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Friday, August 7 • 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Make Them Melt: Mechanics and Metaphor of Writing Steamy Scenes

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Whether you intend your writing to be blush-worthy or smokin’ hot, this workshop will add spice to your characters’ love lives as we explore the physical mechanics of a great love scene and how language elevates “Insert Tab A into Slot B” to a emotional, satisfying ride for a reader. We tackle the mechanics that make a great sex scene work, calling out common and cringe-worthy mistakes that kill the mood for readers. This workshop focuses on creating an “intimacy ladder” of physical experiences that draw the characters together, heightening sexual tension and satisfaction at each encounter. Great romantic and erotic scenes rely on the five senses, incorporating the environment, the body, and external forces such as power dynamics and timing. Emotional investment by the characters directly translates to emotional investment by the reader. In the metaphor portion of the workshop, we’ll discuss specific words and phrases associated with writing sexy scenes, how to avoid both overly clinical terms and giggle-inducing purple prose (throbbing pillar of love, anyone?). We’ll also explore opportunities to weave book themes and unique character attributes into metaphorical descriptions of intimacy, emotion and climax. Finally, we’ll look at how the male and female point of view differ in describing romance scene specifics in pacing, word choice, emotional and physical descriptors. This workshop is accompanied by a worksheet on building an intimacy ladder, key questions to consider before writing each scene, and a suggested reading list.

avatar for Heidi Joy Tretheway

Heidi Joy Tretheway

Heidi Joy Tretheway is author of seven books, including the Tattoo Thief new adult romance series and The Phoenix Candidate adult erotic romance. She is also co-founder of Jasper Ridge Press, which published four erotic romance collections featuring more than 20 New York Times and... Read More →

Friday August 7, 2015 6:30pm - 8:00pm PDT
Mount Bachelor

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