Hi everyone, I am joining this group as although my two books are not your typical romance, they have at the core of the story, a romance. WIP has a dysfunctional relationship and desperate measures are planned to retrieve the good times, the first one (debut) is a M/M romance and that is due to be published next year, so if anyone wants to swop words or discuss I am very happy to do so. Secretly I can't wait for people to read it, I want to shock people with its themes, and although it's not mainstream, it's still a story. I am open to reading anyone's story, whatever the sub category.
Sex scenes I have not tackled, and am more than willing to discuss the level of information you need to tell the reader....does anyone else have the answer to this one?
With regard to your question about the level of detail/information to put in a sex scene, I think that ultimately depends on your story and your characters. There was a session with Holly over the summer on "Writing Good Sex in Fiction." where she addressed this (as well as terminology, etc.). That may be a good jumping off point for you?
Also, I'm not sure how exactly to access the replays from the Summer Festival of Writing, but there was a "Book Doctors" session in August with Debi Alper and Emma Darwin and the topic was touched on there as well. I asked them about balancing sex scenes as I'd been told by several published authors in my genre that readers want to know where each hand is and where every drop of sweat falls. etc., and while I did take that to heart in a few places, I'd been working under the assumption that sex scenes, like any scene in a book, needed to move things forward in some way (character or plot development, etc.). I received feedback from a few beta readers that they actually wanted more (graphic) sex in a few scenes where I'd not given a play-by-play (because I didn't feel it added anything to story and in fact, felt gratuitous to write with that level of detail). And I asked about finding the balance there between giving readers what they want, and telling the story. Debi and Emma gave very thoughtful responses that focused on knowing what you are writing, and what you are trying to convey in the scene and overall story (for example, if I wrote erotica, sex is a primary focus of the story, but in romance, its simply another tool to show something between the characters and/or move the story forward in some way). They also encouraged taking time to consider if this (whatever aspect you are trying to convey) could be done through other (non-sexual) activities - like say, sharing a meal or something like that. That whole session was really good - they touched on a variety of topics and had insightful (and applicable) answers to real-time questions. Now I think I need to go look for it and rewatch...