Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Behind the Sex Scenes with Guest Blogger Melissa Bradley

Win a copy of Maxie Briscoe: Werewolf and meet author Melissa Bradley today at the Book Boost!

She's here to reveal the truth behind writing erotic scenes, here's what she had to say...

As an erotica and romance writer, I’ve encountered a lot of preconceived notions about writing sex. I get asked with not-so-subtle winks, if I’ve written from personal experience and or my own fantasies. I’ve been asked if I get “in the mood” to write sex with wine and chocolate. Or if I put on sexy music, light candles and dress in lingerie in order to “set the stage.”

The reality is, none of the above is true, at least for me. I only wish I had a handsome Raoul tucked away for some “research.” I don’t write with candles burning and sexy music playing because I prefer the quiet to concentrate. It’s just me, all by myself, hunched over my computer. Not very sexy is it? And for the record, wine and chocolate do not play well with technology.

The truth is that writing sex is just like writing any other scene in the story. Boring, I know. I sit at my keyboard, usually dressed in an old tee shirt and jeans, with my plot and research notes, a bottle of water with cap closed tightly and some reference books with pages marked to refer to. I reread what happens right up to the sex scene, then I get to work. Tapping away, I concentrate on things like pacing, emotion, sentence structure and word usage. These are the foundations for writing great sex.

Pacing is vital because a sex scene, like any other, has to flow smoothly for the reader to enjoy it. The scene is like the act itself, you build toward a climax, adding layers of dialogue, action and description. There can be teasing moments that entice the reader, but you want to make sure that everything leads to a satisfying ending. There should be nothing that will detract from the scene and the reader’s overall enjoyment.

Structure seems like some kind of technicality that shouldn’t matter because this is all about the sex act. However, if who’s doing what to who and when is not clear, the audience gets confused and the mood is lost. The hot encounter on the yacht they’ve just blazed through has been carefully constructed action by action. A sex scene has to be choreographed like a dance. When writing about two people making glorious love in some steamy shower, one has to be aware of whose hands, arms, and legs are where. If one isn’t careful, there will be a plethora of extra body parts. When you add more people into the mix as in ménage and orgy, that’s an awful lot of appendages and pronouns to keep track of so structure becomes even more important.

Word usage is something I cannot stress enough. The wrong verbiage or metaphor and you will lose the audience. You want your hero to lave his heroine with his tongue as opposed to lathe. The first is to bathe, the second, a machine that cuts and shapes material. Ouch!

With all this to worry about, you may be wondering just how on earth I get inspired to write sex. I draw inspiration from many different places. My characters, my research…these all spark naughty thoughts. Movies and magazine articles are great sources as well. I admit I have even gotten inspired from some scintillating things that I have heard from other people.

I enjoy writing sex because to me it a very important part of the human experience. I love how this little three letter word colors everything, changes how people see one another and provides such a profound way for expressing feelings. And it’s just plain fun. Handcuffs, toys and nipple clamps, oh my!

A Note from the Book Boost: Melissa, this is a great post and thank you for sharing your profound writing experience with us today. I find that writing sex scenes for my books has become MORE difficult with each book I complete. I think this is because I want each scene to remain fresh, exciting and new...just like that first kiss that you can never experience again. Tough stuff, if you ask me. Thanks for joining us and please tell us more about your book!


The name's Maxie Briscoe and I am a werewolf…

That’s right, a real live, full moon-loving, Halloween icon. It’s hard out here for girl like me. To survive, I hide my true self and act the part of a normal human, all while discreetly indulging the Beast within. Talk about walking a narrow ledge. And that’s not even the worst part. Sex is. You see I can bench press a pick-up truck and that spells disaster in the bedroom. You can’t have any real fun knowing you might accidentally crush a lover while in the throes. Kind of kills the mood.

When a friend’s murder shatters the careful existence I’ve carved out, I come face to face with Damien and Noah, two of the hottest men I’ve ever laid eyes on. They are also the first werewolves I’ve run across since my conversion. The attraction is instant, but complicated, the sex… explosive.

