Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sexy Bodexy

--Adrienne Miller

That’s what I’m currently calling my WIP. Yeah, it’s a little awkward but it gets the point across. It’s a sexy, sexy story. At least that’s how I’m hoping it will turn out.
A while back, I got the most brilliant rejection letter that anyone has ever received. Pages long and insightful, I agreed with almost every note this agent made. Pacing problems, narrative problems, character problems, she dealt with them all with a fabulous mixture of “I know you can take this” honesty and “Buck up, lil’ camper, you’ll scale that mountain yet” confidence building. This thing was as wonderful as any letter informing you that your dreams are going to be delayed a bit longer could ever be.
So when she wrote that it seemed like I was uncomfortable writing love scenes, I took notice. Really? I thought. Uncomfortable? Isn’t everyone when faced with writing a graphic sexual encounter? Throw in the very real possibility that every living relative of yours might have access to this thing at some point, and it was amazing to me that anyone was willing to write about sex at all. Ever.
It appeared that my Prude Pants were showing. Except I wasn’t a prude. Was I? 
I like sexy things. I’ve read romance novels over half of my life. I practically turn into a puddle of melted butter every time I sit down for an episode of True Blood. I’ve watched the movie Troy close to a bazillion times, and not because I’m enthralled with the story line.

Figuring that couldn’t possibly be the problem, I dove right into writing another book. When I got to the first love scene, I took of note of how I dealt with it. And sure enough, the scene came out flat and awkward, like I was typing out the literary equivalent of lying back and thinking of England. 
Damn. What was wrong? Maybe I wasn’t loose enough, I figured. So I deleted the whole thing and started again, this time trying the Rachael Herron method of pounding down a glass of Laphroaig before starting over. It didn’t help. Now it was just flat and sloppy.
The next morning I woke up with deadly cottonmouth and an idea. It wasn’t that I hadn’t been exposed to enough sexy things. I was really good at receiving sexy input. No, the problem was that I didn’t have any experience at sexy output. And I don’t just mean writing a sexy scene, but in thinking of sexy as being anything that was inside of me. 
I don’t think that you have to believe that you’re sexy to write hot love scenes any more than I think that you need to have homicidal tendencies to write mysteries. But we’ve all been angry; we know the seed of that particular fruit. As for me, it was painfully obvious that I had gotten too far away from my sexy seed.
So I’ve set off to reclaim it, not the easiest thing for a overweight mother of two. I decided to dive headlong into a new story. An erotic romance. Ah hell, since I’m already neck deep, let’s make it a BDSM shape-shifter erotic romance. Because if there is one thing I believe in, it’s that any thing worth doing is worth overdoing. 
Yeah...we’ll see how it goes. 


Juliet Blackwell said...

Adrienne, as one heard a bit of that shape-shifter erotic romance, I think you're well on your way to reclaiming your "sexy seed" ;-) I love the writerly way you're dealing with this: I need to improve, I'm able to improve, I'll examine myself and improve. We should all take a page from *that* book!

Tom Neely said...

You've always been sexy, sweet love of my life. Maybe now you're just doing it more consciously. What ever you're doing, it's working :^)

L.G.C. Smith said...

I love this post, Adrienne. LOVE it! And I can't wait to read that kinky shifter erotic romance. :)

Martha Flynn said...

SEXY OUTPUT!!!!! Love that term.

Sophie Littlefield said...

YES! yes yes yes! uh, you mean, you're diving in *after* you finish and send out the *other* project. don't worry, i knew that's what you mean. And i have some news for you, li'l sister: you're about as sexy as The Big Guy made anyone. Superhot.

Mysti said...

Thanks for the major inspiration!

I'm writing a character that has a lot more sex than I ever did at that age, so loving this post!

One other thing--sometimes it's the lack of conflict making the scene lie flat. I find it hard to keep the conflict going once the clothes start flying off, but I can't fade out of every sex scene!

Adrienne Miller said...

Julie, Tom, LGC, Mysti - Thanks!

Martha - Feel free to make it your own.

Sophie - *After* of course. After ;-)

Rachael Herron said...

I LOVE THIS POST. Good on you, friend.

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