If Only My Mind Would Shut Up And Let Me Write
by Kathleen Bradean
Sunday, August 24, 2014
In the past two years, I can’t remember having written a short story. A couple weeks ago I got the urge to dive back in, probably because my erotic horror novel is once again on ice and my fantasy novel (under a different pen name) was just released so I have writing time. It didn’t hurt that I had a vision or flash of inspiration or whatever you want to call it that gave me a story to write. Or, at least, a starting point.
The smart thing to do would have been simply to write the little bit I saw in my vision and run with it, but of course I had to ruin things by thinking about it. Instead of pondering why these people were there doing that sexy thing together, I obsessed over *that* point in a story, the one where the sex begins.
Even if I were to begin a story with lovers stumbling into a room, groping and kissing frantically before they decide the bed is way the hell over there, so why don’t they just do it against a wall (something that looks super hot on film but in real life demands the flexibility of a contortionist or freakishly misplaced sexual organs, which I’m sure happens, but not, alas, to me), that’s not where the sex began. It started before the door slammed open and this couple stumbled into the darkened hotel room even if technically that’s where the physical act began. The point I’m looking for is when sex began on the mental plane, which was much further back in the time line.
Say my two characters meet in a hotel bar. Both are enjoying a hot jazz trio before toddling off the bed after a long day of being whatever high powered job erotica characters have now. Is being a billionaire a profession? Anyway, they lock gazes across the room. Suddenly, they’re thinking about sex. Mutual attraction isn’t enough though. I can close my eyes and inhale deeply in the bakery without tasting their donuts, after all. It’s movement in the right direction, but thinking that the guy across the way has a great butt and pretty eyes too doesn’t mean you’re going to let him finger you in the glass elevator on the way up to your hotel room. (or maybe it does. I don’t judge)
Now my characters interact. The seduction begins, maybe with a drink sent over, or maybe she takes the bar stool next to his. You may approach it differently, but this is where sex starts in my stories. It may happen off page, before the opening lines of my tale, but it happens. Even when my characters know each other, I think it’s sexy as hell to think of them flirting with each other and appreciating that even in a long term relationship, sex isn’t always a given. I have to know my characters went to the trouble to woo their partners, or the sex against the wall won’t hold my interest.
I’m not saying the seduction needs to be drawn out, or the conversation has to be sexual. What I want to see—what I want to write—is that point where sex goes from a possibility to a certainty. And yes, it’s erotica, so it’s expected that sex will happen, but I’d like for readers to feel that it isn’t a given until that magical turn of mind occurs. But seeing as it is sort of a magical thing, I have to mull it over for a long while before I write my story. I’m trying to grasp an elusive thing. Deep down, I know there’s no formula to getting it right on the page, but that never stops me from dissecting stories that work to try to figure out why. It’s a curse.
Posted by Kathleen Bradean at 4:00 AM