I’ve been spending the last few weeks working on the second-round revisions for my upcoming contemporary, Hot Bayou Nights. My editor is great and has made really helpful suggestions. Because the book is an erotic romance, one of those suggestions is that it be “spiced up” even more than it already is. So the other day I sat down at the computer, coffee cup in hand, bowl of grapes by my side, and started scrolling through her comments. I reached one of the sex scenes and saw this: take a few sentences to show her orgasm building before she comes. Egad, I haven’t even had my coffee yet! But just like that, I’m in the middle of a sex scene.
I know that movies are shot out of sequence. One day an actor might be filming a dramatic scene where he’s mourning the loss of someone, and weeks later does the scene where he first meets that very person. But how about for writers? I personally tend to write in a more or less linear fashion. I start at page one, I finish at “the end.” But I have to admit, sometimes I’m just not in the mood to write a really hot scene so I’ll just type in a placeholder (WRITE SEX SCENE HERE) and continue on. But there’s the rub. How exactly do we romance writers get in the proper mood to write those scenes?
We’ve all seen suggestions for how to set the mood you want to create within your creative space. So if you’re writing a sex scene, for example, turn down the lights, get candles, infuse the air with scent. Change your wallpaper to pictures of George Clooney. Hell, whatever works. For me, I don’t need to set the mood in my writing room because I’m more internal anyway. I can be on a sun-soaked beach just by imagining said sun-soaked beach. Besides, candles and low lighting to me are romantic, but not necessarily sexy. Ya know? So if I’m describing the mood of my heroine as she’s about to reach “le petit mort,” I need more stimulation (heh) than a flickering candle.
The other thing about writing a sex scene is the words. Oh, the agony! The torture of trying to come up with descriptions for body parts and lovemaking positions that are sensual and not silly, so the readers get turned on instead of driving on by. The sequence of events in a sex scene certainly have a more-or-less well-worn path: kissing, touching, clothes off, sexy stuff, done. So how do we writers make it fresh, exciting, and arousing? One thing’s certain, it’s a tough gig for me to get in the mood while sipping coffee and popping grapes in my mouth. I mean, geez, I need some sort of build-up. Something to “light my fire” so I can try to light my readers’.
Music works for some writers. Author Hope Ramsay has a “music to write sex scenes playlist” on her iPod to spur imagination. Maybe it would work for others to have a collection of naughty photos that can be pulled up at a moment’s notice. Or perhaps a collection of stories you like to set the proper tone. Call it your “Horny Handbook: Stories To Get Your (creative) Juices Flowing.” Nice.
Ultimately, for me I need to seize the moment if I’m in the mood or else put down those grapes, take a deep breath, and plunge right in.
How about you? Anyone have tips for getting in the mood to write the hot scenes? One thing’s for sure, our titillating posts here at Lady Smut can do a lot to put you in the mood, so be sure to follow us.