Thursday, December 2, 2010

Put What Where?!

Okay, I have to admit, I am totally turned off in a story if actual body part words are used in a love scene. I'm sorry, but there's just nothing romantic about the word 'penis'. And I'm not a big fan of the cruder words like 'cock'.

My love scenes are fully depicted in my stories (and I like them to be that way in the stories I read as well...those fade to black behind closed door scenes just don't do it for me!), but I like them to be romantic and sensual and sexy and emotional...I don't want to be reading (or writing) something that sounds like it comes out of a sex ed text book.

Trouble is, after a while, finding unique euphanisms to use gets rather difficult. Even my editor will mark places with comments like "already used this word a few times". Then I have to grit my teeth and try to get really creative.

Even finding unique - or at least not overly used - ways to describe how my characters are feeling during the scene isn't easy. Once I used my thesaurus feature on a word and came up with a whole new way to write the scene in terms of fire and heat. Which worked out nicely. Of course now I don't want to use similar language every time.

But that's all part of the challenge. Finding a special, unique way to describe things that have been said in millions of books before my own. Part of my writer's voice, I guess.

Until next time,

Happy Reading!



  1. You're absolutely right, Debra - finding new ways to describe things is the real challenge, I know I have to watch out for my 'favourite' words so that I don't use them over and over again.

  2. A Finnish dairy farmer would describe intercourse differently than a Connecticut school girl. It makes some sense to me now to try to describe sex / lovemaking in terms my heroine would use to describe it.

  3. Hi,

    I've been reading the write-ups on this potent sunject matter, and find it highly amusing: whilst worrying about euphemisms for body parts I've been letting my characters take on this task! My latest (a Lord in historical novel) refers to his cock as cocking dandy appendage, and boy does he want to get "it and self" in on some action: foiled poor bugger every chance he gets because the plot prevents his having fully the lady he desires. ;)

    But hey, nothing like keeping a guy on the edge!


  4. Francine, that is sooooo funny! But you're so right for letting the characters take on the task. As Ana said, it all depends on which POV you are taking.
    Medieval terms can be different from (e.g.) Regency and different again from modern.
    But must admit this whole topic has made me think I always (so far anyway!) write love/sex scenes from the heroine's POV. It might be interesting to do it from the hero's!

  5. So true. Even my country ladies approach things differently than my city gals.

  6. I alternative but do find it easier to write from the male POV is that strange or what?