Wednesday, February 2, 2011

WRITING A SMUT SCENE…

“Is it hard?” Dean Ash

I can’t resist the urge to play with the pun-tacular options of that question being asked of this subject.

Ahem. I mean, “Is writing smut hard?”

“Hell yeah, baby. It’s plenty hard enough.”

Okay,typing that didn’t quite feel right

…but it does put the throbbing point of a smut scene’s purpose right in your face. (I crack me up!) How does the smut scene make the reader feel?

We all know what its supposed to do:

T I T I L L A T E

But if that’s all a smut scene does, as in it’s just random scenes of sex without characterization, that’s probably* just pornography. If it’s a character-driven story with frequent smut scenes but has a definite plot its probably* erotica. If you’re reading a book with only one smut scene near the end as the pay-off to two characters defeating the odds and finally consummating their relationship, it’s probably* romance. If it’s a story with fantastic creatures and the smut adheres somewhat to one of the previous sentences, it’s probably* Urban Fantasy.

* DISCLAIMER: I say “probably” because that’s the way I see it and I accept that others will see it differently. Admittedly I don’t generally read erotica or romance; someone who does will have a better definition, but since this is my post and I mean no insult to those genre’s, lets just assume that my definitions are “close enough to accept” for argument’s sake, ok?

Let’s stop the action and take an aside (never do this in a smut scene), but I would be negligent if I didn’t plug something right now. (Still crackin’ myself up.)

Here’s the first four rules of a smut scene, as outlined by Stacia Kane in the “Sex Writing Strumpet” series she did on her blog and which is now available here. (I highly recommend!!) What a smut scene does:

1. It shows us something about the character(s).

2. It shows us something about the relationship.

3. It advances the story.

4. It arouses the reader.

All of that at once. And use proper punctuation so your editor is happy.

So, yeah, it’s…hard…(giggle) to write a smut scene. There are sooo many ways you can use it. So many questions thrumming deep inside, questions you must have firm answers to before you can commit to this. I mean, you have to know what kind of book you’re writing in order to gauge the number of scenes, the depth and scope of the scenes (kind of like width and length), and to understand what the audience expectation is.

And consider this: although people read silently, they hear the words in their head. Yup. There’s an oral factor here…your terminology. There are lots of words for the Sami E different naughty bits that I will here call tab A and slot B. That selection will definitely say something about the characters. How do they think of their own parts? With cheesy phrases? Does he have a stirring cock? Or is it Mr. Willy? Are they making love, or are they bumping  uglies ?

Those aren’t the only decisions an author has to make. Doing it is a physical and an emotional thing for both characters—or is it? What’s the underlying motives? What are they hoping to gain? Fearing to lose? Trying to forget? What will this change? Do they know it will change that way or are they thinking something else?

And we haven’t begun to consider setting!!!! Satin sheets and candles and flowers say one thing. The back of a car says another. Middle of the night, sneaking through windows says something akin to a quickie in the closet during the lunch break, but meeting at a pricey hotel mid-day says something else. What do these characters have to say?

So yes, definitely, absolutely, undoubtedly, smut scenes are hard to write. They have all the requirements of every other scene plus the titillation factor.

 

As your Hump-Day Word-Whore, I leave you with these rockin’ “mood setters.”

ENJOY!  

 

 

 

 

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13 comments:

  1. ~wipes eyes~ Gods, you kill me.

    I cocked my head, totally expecting "Smooth Up In Ya" to be added to the tributes, but it's probably* more Erotic Romance.

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  2. Um, Linda? You *do* know they recorded music after 1985, right?

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  3. LOL, loved this post!! Especially since you ended it with Slow n' Easy (I do love that song), lol.

    I was working on a sex scene last week and trying to make it different from the others I've written in other books)and I complained to my sister, "Do you know how hard it is to write a love scene and make it different?" Of course, she didn't know and she picked on my mercilessly, but I completely agree with you, Linda! You have to know all the um, angles before you start sliding things into place.

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  4. ~chokes~ Yeah. I have no words. Great post, Linda.

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  5. Thank you, all. KAK--damn it I knew I was forgetting something.... Jeffe--sadly, they DID keep recording rock-n-roll after 1985 but there's not much that I /love/ the way I /loved/ the 80's hair metal. It's a flaw that my standards of quality rock are so narrowly niched. I know this, but since I'm happy that way, I don't care to change it. Please DON'T plan a lady gaga intervention for me. :-D Love the pun's you all have added in your comments.

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  6. WOW....great post, Linda...AWESOME music selections from the BEST era of rock....but none of that compares to those two pictures.............

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  7. Hmm. It hadn't occurred to me to plan an intervention, but now...

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  8. Oh goddess, I laughed so hard when I read this. I have a song for ya, "Personal Jesus" by Depeche Mode. Anyone who listens to that song is like, "oh that's a Christian song". WRONG. It's about visiting a whore house. (People should really watch the video before the assume things) Mwahahahaha!

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  9. BWAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!

    I am amazed at your skill, my lady. Full of (dorky) well-played puns AND actual content! Well, you're more filling than porn!! ;)

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  10. This is the penultimate post on sex scenes. I can just skip writing about writing about sex scenes now. ;)

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  11. Heh, I feel the same way. Don't think be I'll be able to top that tomorrow, I'm afraid.

    Absolutely awesome post. LOL

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  12. Excellent discussion of the bait and tackle variety. Brings to mind a long discussion had at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books that was all about terminology. You should take a look, you know, just in case you ever need euphemistic inspiration... or Mountain Dew out your nose. :D
    http://www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com/index.php/weblog/comments/throbbing-members/

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