Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Conference Report- Day 2 Continued!!

Okay, Day 2, Part 2: Seducing Your Reader...that was the next session I attended! I had been very interested in this session, since I write romance and often write sexual scenes. I knew this would be a great workshop for me. It was led by Tracy MacNish, a historical romance writer, and she was fantastic!! She had a great way of mixing humor with her lessons and it was really informative!

Here are some of the things I learned:

#1: Get over your inhibitions!

#2: You need to create sexual tension. Nothing gets readers glued to pages better than sexual tension. She mentioned tv shows such at Friends (Ross and Rachel) and The Office (Pam and Jim) and how the back and forth keeps us glued and wanting more. Strive for tension on every page.

#3: Increasing tension. Nothing increases tension more than a character wanting someone they can't have or the feelings are mutual but they can't act on it. Think Romeo and Juliette. Or what if one person doesn't share the feeling but uses it to their advantage?

#4: You lose sexual tension the minute they "do it"...and you need to find some other way to bring the tension back and your readers eyes on the page.

#5: You need to create characters that your reader cares about, someone they want to root for. You need to create characters that your reader will want to see together. And make them real. You don't need the perfect woman or a man with bulging muscles. They need quirks. Readers identify with real characters and want them to fall in love and live happily ever after.

#6: When writing sexual scenes, you need details. Use your senses- show the reader what's going on by giving them smells and sounds. Be aware of the surroundings, even mid-scene. Use dialogue to show emotion between the couple.

#7: Interruptions during a sex scene can be a great tool...increases tension. But be careful. Too many and the reader will become frustrated.

#8: You are literally "screwed" without honesty!! LOL! You cannot lie to the reader. Sex is not perfect, ever, include your character's insecurities. Carry their personality traits into the bedroom.

I left this workshop with lots of things to think about and I felt very inspired!! Gave me lots of ideas and ways to enhance the scenes I've already written!!

Next up was lunch! I was starved and so thankful! I met up with Sarah and Nicole (she writes YA as well, so they spent the majority of the day together!) The conference organizers arranged a fantastic Italian lunch buffet- YUM! Tortellini, ziti, meatballs, bread sticks, Caesar salad! The key note speaker was James Frey and as in his earlier session, he entertained us along with giving solid writing advice. The main point that stayed with me is to never give up. Keep writing and keep submitting. He recommends getting 84 rejections on a piece before throwing it in the drawer.

Stop back for more tomorrow!


  1. Those are great tips for writing a romance and a sex scene (or two, or three).

    84 rejections, huh? Such a specific number!

  2. Great tips, thanks for sharing them. Glad you're having a great time at the conference! I get to go to one not this weekend but next, so you're making me even more excited to get there! :)

  3. Love the tips! I read a very old book about writing romances (from my grandmother's writing library, it runs in the family) and it suggested writing perfect characters in romances because no one wants to read about someone just like them! I'm so glad we've moved beyond that to "real" characters.

    Thanks for the sex scene tips -- I really struggle with those!

  4. It sounds like you learned a TON at your conference! Thanks for sharing, Stephanie. :-)

  5. I'm happy to share!!!

    Guinivere, that is really funny!! The days of Fabio are long gone! :)

  6. It's really great of you to post all of the things you leanred. It makes me feel as though I didn't miss out as much :)