Wednesday, December 3, 2014

How To Write Sex Scenes, By A Thriller Writer

Jon Stock, the author of the spy thriller Dead Spy Running, offers an amusing and interesting piece on how to write sex scenes for the British newspaper the Telegraph.

I’m still not sure how I came to write my one successful sex scene. Sexual encounters are a nightmare to write and rarely work. If you don’t believe me, take a brief look at the ten entries shortlisted for this year’s Bad Sex Awards. Vertical cleft”, by any stretch of the filthy imagination, is not a great choice of words if you are trying to build up a head of erotic steam, but it didn’t stop Wilbur Smith, the bookies’ favourite. “The tips of her inner lips protruded shyly from the vertical cleft. The sweet dew of feminine arousal glistened upon them…”

As a fellow thriller writer, I’m not going to dwell on Smith’s literary shortcomings as some snobs have done. Highbrow writers are equally bad at sex scenes (Richard Flanagan, this year’s Booker prize winner, is on the list, too, writing about knicker elastic trenches…)
What concerns us here is the nitty gritty of writing these things. Do you have to get in the mood? Write them with your partner while on the job?
Sadly not. Like any other scene, they have to be worked on in the cold light of day, as you stare at an empty laptop screen and try to hit your daily word count. I did try once to pen a scene late at night, where the only criteria was whether it was turning me on, but the results were disastrous. It’s a bit like trying to write under the “creative” influence of alcohol. You race along, the words seemingly flowing like honey (steady), and then you read it back in the morning, cringe and delete all.    

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

You can also read the Telegraph's piece on the Bad Sex Prize via the below link: 

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