Friday, April 5, 2013

E is for Edits

Warning: explicit text at the end; an excerpt from Streetwalker.


E is for Edits. Now how sexy is that? This is adult content? Well, when you write erotic romance, it can be tricky approaching people to be beta readers or giving manuscript pages to your critique group for edits and revisions. They’re such nice ladies. Respectable. One writes children’s stories. Sigh. And just where is YOUR mind???


 You hem. You haw. You say, “It’s really, really, really explicit. I will totally understand if you’d like to pass on editing. Or edit but not comment on the sex scenes.”


Still, they can’t quite believe it’s true. After all, you’re a mom, a grandma. Happily married. (Or, a thought niggles, is she? Another thought niggles their minds. I’ll bet HE’S happy.)


Really, how bad could it be, they wonder?


Umm. Really, really, really explicit.


I happen to love writing sex scenes, some more than others. Loving scenes are easy. Violent sex, brutal sex, callous sex--those are harder. Still, oddly enough, I find it easier to write the scenes than to use what my mother would call “bad language”. You know--f**k, sh*t, and variants thereof. Don’t you find that strange?


I know when I get edits back from my Sizzler Editions editor, Sascha Illyvich, he’s going to tell me Carrie sounds like a Sunday School teacher (well, not quite). And I am going to have to write words I never say aloud. Those edits have to happen for verisimilitude. I get it. But it won’t be comfortable. Sex? Great! Language? Uh oh!


Here’s how Streetwalker opens:


“Oh, Baby! Oh, yeah, Baby. Oooh, oooh, yeah, oooh. Unhhhhh!” The dock worker held her down while he screamed his release, his hot breath redolent with beer. The smell of diesel fuel on his hands sickened her, dandruff showered her face from patches of thinning hair as he hard-rode her, pinning her shoulders to the thin mattress. The biting jab of aching muscles meant she’d be swallowing another Flexeril after he left. Her skin split where his broken fingernails dug in. He threw back his head and jerked into her two more times before he collapsed, the bulk of him spilling onto the space on either side of her body.
Long ago, Carrie learned to go to “not here” during sex. She tolerated the body pumping into hers if she went somewhere else.
She looked down at his greasy hair covering her tits. She restrained herself from lifting off the dead weight of her john. She knew the rules. He initiated the withdrawal of his limp cock from her pummeled body. He owned her for the remainder of his fifteen minutes. Nine minutes to go.
She waited, still beneath him, afraid her stirring would get him going again. While waiting out her time, she rehearsed the steps of her escape from this hellhole of a whorehouse. After tonight, if it went as planned, everything would be different. No. More. Fucking. Ever. Ever. Again.


Edits anyone? You can do so in the comments section. And thanks!


  1. I imagine that must've been a difficult scene for you to write, given what you'd noted in your post. I don't know that I could've done it - the sex scenes I write, even if they include elements of danger for the gal, also have a "don't worry, everything really will be ok, here" sense as well (at least, that's how I feel about them).

    You painted a very textured scene. My only suggestion is that maybe the bit the story starts with, the john's mini-monologue, is a bit too wordy. Or maybe his words could be broken up by the actions?

  2. Thanks, Mina. I appreciate you taking the time to make a suggestion. I think you're right. Break up the talk with what he's doing and get the reader even more into the scene! Thank you! This is the gazillionth opening for this book. And it was hard to write, but it sets up Carrie's desperation and motivation to make a change in her life.