I have finally found a good reason to watch porn: research.
Got your attention, didn't I?
Like many women, I read romantic fiction, some of it very explicit. All too often I come across a sex scene that reads like it was written by a teenager with an overblown imagination and no sense of anatomy. In reading such passages, I find myself tilting my head and wondering things like: Do people really bend that way? Surely, it can't be that long? To do that, he needs about six hands. Nope, I remember that and it didn't feel anything like what this author describes.
I visualize what I read and what I write. When my characters can't keep their hands off each other, I try to write so that what they're doing doesn't require an acrobat or contortionist. One could reason that if there's a possible way for two people to have sex, then there's a porn site that will show it. I'm not advocating that every writer who includes a sex scene in his or her story immerse him- or herself in pornography--you'd never erase the images from your brain--but perhaps it's wise to go beyond the flowery euphemisms and dirty talk and focus on the relationship and shared touch. There's more to a good sex scene than "insert tab A into slot B."
Sure, all romance is fantasy to some point. But in the spirit of realism, the scene shouldn't knock you out of the story because it's so difficult to imagine what's going on.
I've had a bit of a dry spell ever since that whirlwind production of The Barbary Lion. It was satisfying to write and publish a novella in such a short time, but also drained the old brain. Over the past several weeks I've been reading ... and, in doing so, slowly replenishing the well of imagination.
So, I've been thinking, but not writing. It's a step in the right direction. I usually mull over a story before transferring it to keyboard. I would have said "paper," but who uses paper anymore to compose stories?
I've gone back to jot down a few words here and there on a new adult romance tentatively titled Monterrey Salt. I'm thinking that a better fitting title may be Impulse. Really, the whole story launches from the impulsive act of the main characters.
As I'm trying for a bit of a less hackneyed story in this sub-genre, the main characters:
Sure, we've got some archetypes going on. The rock star hero is a "manwhore" and his love for the heroine reforms him. Our heroine isn't a squealing, promiscuous, shallow twenty-something with a drinking problem; in fact, she's pretty darned level-headed and mature, ready to embark upon a challenging career. I put her at the beginning of her career, because no young adult fresh out of college starts at the top. Our hero is no slacker, either. He's older than our heroine because that's how I like 'em. He's affluent, but then, he's a rock star.
Right now my hero and heroine are humming along. I need to think up some sort of conflict, some obstacle, some disaster that will challenge them and prevent the reader from getting bored. There's a possible love triangle (quadrangle?). Two of the band members are very attracted to our heroine; one could make a play for her, foment mistrust and doubt between her and our rock star. Of course, that would break up the band. Or perhaps our hero could do something cosmically stupid, like get sucked back into his old manwhorish ways, thereby destroying his marriage and leaving our heroine open for the other band member loves her.
Choices, choices. I've got some mulling to do.