Saturday, 26 September 2009
If you write novels with grown-up (or growing-up) characters, I suspect there inevitably comes a point where your characters need to have sex. (Well, unless you cheat and set all your books in a monastery, like Cadfael.)
Having (almost) reached the sex-is-inevitable point, then, I started to think about how to write a sex scene (bearing in mind that my mum is my #1 fan...). As always, my first port of call for research was Google, and I wasn't disappointed: lots of people have lots to say about sex.
The advice is varied and contradictary - from "close the bedroom door discretely" to "don't deprive your reader of a full account", from "don't write sex at all if you're a virgin" to "why should 'write what you know' apply more to sex than to dragons?"
You can even read passages nominated for the Bad Sex in Fiction award.
The best tip I found, though - which really sums up everything you need to know - is to write sex just like you write other scenes. With vocabulary appropriate to the POV character, and the same level of description as you'd use for other things. But given the tactile and graphical nature of most of my writing ... this could get messy!