OUTLINE: Katriena Knights & Allie McKnight, INS and OUTS of EROTIC ROMANCE: what editors are begging for
INS and OUTS of EROTIC ROMANCE:
what editors are begging for
1. Do You Need a Sex Scene?
Sexuality as revelatory
2. What is a Sex Scene?
Explicit material – breakout on genre, companies
Love scene, romantic arc or otherwise
3. A Sex Scene is a Scene (or a Sequel)
Exercise 1: Get creative with your love scene.
Premise: A love scene should have a purpose, such as to develop character, plot, or conflict.
Instructions: Think of type of scene you need in a story. Figure out a way to make that scene a love scene. Frex, Meet-cute, Black Moment, Turning Point.
4. Maintain Tension
Climax as a lessening of tension
Making it worse—emotional revelation, intellectual revelation, secrets & lies, action, big brewing trouble point
Sex on the run—make sure it makes sense
Exercise 2: Keep the tension high.
Premise: A sexual climax is of necessity a lessening of tension, but a story should ratchet up the tension ’til the end.
Instructions: Think of ways to re-introduce tension after a sexual climax, or continue it through the climax.
5. Mechanics—Lube & Oil
Anatomy—know, don’t tell
Keeping track of body parts and clothes
Read the experts not the erotica
Non-normative physiology (aliens, vampires, etc.)
Consent, condoms, lubrication, experience
6. Trendspotting—Fifty Shades of Don’t Jump on the Bandwagon
Everyone else is doing it isn’t a good reason
Research, research, research
Understanding power exchange
Toys and kinks
Exercise 3: Motivate, Motivate, Motivate.
Premise: Like everything else about a character, their sexuality, sexual desires, and sexual acts have to be motivated from within the character.
Instructions: Motivate a really specific desire or kink; then come up with a way to make something kinky essential to your story.
7. Avoid the Cookie Cutter
No two encounters are the same, plot and character
What do you call it? the language of parts
Use all the senses
Pan & Zoom
OMG Don’t – what not to do
Avoid over the top orgasms
Exercise 4: Use All the Senses.
Premise: Effective sex scenes rely on evocative and character-specific description.
Instructions: Conduct a sensory interview with your character. Ask them to describe their environment and/or partners in their own words, using all of their senses. Don’t forget any extra senses, if your character has them.
9. Publishing Houses