Where Romance and History Meet - www.heartsthroughhistory.com/

Friday, April 10, 2009

Guest Blogger - Delilah Marvelle

It's HARD writing sexy books (pun intended)
by Delilah Marvelle

For those of you that don't know me (and I won't be so bold to say you all do), I write very, very sexy historical romances. So sexy some have actually categorized me as writing romantica. Some going even so far as saying erotica. I absolutely love erotica, but seeing as I know what it is, I also know I don't write it. Romantica is probably more where I fit in. Because in the end, if you were to pull out all the sex scenes in my book, you'd still have not plot but a love story. And in my opinion, sex is only as good as its love story.

Seeing I write humorous historical romances which happen to have scorching scenes in it (or so I'm told), I find keeping up with what my readers want almost frightening. Because you can only keep upping yourself so much. The very idea makes me go flaccid (ehm..,). I swear, there are many, many times I sit in front of my computer and tell myself it's too freakin' HARD to keep writing hot, hot, hot sex, sex, sex, when even *I* want to up and take a break for a cigarette. Even though I don't smoke.

But taking a break from writing hot sex, in the end, would be like me taking a break from breathing. If I hold my breath too long, I'll die. Or rather, my career will. As people now expect a certain somethin' somethin' from me. So it finally came down to me doing something about this cigarette break dilemma I was having. I needed to be more hands on (I just love these puns, don't you?). So I started thinking of ways to keep this flame within me burning. Because if I'm not feeling it, my characters aren't feeling it. And if my characters aren't feeling it, my editor won't want to feel it at all.

So for those of you writing sexy books, allow me to share four tips that keep me going (actually, I have more, but this post has to end sometime). And if you happen to only read sexy books, not write them, then this list will simply make you appreciate how much effort we writers put into being creative.

1.)I try being a sensualist. That is, I focus on pampering myself. Lighting candles, listening to music, watching romantic movies, and anything that will make me feel all girlie, girlie. It's amazing how much it really works.
2.)I make out and get hot and heavy with my husband before I write a sex scene. Seriously. I don't do it all the time, because frankly, it pisses him off when I make out with him, things get heavy (literally) and then I'm like, “Thanks! Now I'm ready to go write!” But believe me, it really works when he does let me get away with it.
3.)I read very hot books that inspire me to write the scenes I know that will make my writing pop. Like Lisa Valdez's Passion. Holy cow. I'm fanning myself just thinking about that book.
4.)I indulge in chocolate and whatever sinful foods I can get my hands on to heightens my senses and makes me happy. Of course, this also requires me setting aside additional time to work out. And sex is actually considered a work out. Which my husband rather appreciates. Grin.

So as you can see, it's hard work staying in the mood and writing sexy books. Because we all love chocolate, but if that's all you eat, chocolate isn't going to taste all that good. Is it? So. What do you do before, during or after writing a love scene you want to share? Keep it clean people. We're trying to stay PG.

Mistress of Pleasure, Available now
Lord of Pleasure, August 2009
for Best First Historical Romance of 2008!


Minnette Meador said...

Fabulous article, Delilah! I love the idea of chocolates and husbands...maybe I can have both at the same time. He won't mind. ~hmmmm~ My best trick is to fantasize about what works for me. As they say, write from experience. ~blush~ Fortunately, I have a very...ehm, ambitious relationship with the man I love, which helps...a lot...

housemouse88 said...

I didn't realize all you had to go through to write a sex scene. I am so impressed with everyone's dedication. LOL As a reader, I will take in to account how much effort is put into the sex scenes for future reference. Thanks for the post. Have a great day.

Paty Jager said...

Delilah, Wonderful to see you here! And as always you have great tips and fun information!

I've been told several times my love scenes are hot- but not scorching. I'm with you, you can't have a love scene if there isn't a strong romantic build up. For me the scenes are all about romance. I like certain music when I'm writing them and I use chocolate for my cigarette afterward! LOL

Thanks for being here!

Evangeline Collins said...

Hi Delilah!

Great post! I totally agree - writing sex scenes is hard work! They are the hardest scenes for me to write, and usually take the longest. Then there's the whole 'I don't want to repeat myself' worry. So as I write more books, it becomes even harder to write those scenes since I don't want to reuse phrases or descriptions, or have the characters do the same thing that a h/h did in another book.

I take advantage of hubby sometimes, too, when I'm working on a sex scene. Though it's less making out with him and more - 'kiss me on the neck' or 'slowly trail your fingertips down my side'. I'm very specific, because I use him to figure out how to describe reactions for a book. There's kissing for fun, and kissing for research, and for research I'll tell him exactly what the hero's doing and then he repeats it on me. And then once he does it, I'm back at my laptop, typing away. He's such a good sport, and no longer bats an eye when I tap him on the shoulder and say 'hey hon, I need you to do something...' :) And no, I don't make him re-enact entire scenes for a book, though he probably would prefer it over just the one kiss I ask him for. LOL.

Keena Kincaid said...

Fun article, Delilah, and you've hit on a problem that few romance writers probably admit. Being bored by our own sex scenes. Great tips on reviving the writing.

Kathryn Albright said...

Hi Delilah!
What a fun post (loved the puns.) Gee - the sex scenes in my books are on the sweeter side compared to yours and yet still I blush sometimes as I write them. I also go back a day or two later and think--oh my! Did I really write that?

I enjoy reading a sensual lovescene, but I also like the dialogue that leads up to the non-verbal body language. That's right up there with the chocolate for me...

Thanks for a fun post!

J K Maze said...

I like the list of four. Also, I'm definitely going to get one of your books. I don't write erotica or even romantica and, in fact, have to struggle with sex scenes, but I'm working on it. I always feel like someone's looking over my shoulder. Not possible, since I live alone (except for all my characters).


Delilah Marvelle said...

My dearest Minnette,
Thank you!!! And there's no need to blush. It's all about ambition. Grin.

My dearest HouseMouse,
Yes...us writers are COMPLETELY exhausted, LOL. Thank you for promising to notice our *hard* work. Ehm.

My dearest Paty,
It's wonderful running into you in cyber space as always! And yes, it really is all about the romance. Sex is but lace. But lace looks and feels pretty.

My dearest Evangeline,
Ooo yeah. You got it girl and you keep workin' it. I can't WAIT to read your book which comes out this May, I believe. Right? And yes, it's no different than having sex in the same position over and over and over and over and...well, you get it. It's all about experimenting. Especially in our writing.

My dearest Keena,
Being bored is exactly right. A into B, B into A, Sometimes into C.
Snort. The rest of the alphabet has to find its way in somehow.

My dearest Kathryn,
Having read your fabulous books, you have enough passionate sparks between your characters to carry off the whole sweet thing. Whatever you do, don't let me near your computer because there were a few times I actually wanted your characters to get DIRTY, LOL. I just loved them so much!

My dearest Joan,
It isn't until you admit that you have a problem that the problem will find a way to be resolved. Grin. Find books in which you love the sex scenes and break down why you love them and what you can do to put that into your sex scenes. Of course, it's a lot harder than it sounds, LOL, but if you do it often enough, it gets easy. Thank you so much for posting!!!

Nicole North said...

LOL! Fabulous post, Delilah!! It IS definitely a challenge to keep writing love scenes and making them new, fresh, different, something-I've-never-written-before... without going further than I want. LOL But all that brainstorming and experimenting is fun. Sometimes the sex is the easy part and the emotion is the difficult part. But I do love those highly emotional sexy scenes. That's the magical combination.