Tasha Harrison knows how to make a sex scene, well – sexy.
Up to this point in the show we have stayed in the “safe for work” territory. But if you’re writing for adults, eventually you’re going to want to dive into adult topics. Like sex scenes. If you’ve been intimidated by writing sex scenes in your books but feel like you’ve got some chemistry that warrants one, let Tasha walk you through the process without having to commit the cardinal sin of closing the door on your reader.
This episode is full of juicy details, and is in no way safe for work. There is adult language and steamy subject matter. It was a blast to dive into a somewhat taboo topic and really explore what makes a sex scene work. I know you’ll have ideas running through your mind after this episode… I know I wanted to start playing matchmaker with my characters after this recording session. Can’t wait to see what happens in your stories after this.
Show notes for Episode 39 with Tasha Harrison:
- Talking about sex (1:40)
- What makes a good sex scene (2:00)
- Creating tension (2:30)
- Don’t close the door on the reader (3:00)
- Sex, literature, & human experience (3:30)
- Dirty Chekov’s gun rule (4:00)
- Mistakes you can avoid when writing sex scenes (4:45)
- Avoiding cliche and vulgarity (5:40)
- Setting the scene and the step by step progression (6:10)
- Including the senses (7:45)
- The danger of implied sex (9:15)
- Don’t write like the 40-year-old virgin or Beavis & Butthead (10:30)
- 50 Shades of Grey & the politics of language about women’s bodies and enjoyment (11:00)
- The power of the c-word & other naughty words (12:30)
- Writing outside the norm and growing with the character (13:45)
- The role of rough drafts in sex scenes (14:30)
- On loving plotting and editing, but the hard parts of writing (15:00)
- The role of discomfort (15:00)
- Tasha’s plotting system & character development (15:40) Mentioned: Proust Questionnaire | Tarot for Writers | Story Arcana
- When characters do the unexpected (20:20)
- Slotting sex scenes in to the outline (21:15)
- The formula in genre fiction (22:45)
- Keeping the sex fresh as a writer (26:00)
- Tension around desire and consent (28:00)
- The role of the alpha hero and ravishing (28:45)
- Self-publishing’s role in erotica (30:24)
- The timeline for writing a book (31:45)
- The stages of revision (33:15)
- The submission process (34:30)
- The necessity of a writers group & community (36:00)
- On loving getting a critique (37:30)
- Genre-specific groups as a positive for writing about sex (39:00)
- Knowing where you are as a reader before you write (40:00)
- Fear of contaminating your writing by reading (41:15)
- On continuing to grow as long as you write (44:00)
- Throw in a sex scene! (46:00)
This episode sponsored by Scrivener.
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