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Writing Women. Writing Sex.

Helpful steps for writing women, writing romance, and writing sex.

D Dawson

on 5 October 2013

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Transcript of Writing Women. Writing Sex.

Writing Women. Writing Sex.
On Writing Women
1. Women are not cardboard cut-outs. They are just as (if not more) complicated than men. Avoid writing women who can be summed up as "The Whore", "The Bitch", "The June Cleaver", "The Cheerleader", or "The Manic Pixie Dream Girl." Because those women don't actually exist. Everyone is the hero of their own story and has unique motivations.
2. Consider a character's past and her dreams for the future.
3. What does she do when she's bored? When she's angry? What's the best thing that's ever happened to her? The worst? What's her fave ice cream?
4. Some women are assertive, difficult, or unlikeable. And that's okay.
5. The female anatomy comes with certain challenges. Consider them.
6. When in doubt, ask a woman. We want to read more realistic women!
On Chemistry
1. Well-rounded characters + circumstance = the possibility of sizzling chemistry.
2. When arranging a relationship or romance, the characters should compliment and challenge each other. Easy romances are boring. Make the characters work for it.
3. Each character in the relationship has needs, wants, fears. Do they talk openly, or is someone hiding something?
4. The relationship should change each character in demonstrable ways.
When In Doubt, Ask Someone!
Not sure if your female character is realistic?
Not sure how a lady would feel riding a horse 2 days after giving birth?
Not sure if your relationship is full formed?
Not sure if your sex is sexy?
Worried that you don't know how a woman, POC, otherly-abled, or LGBTQ person would see the world?

There are thousands of writers and readers who would be happy to answer your questions or exchange scenes. Join a writing group. Ask on Twitter. Hit a forum. Women want to read about realistic women. People who are not cisgendered white guys want to see characters like them.
The answers are out there!
On Progression
1. The progression of the sexual relationship in your story should be based on your characters and how they would realistically interact, given the type of book you're writing and the timeline you're following. Paranormal romance is going to have a faster, more visceral connection than historical or inspirational. Carefully consider what both partners would consider appropriate... and what the reader is expecting.
2. How much you show in the bedroom will also depend on audience and your own comfort level. YA must be handled carefully, while Erotica has certain rules regarding consent and safety. For some stories, a closed door is fine. For others, your readers will be furious if you don't dish the details.
3. Remember that much of foreplay is verbal and teasing.
On Writing Your First Sex Scene
1. Getting drunk can help. Avoid self-editing or self-judging.
2. Write it in private. You need to feel free, unencumbered, and safe.
3. If you can, write the entire scene, straight through. Don't switch point of view, and don't let yourself chicken out. Fix it later.
4. Consider setting, consent, safe sex, clean-up, and how the characters will react immediately afterward. Will they be awkward or loving?
5. Avoid horrible cliches and unsexy words, if possible. Creamy thighs, turgid members, swollen pudenda, baby batter, fisting her hair = PLEASE NO.
6. Consider who has a happy ending. If it's a romance, even virgins do.
7. Keep writing. The story doesn't end here! Sex will change the dynamic.
8. Write sex drunk; edit sex sober.
9. Find someone you trust to beta read it and make sure it's actually sexy.
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