One of the reasons I decided to take a hiatus from writing was because I felt like my writing–especially sex scenes–had become stale and repetitive. That’s sometimes the price one pays when one tries to write too much in too short a time.
Here are two scenes that show a little of what I’m talking about. One is from one of my most recent releases. One is from a few years ago. I’ve taken out character names so there’s no hint of which book is from which year. (Both have been published.) See if you can guess which book is which. I’ll let you know at the end of the post.
She turned her face up to look at him, and he met her lips with his. The kiss was filled with love and heat, which quickly grew to hunger. Hers. This man was hers and she was his, and she couldn’t believe they had waited so long to say so.
His tongue met hers. He cupped her breast. Moaning, she took one hand off him to fumble with the buttons on her blouse. She craved his touch on her skin.
The beat of the song was low and throbbing. For West Coast Swing, the music worked well because of how easily the count of the beat could be followed. However, this song had obviously been written with something in mind that involved much more contact between bodies. The bass thrummed through her and her pussy kept time, moistening with arousal so strong it nearly pushed her out of the dance.
When I re-read some of my older stuff, written and published prior to 2012, I’m sometimes astonished at how good it is. Especially the sex scenes. I’ve found a few recently in books I wrote in 2010 and 2011 that I could hardly believe were actually my work. And it wasn’t only in published books; I found scenes in a couple of unpublished manuscripts, meaning they didn’t have the benefit of an editor’s guidance. I wrote those scenes myself.
When I look at some of my newer stuff, though… it’s different. The technical aspects of the writing are still good, but my heart clearly wasn’t in writing those scenes, and nothing my editors and I did could change that. Between the end of 2011 and now, I tried to write too much. I got burned out. My personal romantic life went through some changes, and PTSD did some figurative ass-kicking on me, and somewhere along the line, I lost my ability to write scenes where the characters–and hopefully the readers–are begging for more.
Reading my older stories, I remember how much I loved writing them. Even though writing sex scenes has never been exactly easy for me, I at least *wanted* to write them. My heart was fully invested in showing all aspects of the growing relationship between the characters, physical and emotional. And I liked finding different ways to show what they were feeling, without resorting to cliches, repetition, and flat out saying it.
If I wrote that way before, I will be able to again. But I think taking the step back and giving my brain some breathing room was definitely a good idea. Maybe this way, I’ll find the joy in my real life again, and that will bring the joy back to writing these books.
The covers above are in the same order as the snippets. With Every Touch was released in March of this year. You Shouldn’t Kiss Me Like This was released in February 2011.