Monday, August 3, 2009

Smokin' Hot Erotic Love Scenes - teaching a class

In August I'm going to teach a class on writing erotic romance love scenes at my local chapter, Two Rivers Romance Authors.

It's a small group just getting organized but I really like the enthusiasm of our members. I've warned them this class is for adults only - the squeamish and easily squicked should stay home. I'm really excited to have the opportunity and I think I can do pretty well with this, but as with any situation where I need to stand up and talk I'm nervous. Mostly I'm nervous that I'll forget to tell them something important.

I want to talk about the language of erotic love scenes. What words and phrases you can and should expect to find there. I plan to discuss the types of erotic love scenes: vanilla, anal, BDSM, m/m, menage etc. I'll go over how to bring the senses into the love scene and how to make them more emotional.

To me a scene has to mean something to the characters or it shouldn't be in the romance. The characters must have something at stake - something to lose or something to gain by having sex. The sex has to change the dynamics of the relationship - they need to be somewhere different at the end than they were at the beginning. I also want to discuss how love scenes are action scenes with all that entails. Movement certainly but also tension.

So, those are the rough basics. What suggestions do you have for me, fellow writers. What do you wish you knew when you were getting started writing erotic love scenes? Even with experience, what do you sometimes forget that you'd like to be reminded of? Readers, what do you like to find in a love scene and what aspects of a love scene will make you roll your eyes or want to throw the book at the wall? Any and all suggestions appreciated. I want to make this the best class possible.


Teresa Reasor said...

I'd also go into the differences of writing the scenes from male and female POVs and how to decide which makes the scene most successful.
I'd be interested in the class, so be sure to post when it's going to be held.
Write on,
Teresa R.

Serena Shay said...

Sounds like a great class, Francesca! Maybe it will make it's way to PI one day??? :)
The thing that hangs me up a bit when writing love scenes is the logistics of it...meaning if he's 6'2 and she's 5'8 where are the body parts really going to come together. Where do the arms and legs end up going, especially if there are more than two involved and stuff like that.
As for being nervous to speak...just remember, you got what they want lady. No need to worry, you'll have a blast. :)

Emma said...

Maybe its just my inner critic, but I feel like I have the mechanics of the sex scenes down, interesting places for tab a and slot b, interesting, alternate uses for each of the above, so I've got the choreography but the level of hotness feels lacking, the physical excitement is there, its the emotional that doesn't appear to be there. So maybe help on that issue.

Savanna Kougar said...

Much success with your class, Francesca. I think you've got the bases covered, especially with adding the heroine and hero POV as Teresa suggested.
The logistics are important. However, they are nothing unless you have the feelings, the emotion, the passion, the desire... that's the balancing act... the explicit nature of erotic romance, along with the with romance.
That's what I like to learn about, the balance.

Janet Mullany said...

Talk about the language, how to avoid cliches, and how to make choices about terms for body parts etc. based on the characers.

Paris said...

I don't usually notice the tone or mood of the scene unless the characters aren't behaving consistently with the way the author sets them up.
If they don't, I believe you lose some of that emotional connection that you need with the reader.

Good luck with the workshop! I know you'll be great;-)

Crystal Kauffman said...

Agreeing with Emma, it's definitely more about the emotional than the Tab A into Slot B. I think a lot of newer writers don't get that's more like erotica (didn't want to use the word porn, beause it's not that either) than erotic romance. The emotional aspect must be there, the advancement of the story, the sex must be integral to the story and not just the characters feeling the O's.