Yesterday we discussed how you have to put yourself out there as an author.
Today we pick up where we left off.
It’s scary to put yourself out there! So what do we do? We pull back. We play it safe. We make sure NOBODY could think that I the author would ever do those things. I am not a filthy little pervert!
I just pull back from difficult areas and end up writing crappy stories that lack depth and realism.
But there’s hope. Let’s look at this sex scene stuff.
I have a terrific story coming up that deals with a young man who starts out as a skirt chaser, but he ends up falling in love and changing his ways. It’s a cute, it’s funny, and it’s wildly romantic in the long run, but it has a lot of sex early on when he’s still a skirt chaser. However, the sex is all implied. All of it.
There’s a scene where he’s telling his roommate about one time in college when he took a bikini to a female friend’s dorm room to see if it would be an appropriate Christmas gift for a girl he’d been dating for a brief time. Of course, any woman would say it isn’t, but since he’s a college age guy, he doesn’t know that.
Anyway, his friend isn’t in her dorm room – but her pretty neighbor is home, and invites him to wait in her room. Now, the neighbor had never given the guy the time of day before, so he is surprised, but he accepts. They talk a bit and he mentions the gift. She asks if she can see it. He says sure. She looks in the box – and totally disapproves of the bikini as a gift. He doesn’t understand. She asks if he wants her to model it for him, to show that it’s too sexy for a gift this early in the relationship. What! He thinks he’s died and gone to heaven. She’s pretty. Of course he will let her try it on. She has him wait in the hall and then peeks her head out and tells him that the bikini is definitely too sexy – and that he cannot give it to a girl he has just started dating. He is crestfallen, because it’s too late to get something else, but as he reconciles himself to that thought in the hallway, she opens the door. She is still wearing the bikini.
Again, he is in heaven.
She lets him back into her room and shuts the door. Probably everybody but the main character knows where this is headed now. She modeled it for him, as promised, but in an entirely disapproving manner. “This is too sexy, you cannot give it to her.” He agrees, saddened that he has no gift for his new girl now. “Do you want me to take it off?”
He sighs and says yes. So she takes it off. With him sitting right there. He tries to be a gentleman and avert his eyes, but he is in that tiny dorm room…
About that time, his roommate interrupts the story. “Let me guess, the neighbor kept the bikini.”
“Dude, when she was finished with me, I didn’t even remember there was a bikini!”
There you go: funny, sexy, and all implied intercourse. What did they do? They may have played checkers in her dorm room after she took off the bikini in front of him. We don’t know – do we, you filthy little perv?
The implied stuff is perfect – for that story. Not so perfect for other stories.
I was helping a writer with a sex scene between two young lovers. The girl has just turned 18, and she is a little shy and insecure; the boy was a little older and had been around a bit.
But the author wanted to covey several things: their relative youth, and the girl’s insecurity about sex. She has never had an orgasm, and she is a little too willing to do whatever a guy – any guy – wants to do. But this guy cares for her. After they have had sex a few times, he knows he wants her to enjoy it, too; it’s not satisfying for him if he knows she is just basically being nice to him. Like most guys his age, he thinks he knows what will work, so the next time they are together, before they do anything else, he offers to go down on her. And like most insecure young ladies her age, she declines. She wasn’t prepared for that; she says she’s afraid she doesn’t smell good “…down there.” Just using those words “…down there” with the ellipse evokes some of her insecurities, and it works for the scene. The author does other things to show how that emotion manifests itself physically (also known as Show, Don’t Tell). She slouches her shoulders, etc.
But the boy is in love and wants his lover to fully enjoy their lovemaking. He wants to be tender and giving. They undress, and as she goes to sit with him on the bed, she does something else that insecure young ladies sometimes do. “One last, nervous, pussy check.”
I like the sentiment, and I said so in my critique of his story. She’s afraid she doesn’t smell good, so she does a quick check to make sure he’s not going to be offended. Perfect.
The description was lacking. I may know what he meant by “pussy check”, and readers might, too, but those words could mean a lot of different things to different people. And the one word is particularly tricky with the ladies.
Clearly the girl did not run to the gynecologist. Nor did she grab a mirror. It’s not that kind of check.
However, it possibly means something different to me than to others. It’s his story; he has to decide how graphic he wants to be here. Typically, it’s a quick finger touch and a sniff, done by her in a way to not appear like that’s what she did. That’s tricky to write, but if you can phrase it to where the reader understands it as a pussy check without directly calling it that, I think that’s better. I think if you show us what she did as opposed to telling us, everyone will understand what happened, and the young love part of the insecurity will enhance the scene. If you can do it briefly and discreetly, it will endear the characters to the reader.
This is where you have to put yourself out there as a writer. In these scenes, in these little moments.
TOMORROW: some of the hows and whys. See you then.
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