owly, I'm not laughing at you--I AM laughing with you. My story is here, if you get a chance to read it.

    I had a devil of a time figuring it out. And, to tell you the truth, I'm not really sure about it even now, lol.

    I'm posting a blog this coming week about sex/erotica/porn and the lines blurring. Not really answers...just a lot of my questions. Maybe it's not happening. But...I've read some books that look like it's happening. :-)

    1. Oh yeah, the line-blurring question. I don't think there are any easy answers; enjoying what we read is so subjective anyway, and throwing in something as emotional as sex makes it tougher. I'll check out your blog later.

  2. I have mixed feelings regarding the use of sex scenes in novels. I think they can be an important part of the story, but lately it seems like authors simply stick them into their novels to keep readers reading. My feeling on the topic is that the sex scene still needs to move the story forward and help the characters grow and develop in some way. Good post!

  3. Thanks Jess. I agree, that's why I didn't put one in earlier. In a romance, you usually expect some sex, but it doesn't have to be in every story. If it shows up everywhere, it loses impact, IMHO. My characters deserve sex that matters -- wait, did that come out right??