2.12.2007

Eat your heart out Barbara Cartland

Dear Miss Snark,

I’ve noticed a lot of novels include gratuitous sex scenes that have nothing to do with the story. I figure people must like to read that stuff, and so I’m anxious to add a few sex scenes to the novel I’m writing. And I really want those passages to be detailed and authentic. Unfortunately, I’m such a loser no woman has ever agreed to have, um, intimate relations with me, and so I don’t have any personal experiences to draw upon.

Do you have any advice for me?



Not just any advice, I have really GOOOOD advice.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

that was just stupid

why

1) cutting the string on the girls teeth make the watcher cringe -( like fingernails on a blackboard)

2) the obvious questions screams the whole time - why doesn't the goat just chew it. -

3) when the goat is supposedly humping the guy- we can see him just standing in the backround - just blurred a little

plus the whole idea is high schoolish.

i know i know its a joke - but even jokes cant stray too far from reality

Anonymous said...

No one should write sex scenes if they're uncomfortable in the process--or feel they *must* simply to get published.It won't work, and it will show in the writing.

But if the writer thinks experience is necessary before writing a love/sex scene he/she shouldn't really worry. Ya don't have to murder someone to describe it, nor do you need to, uh, (insert four letter word here) to write about it. But do try to make it integral to plot and character . . . please.

PicAxe

Anonymous said...

Reality is highly overrated.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of a song I once heard: "Hey, McCloud, get offa my ewe!"

Dave said...

"I’m such a loser no woman has ever agreed to have, um, intimate relations with me, and so I don’t have any personal experiences to draw upon."

Aw gimme a break. I don't want to be cruel and say anthing else about that sentence.

Nothing screws up a novel more than gratuitious sex.

If you want to sell your writing based on sex, go all the way and write pornography for money.

Anonymous said...

Hey, it made me laugh.

Anonymous said...

Well, I would have to say that if this guy who brought this question to our fearless gin leader, then he deserves to see this beautiful love epic on the internet.

Also, might I add, for once the guy knows how it feels to be used, totally used!

You go girl..... (Of course this was for Miss Snark...Where on earth did you find something as wonderful as this video clip?)

Snarkling in training....Watching and waiting.

December Quinn said...

Assuming this person is actually serious, I do have two pieces of advice:

1. Sex scenes should drive characterization or plot.

2. If you want to learn how to write a sex scene, read a lot of sex scenes. Buy some erotic romances. You can go to any one of a number of e-publishers if you're too embarrassed to get them at the store--Ellora's Cave, Triskelion, Whiskey Creek Press-Torrid (yes those are my publishers, of course they're the ones I'm plugging!)...there are many sites selling hot romance, and if you read widely enough you'll get a feel for how a sex scene is written, even if you're not writing from experience.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I've got some advice. Don't write gratuitous sex scenes. You might feel you need to to get published, but trust me. If you don't there's a whole lot more agents willing to consider your work.

tomdg said...

Forget convincing and realistic sex - I doubt that's what people want to read about anyway. There's a fairly prestigious award here in the UK for writing gratuitous and awful sex scenes:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6157405.stm

You'd be facing some stiff competition, but - is there such a thing as bad publicity?

Linda said...

Putting a sex scene in a book because 'everyone else is doing it' (which isn't true, by the way; there are plenty of books without them) is the wrong way to go. If you put one in your book, it's because the progression and story and characters led to it.

kitty said...

I wish most writers would cut the sex scenes from their books. Not only are most of them poorly written, they trip up the action.

Very few writers can do justice to the subject. The only one that comes to mind is Janet Evanovich with her Stephanie Plum series.

Sean Lindsay said...

Actual real sex, as experienced by humans, bears little to no resemblance to sex in fiction.

In the other hand, there aren't enough gratuitous masturbation scenes in novels these days. Write what you know, as they say.

Anonymous said...

