Question Wednesday: The Sexy Stuff, Part 1

On January 2nd I put out a call for questions and many of you asked some great ones! Every Wednesday (until I run out of questions), I’ll be answering them here! There may be ones that are related, so I’ll answer multiple questions at once. You can always add a new questions to the queue by posting them as a comment here.

There were actually several questions about love scenes, but they each had a different spin, so I’ll be answering them separately. Today’s question comes from Annie:

So, when writing the erotic parts of a novel, do you ever feel self-conscious? Or does it become just part of the job at some point and you don’t much think about it?

I write extremely erotic romances and I can’t say I’m not EVER self-concsious about it. Sometimes I’ll be doing edits and an editor will put a smiley face or a comment in a love scene and it hits home to me that she READ THAT and she KNOWS ME!!! But then I take a deep breath and keep working.

I’m not sure it’s that it becomes part of the job and I don’t think about it, because to me that sounds like I’d just be phoning it in. I think it’s more that when I write a book, I have to write it doing what is right for the characters. Their story belongs to them, not me, and I have to write it accordingly. For them, what happens in a love scene is important to their story, so I can’t flinch away from it or put my own sensibilities or emotions into it.

It also helps that I try to write my love scenes to be unskippable. They drive plot, they develop character, they dictate the tone of the emotion of the book, so they’re just as important as any other scene in the book. What happens in them can absolutely alter the entire path of a character’s life (and in a historical, often did). When I think of them in that way, it’s hard to get ’embarassed’, because I’m not just writing sex for sex’s sake.

Finally, the fact is that I like sexy romances. It’s what I read when I have time to read romances. So since reading it doesn’t make me uncomfortable, writing it becomes less uncomfortable.

In the end, I guess it’s like all things. Writing erotic scenes takes practice. The more you do it, the less weird it feels.

Do you ever feel ‘weird’ reading a sexy scene?