The Hardest Part: Guest post by Agnes Jayne
I have to confess, I’m a bit of a prude when it comes to writing sex scenes. For people who write romance novels, I salute you. There is definitely an art form to writing lengthy reams of seductive prose, to peeling off the clothes at exactly the right moment, to the smell of her hair, the taste of his skin, tumbling into bed in a breathless pile of….
What was I writing about?
Anyway, I quickly learned that I did not possess this skill. The first sex scene that I wrote, was, thankfully, left out in the final edits of The Problem with Power. There was a lot of sweating and thrusting and I distinctly remember hiding it on page 187 of my original manuscript, thinking that my churchgoing mother would probably lose interest before she got that far into the book. Incidentally, in my research, I also noticed that page 187 is also about the time that the characters tend to have sex in some of the major romance novels (go look; you’ll see what I mean). Other authors will tell you that they like to get their characters busy right off the bat, but I’m an old fashioned kind of a girl, so I’m good with the longer seduction.
Although I’d read several (read: hundreds of) books that features sex scenes, I had no experience writing sex scenes. So I began to research “how to write sex scenes” on Google. Although this was a great way to waste an hour, I came away from this session more confused than ever. Allow me to recap though. Most of the conventional knowledge about writing about sex scenes suggests that you need to be in your comfort zone to make the scene believable. Moreover, good writing is good writing. If you’re going to write a sex scene, you should do it in a way that explores the character and forwards the plot. Also, most writers advocate that the characters have a degree of emotional involvement before they’re intimately involved. Most importantly, if your writing requires a love scene, you need to deliver it or the reader will be left disappointed.
For me, this meant that the sex scene had to wait until page 295 of my book, but I need to add a disclaimer here. Even if you flip straight to the good part here, you might be disappointed. The sex scene is merely suggested and very brief; not being a romance writer myself, I was eager to get back to the plot part of the book.
Maybe one day my writing will catch on and someone will write some fabulous fanfiction about Nicholas and Emily and all of the things that they should have done together, but until that happens, I’m happy with my decision to leave the book in the PG-13 realm.
The Problem with Power
By Agnes Jayne
Emily VonPeer hopes that she never meets the man of her dreams. For years, she’s been haunted by visions of an unknown lover destined to die in her arms. When her aunt’s death brings her home to her family’s estate in Upstate New York, she meets Nicholas Flynn, an agent of Paladin, an enterprise dedicated to the study and eradication of demons, and the hero of her nighttime fantasies. He arrives on her doorstep seeking answers for a slew of magically-related murders tied to the VonPeer family.
Although his intentions are suspect, Emily follows Nicholas into the investigation, hoping to spare him the fate promised by her premonitions – at least, that’s what she tells herself. When their exchange with a demon goes awry, Emily sustains an injury that threatens to turn her into a monster. Her transformation places her in the crosshairs of sorcerers, senators, and a seductive stranger who promises eternity.
About the Author:
Agnes Jayne began her writing career as a reporter for her high school newspaper in a small town in Northern New York. She completed her undergraduate degree in English and Political Science from Binghamton University. Upon her graduation from Binghamton University, she won a prestigious journalism fellowship at the New York State Senate, and went on to complete a Master of Arts Degree in English at the University of Albany. Following this, she worked as a political writer, producing speeches and other government documents for state and local politicians.
These days, she splits her time between writing and teaching classes in composition and literature at a small college in Maryland. She lives high in the Blue Ridge Mountains of West Virginia with her husband, son, and a plethora of adopted pets.
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