Monday, March 9, 2015

Why Are Your Characters Getting It On?

I was talking to one of my clients a couple of days ago as she was working through a new project and she was frustrated. She had just written a pretty hot and steamy scene but was far from happy? When I asked her why, she simply said, "I don't know why they are having sex?" It wasn't that the characters didn't like each other, but for some reason, those characters "getting it on" seemed like it was at the wrong place in the story.

What she was facing is honestly what I see a lot of writers facing. In an effort to amp up the sensuality of the story, authors just start inserting sex scenes every time they turn around. In the end, plot is lost in the story and the author feels frustrated because the story is going no where. Don't panic! This is something that many authors face with their stories.

I want to keep this short and simple today. There is an easy solution to this and yes, it involves plotting and planning. In essence, as you look at your story, you need to "pencil in an appointment for your characters to have sex." By doing so, you can build plot elements to get them all hot and bothered and ready to explode into that scene.

I am going to return to this same graph we have talked about before when dealing with your entire story. This time, however, we are just going to get these characters to that sex scene in the story. 

The exposition portion of the graph is the main story arc. They are talking and going about their business with the main story line you have created, let's say they are dealing with an issue of building a homeless shelter in a small town. 

Now the rising action portion (sorry about the puns here) is the moment when the main story arc is getting them closer and closer together and the external issues are becoming internal. They are spending more time together. Hormones are raging.

To eventually get them to, (yes I did go there) - the climax.

Of course we don't want the characters (especially the hero) to go though a falling action, so instead of the line going down, picture the exposition line picking up right after that climax of the story and yes, you are off and running to your next scene. 

The key is to think always, why would they want to have sex, right there and right now? Just because you haven't written a scene yet is not a reason. You have to think about the feelings and emotions of your characters.

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