Too bad there’s a killer out there with his sights on me …


Maxie shares her first kiss with the two wolves Damien and Noah…

I rub my cheeks against theirs, absorbing the feel of their
whiskers. Damien’s is raspy, just pressing through the skin. Noah’s is stiffer, more a two-day growth than a five o’clock shadow.

Instinct has me turning my face to Damien, seeking his lips. He is
the alpha, and I must taste of him first.

“Maxie… Mmm.”

I cut off Damien’s words with my mouth. He tastes like his
scent—hot and dark, an exotic spice I have no name for. His lips are firm, not too full, dragging over my mouth with a rawness that is intense and primal, a gathering thunderstorm. I dive deeper into the kiss and he growls, devouring me. He is what I have been waiting for.

All my senses come on high alert, my Beast awakening as my
desire grows. My temperature rises, my blood starting to boil in my veins. I am drowning in Damien.

Noah snarls, cupping my breast, reminding me he’s still there.
I break Damien’s kiss and capture Noah’s lips. He tastes of the deep arctic forest, wild and cool. His kiss is hungry, savage, fire and ice like an Icelandic volcano.

My chest is pumping like a winded tourist walking around
Machu Picchu.

We shift position and fall to the floor, grunting, biting as our
Beasts struggle to break through. Somewhere, I hear a loud crack and I shove back to see one of the chairs on its side and Noah holding a broken leg.

“I’m sorry, little one.” Noah flashes me a sheepish grin, his hair
hanging over his beautiful eyes.

“He doesn’t know his own strength sometimes.” Damien
smiles, resting an arm on his knee.

“Guys, we’re going to have to take this someplace safer.”

Want More Melissa?

Visit her here: http://melissasimaginarium.blogspot.com/

Pick up your copy of her book today! Click here!

Contest Time:

Win a free download of Maxie Briscoe:Werewolf by leaving a question or comment for Melissa. She will draw a winner and post the name in the comments section here at the blog by midnight tonight (Central time). Please be sure to leave your contact information so that Melissa can get your prize to you!


RK Charron said...

Hi :)
Thank you for introducing me to Melissa Bradley & her writing. I really enjoyed learning about her take on sex scenes and the excerpt for her novel is excellent.
Is Melissa on Twitter? I searched but could not find her.
Happy New Year!

Sloane Taylor said...

Melissa, Congratulations, you're spot on with your post. Love your frankness and humor.:)

DEZMOND said...

ah, what a nice post, but I didn't expect anything less from our Melissa :)
A question for her: do the female and the male readers like the same approach to the sex scenes? Do you make a distinction? Or do you always write just for female readers, using your own perspective? :)

PS I wish this post was more richly illustrated with suitable pics :P

Melissa Bradley said...

Thanks, RK. I'm happy to hear you enjoyed the article and the excerpt. I'm not on Twitter as yet, but I will be soon and will post the link to my account on my blog, Melissa's Imaginarium. http://melissasimaginarium.blogspot.com/

Melissa Bradley said...

Thanks, Sloane. I tried to give as accurate an account of my sex writing style as possible. Glad you enjoyed it.

Melissa Bradley said...

Excellent question Dez. I've found that men prefer a more direct approach without a lot of flowery language, but other than that my male readers seem to have enjoyed my naughty scenes as much as my female readers. I'm always testing myself and trying different approaches and Maxie Briscoe: Werewolf probably has the most direct and raw approach to sex I've written so far.

DEZMOND said...

yep, I also think that male readers prefer it when it's described more raw while females prefer it more lyrical :)

Melissa Bradley said...

I've put everyone's name into my Chicago Bears tin, swirled them about a few times and my nephew has drawn the winner.

RK Charron

Congratulations! Please shoot me an email at melbwrites@gmail.com with Maxie Winner in the subject line

Thank you all for the warm comments and support, I appreciate it very much.