How To Create Chemistry Between Your Characters
In most cases, your characters aren’t going to meet and then just fall into bed together. If they do, then you’re probably writing hard-core erotica or porn and that’s not what I’m discussing today.
Even if your characters don’t have sex, maybe there’s some heavy petting or flirtation that occurs and you’ll want to build up to that as well.
So how do you build chemistry and anticipation between your characters?
A sex scene is the culmination of everything your two characters have done, said, and been through together from the moment they meet.
Chemistry is that feeling of connection between two people. I like to call it the charged energy between two people. It’s a draw to someone else that makes you want more of them.
London’s “Literary Review” has just announced its winners for the 2013 Bad Sex Award—Britain’s most dreaded literary prize.
The prize is meant to “draw attention to the crude, badly written, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel and to discourage it.”
This year the nominees included author Amy Tan’s, “The Valley of Amazement,” for this line: “He flayed against me, until our bodies were slapping, and he took me into the typhoon and geologic disaster.” Read more
“It is not sex that gives the pleasure, but the lover.” Marge Piercy
In The New Republic’s recent article, “The Smitten Word: The Awkward Art of Writing About Sex,“ author Sam Lipsyte writes about one of the most difficult subjects for writers to tackle–sex scenes.
He says the conventional wisdom that less is more is usually best, but it can also be a cop-out. He writes:
“Sometimes, though, you have to face the multi-spined beast head on. Be brave, and trust in your love of language and your love of sex. (Or lack of it.) Trust in the modern gods who guide your hand: Sad and Funny. Like it or not, these are the twin poles for most of our tiny thoughts and doings. Sad and Funny are both the world and how we withstand it.”
Read the rest of Lipsyte’s article for more do’s and don’ts of writing sex scenes.
You can also read my previous post “How to Write a Good Sex Scene.“
Have you ever read a sex scene that made you cringe? I have. Have you ever read a sex scene that months, or even years, later you think back on and it still makes you sweat? I have.
The first scene, the cringe-worthy one, was written by one of my favorite male authors. It was so bad, I felt embarrassed for him. The scene was full of thrusting and grunting and other horrible, clichéd descriptions of the physical act of sex.
The second scene, the one I still think about to this day, was less about sex and more about the surroundings and emotions of the characters. Read more