Pesky Body Bits.
Writing romance is great fun and one of the best bits is the sensual love scenes between hero and heroine. However, there are times when such a scene can spring all kinds of challenges. Here are some of my thoughts on the pesky body bits.
One of the things I try hard to do, even if the sensual scene is fantasy based, is get the positioning right. The writing of a simple exercise in passion can lead to a kind of tangle of limbs and wandering body parts on the page. Sadly, this is most likely to induce a good laugh in the reader rather than build up the intensity of the scene. Therefore, as my long suffering DH smiles or even chuckles, I use him to try to get it right. The research process is useful to me, and entertaining for him. With his assistance, I work out which arm goes where, what the placement of limbs should be, how far the reach actually is from that position, so hopefully my description reads right on the page. A wandering body part can wreck a good scene.
One of my critique partners and I have worked hard on this aspect of writing and it has given us both some chuckles. For those who might read this post who don’t write, or may not know what a wandering body part is, it’s a body bit that seems to work independently from the head or mind of the character. Fingers are always suspect for this.
I’ll give a couple of examples from my stuff for you to have a think about that might give you a chuckle.
Soft and smooth his fingers caressed the hollow of her neck, moved up to her chin and his thumb grazed her lower lip.
I just made that one up, so forgive me if it’s a bit ropey. The problem with this example is the fingers seem to be working on their own, think ‘Thing’ from the Adam’s Family. What the heck is the rest of him doing? A body bit that seems to be working on its own like that is a wandering body part. The head must control what the hands and other bits do. Therefore, my example should read something like:
He caressed the hollow of her neck with smooth, manicured fingers and stroked soft up to her chin. Seductive and slow he tilted his thumb to graze her lower lip.
I hope you think that reads a bit better.
Here is another example. I’ve just found this in a piece I’m working on.
The heat of his lips met hers and as his tongue entered her mouth, a roll of sheer lust shook through her loins.
Oh dear, along with a few other concerns in the sentence the main problem is that tongue of his is coming at her like some monster from the deep. The sentence needs tightening up and developing to improve it. Something like:
He pressed his lips to hers. Instinct urged her to open her mouth. He slid his tongue forward between her lips and a roll of sheer lust shook through her loins.
I’m not entirely happy with that but I’ll mess about with it some more. I might even get my DH to give me a hand if I get too muddled up.
One last thing I try to find in my WIP’s is bits that fall off, drop or do other actions not suitable to them. Here are a few I’ve found. I wonder if anyone knows of more little gems like these.
She rolled her eyes. I love that one, it makes me think, chink chink, those eyes are just like marbles.
She dropped her eyes. I always get an image of someone searching on the floor to find their eyes.
His face fell. Yes, he’d have to scrape it up from where it landed, imagine the mess.
He dropped his hand. Whoops, better pick it up quick before it festers on the carpet.
Their eyes met. Boing! Remember those joke eyes on stalks.
Her head snapped around. The less said about that the better.
Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed some of the bloopers let me know your thoughts on these.
This post first appeared on Silken Sheets and Seduction earlier this year.
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