After writing YA, Courtney Cole had to learn how to write about sex when she crossed over to adult fiction.

Wow. This is a huge topic for me, considering that I started out writing Young Adult. In YA, I always felt a responsibility to never go too far, to insinuate, but not intimate. I never wanted to cross that line and it was a big responsibility. So when I decided to cross that bridge into the adult genre, I was excited that some of those barriers would come tumbling down.

When I wrote sex into my first adult book, Of Blood and Bone, I was freaking terrified that I wouldn’t be able to carry it off. No lie. Seriously – I was used to writing for teenagers. How the heck was I supposed to know how to write HOT? But then, I just drank twenty-four cups of coffee and chased it with a couple glasses of wine (because the day had transitioned into evening at that point) and dove in.

And you know what? It really wasn’t that hard. I’m a sensory writer. Meaning … as I write, I picture what the scene looks like, feels like, smells like, sounds like, etc. So, I just did that for the sex scenes. Was his body hard? Why, yes, it was. So I wrote that. Did he smell like the outdoors? Of course he did. So, I typed, “His skin smelled like the woods and fresh air as he ran his tongue over the curve of my thigh.” Did his eyes look like two pools of melted chocolate? No, because that would be weird. But they did gleam wickedly as he ducked his head to kiss me. You get the idea.

I discovered that writing sex was just the same as writing anything else, a foray into the senses. Except for the jargon. Holy Sex Scenes. I did have to put some thought into that. Can I call his penis a penis? Or should I call it his unit? No, that would be freakishly weird. So what the heck do I call it? The worst thing was thinking of things to call her lady bits. My word, the choices. But I got through it.

It was actually easier in my newest project, If You Stay (which releases February 12) because the leading man is a bad boy. So it was totally in character for him to use crude terms that made me blush as I typed them. But in Alli Cat, Shade tried hard to be every woman’s dream – a perfect guy. So I couldn’t let him be offensive at all. It was a fine line to walk – between having a hot scene and having a crude, offensive scene. I hope I carried it off.

Anyway … writing sex turned out to be a lot of fun. Not as much fun as actually having it, but still fun. And now, writing sex scenes is actually one of my favorite things to do. I guess I’m pervy like that. Haha.

confessions of an alli catThirty-five-year-old Allison “Alli” Lancaster has it all — a fabulous job, a beautiful 15 year-old daughter, a hilarious BFF and a gorgeous house with a pool and Jacuzzi in an exclusive Las Vegas neighborhood. What she doesn’t have is a husband, because she kicked her lousy, cheating ex to the curb nine months ago. Since then, Alli has paid her dues with seemingly endless self-improvement and seemingly endless mourning. Now she’s ready to move on and try new things. Alli’s idea of “trying new things” is nothing like that devil-of-a-best-friend of hers. Somehow, Sara, the devil of a best friend, talks Alli into trying out a sex toy, sleeping with a younger man and letting a stranger in a lab jacket put hot wax on a place that should never, ever, ever see wax. And that’s only the beginning. Alli never saw her life going quite like this. She also never thought she’d meet someone else who had the very real potential to change her life forever. But she did. Enter the new guy. He’s gorgeous, refined and mature. He’s also marriage material. But that poses a problem for Alli, who renounced the institution of marriage when she renounced her ex. What’s a girl to do? They say that what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. But what the heck happens when you can’t leave Vegas? Well, you spin the wheel, of course. You play the game and let the chips fall where they may. Alli just hopes she can find them all.

Courtney Cole is a novelist who lives near Lake Michigan. Her favourite place in the world is on the shore with her toes in the water. She is the author of several YA series (The Paradise Diaries, The Bloodstone Saga and The Moonstone Saga) as well as a couple adult series (The Cougar Chronicles and The Minaldi Legacy). Her next project is a women’s contemporary romance titled If You Stay, which will release on February 12.

2 comments on “Writing Hot Scenes”

  1. I really enjoyed this post and identify. Writing sex scenes for me is scary because I’m a guy writing from a female point of view, and… well, I’ve only had sex from my own male point of view. To get over the fear, I tend to do is dive in and overwrite, knowing I can pare down (or get rid of) what I’ve written at a later point. You have to start somewhere! One great compliment I got from a female reader is that I understood the emotional part of a woman during sex, so I must be doing something right!

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