I am going on a one day writing course with the fabulous Julie Cohen tomorrow. Woohoo! If you want to know more about Julie’s courses, there is stuff on her website here http://www.julie-cohen.com/events/ and you should go, because in a day Julie will, using her magic powers, teach you how to write a book and not just a load of irrelevant drivel.
Tomorrow’s course is all about writing sex. I’ve written sex before. I’ve only written one book that didn’t have sex in it, and then I went back and rewrote it and put the sex in. But writing sex scenes is extremely difficult. Not so much from the logistical point of view, unless you’ve got a lot of people involved in the scene and then it all gets a bit complicated (yes, you really can buy books containing 8 way romps on Amazon. Go look), but because it is necessary to push past the awful squick of shame that creeps up and grabs you when you sit down to write about such things.
We were asked earlier in the week if we wanted to workshop some of our own writing tomorrow. Being the class swot that I am, I said yes, only to later discover that everyone else said no. So tomorrow, I’m going to be a bit like a stripper at a hen party. I’ll be the only one exposing any delicate areas. I’ve decided on my 1K scene, given it a bikini wax and a fake tan, and now it’s all ready to go.
But there is one line in the middle of the scene that makes me cringe even when I’m the only person reading it. Should I cut this line? It’s very rude. Or should I keep it in? This is, after all, explicit writing. My internal censor is having a field day. Surely I’m not going to share THAT with OTHER PEOPLE! What will they THINK??
And this is precisely why I’ve decided to keep it in. Because it’s shameful. If I take it out, if I don’t push through that discomfort barrier and make the scene just that little bit more, I haven’t challenged myself. I’ve let the shame win and I’ve failed the scene.
But I’m not going to tell you what the line is 🙂