A really good resource on this topic is: The Joy of Writing Sex: A Guide for Fiction Writers
by Elizabeth Benedict

Amazon.com review:
Even though writing about sex probably ranks on the joy scale somewhere between reading about it and having it, Elizabeth Benedict feels that many writers don't do justice to the act. So she has developed a novel idea: a guide book for fiction writers seeking to create better sex scenes. Benedict, a teacher in Princeton University's Creative Writing Program, doesn't concern herself with pornography but rather with a contention that sex scenes are pivotal in carrying the plot, story and character of some novels. Her point is emphasized through many interviews she conducted with authors on their experience with and views on writing about sex.

James Goodman said...

Ya don't have to murder someone to describe it.

Great, NOW I get this information, lol.

All kidding aside, this is quite the valid point, experience comes in many forms. Reading, watching videos, etc. Though, obviously not the same,you can still get a good "feel" for the act as well as the mechanics.

The video was disturbing, yet oddly amusing.

Anonymous said...

"You'd be facing some stiff competition..."

Ha, ha, ha! (Yeah, that's right. I'm totally immature.)

Torrey Meeks said...

I want to live in a country where commercials like that are standard fare.

That was awesome.

Because sometimes, you just get screwed in the ass by a goat.

Heidi the Hick said...

As for the scenes in question: I've read some that were trying too hard. I've been married for 15 years-- I can spot the unrealistic sex scene from two pages away!!

And speaking of unrealistic... am I the only one here who noticed that the goat in that video is A NANNY GOAT???

I'm just saying, it's the details that tend to ruin things for me. My belief can only be suspended so far, people.

Ryan Field said...

If you don't have an erection while you're writing the scene, no one's going to get one when they read it. It's really that simple. And a good sex scene can add layers to your story because good sex is a natural, normal part of life for most people(with the exception of Dave in the comment trail; don't think he gets much).


And, read December Quinn's comments again. She's right on target here and I couldn't have said it better.

Brenda Bradshaw said...

In the other hand, there aren't enough gratuitous masturbation scenes in novels these days. Write what you know, as they say.

HA! Priceless!

And yes, what the other say - a sex scene must move the story forward in some way or get rid of it. Although Evanovich's sex scenes drive me nuts, because I want more detail than what she gives up.

Bethany said...

So that's where Bill E's been!

I second the recommendation for "The Joy of Writing Sex".

archer said...

No one should write sex scenes if they're uncomfortable in the process--or feel they *must* simply to get published.It won't work, and it will show in the writing.

Michale Crichton does it all the time. "Slowly she noticed that his PDE5 enzymatic level had been disabled, inhibiting the breakdown of cGMP. She emitted a sonic response."

Stuart said...

I was working late last night (job, not my writing unfortunately) and completely stressed out.

This post and video brought tears to my eyes, I was laughing so hard.

Thanks, Miss S.

Anonymous said...

I have two words for all the cynics out there...Willing Suspension of Disbelief!

Try it sometimes and enjoy!

The Curmudgeon said...

This is a re-run, Miss S.

You've posted that video before!

Bernita said...

Are you sure of that, Sean?

Twill said...

Ryan - I can't believe you wrote that. So, permanently lacking an erection, no woman can write a scene that will give a man an erection?

Obviously you didn't mean that.

A writer can feel anything - horny, romantic, bored, angry, even twisted, and write scenes that will give *some* men erections. It's just putting them in the right place in the right book that's hard.

Besides, the old adage, "Write hot, edit cold" also applies.

Jen said...

Okay. I had something very witty and clever to say.....and then I watched the goat video.
Now, my eyes are burning.
I have to say that writing a sex scene isn't about "doing what everyone else does". If I was writing to "sell", I'd be crazy by now.
The saying goes "Write what you know". I change that for myself. "Write what you love".
And to answer the question most asked of romance writers--No, I haven't done all the things I write about.
But I'd like to.

elaine said...

Kitty said...Very few writers can do justice to the subject. The only one that comes to mind is Janet Evanovich with her Stephanie Plum series.

Janet Evanovich writes sex scenes? I've must blinked and missed them.

Even though I made extra-special sure to keep my eyes wide open when Stephanie and Ranger's special moment arrived. And dog-blast it--I still didn't see anything. Maybe 'cause there was nothing to see...