Monday, February 05, 2007

When Voyeurism is Good

Candice Gilmer

They say that voyeurism is a bad thing. That's what they tell us.


There comes a time when voyeurism is a good thing.

Like when writing a good sex scene.

Most writers have a hard time writing a good sex scene or a good erotic tale. Their difficulty could lie in many areas, anything from feeling unable to communicate the intensity of the scene, to feeling just generally that the work was too naughty to do it.

When writing speculative fiction, the author has to deal with a whole new layer of complications beyond the typical who-touched-who-how element.

They have to deal with alternate body chemistries; alternate as in not human body make-ups.

This can present a completely different angle all together. And as such, certain aspects need to be taken into consideration.

This is where knowing your characters is very important, knowing how their bodies function, how they respond to sexual stimulation, what the results of said stimulation can do to their body's responses.

In my book Unified Souls, Devin Cartell's species of humanoid are plagued by a condition known as Body Fire. The stronger the adrenalin, the stronger the Body Fire, and therefore, the stronger his sexual needs become when in such a state. Most of Devin's species are pacifists, and therefore can control this Body Fire without much effort, since rarely do they generate the needed adrenalin and other components to ignite it.

Devin, however, lives a very action-packed life, and in the book, he becomes plagued by this fire, seducing Jasmine Storm in one of the heated moments. It takes great control on his part to step away, to stop, before he's consumed by his Body Fire, and is unable to free himself of his desire.

Knowing that Cartell lives with such a burning intensity in his veins makes him very fun to write, because he can get so lost inside this Body Fire, he forgets all of the world around him, and what he should be doing, rather than what he craves.

This kind of intimate knowledge of Cartell's body chemistry helps me write about his needs in sex scenes. What satisfies someone who literally burns with desire and intensity? What kind of sex would that be? Would it be slow, quiet, and gentle? Highly unlikely. When such passion lives within someone, it's hard to squelch that desire when it takes over.

This is where being a voyeur is a good thing. You can see, through the eyes of the characters, what's going on in the room; how the characters react, how they move, how they express their emotions.

How does that help your writing of sex scenes?

If you can visualize the intimate moments, you can actually understand what the characters see—if one of your main characters is, say a feline type race, you can see exactly how she moves, how she climbs over her pray and, maybe licks a trail up his torso.

Or what if your character has wings, like a fairy of some kind? Would their wings flutter and spasm against their back as they reached climax? Would an animalistic character like a werewolf start changing, mid climax, if only for a few seconds, during sex?

These are all things that you need to ask yourself when writing sex scenes within your speculative romance. As you ask these questions, you'll find new answers, and with any luck, creative ones at that. Also, this will present even more questions, which will create more answers and a better understanding of your character.

While you watch through the window of your character's eyes at a sex scene, you also will feel what they feel, and see what they see. Since dealing with speculative characters, the importance of knowing things like skin texture, differences in body design or variance are important as well.

And you may not see those differences with the character's clothes on.

Going back to Devin Cartell, he has a minor variation in his body from "standard" human forms. Down his shoulders, across his back, and down to a point toward his bottom is a trail of dark freckles. Not a terribly big deal, but on people of Devin's race, those freckles change colors, depending on mood. In the Body Fire, they're dark red, and hot to the touch. When Jasmine Storm touches them for the first time, she's shocked at the warmth in them, something that startles her (very briefly) during their intimate moments.

I never would have "saw" or "felt" how his skin reacted unless I let myself watch what was going on.

It is amazing what you can do when you focus on your work, open your eyes, and participate a bit of mental voyeurism. Your characters can show you amazing things, and no matter what they show you, you can write about it. These are your characters. They're reacting in your world. Allowing yourself to take a look at those things will teach you incredible things about your characters.

And also, those characters won't do anything you can't write about, after all, they're your characters.

So watch them.

You might be surprised.

Ain't voyeurism great?

About the Author:
Web page: http://www.swtats.com/candice
Blog: http://candicegilmer.blogspot.com
Link for Unified Souls: http://www.aphroditesapples.com/unified_souls.htm

Disclaimer, cause we have to: The opinions of guest bloggers do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Mandy M Roth and Michelle M Pillow. (Want to be a guest blogger?)

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7 comment(s):

Thanks for coming by Candice!!


By Blogger Michelle Pillow, at 3:20 PM  

No problem! Glad to do it! ;) Thanks for having me! ;)

By Blogger Candice Gilmer, at 8:08 PM  

Ooo, nice blog, Candice!

I'm guilt of "felt". Always have to watch for that one.


By Blogger mandymroth, at 6:21 AM  


I have a hard time with all the senses, at least initially when I write. Usually, when I go back and edit a bit, I remember that stuff. ;) But I normally take a couple passes through a scene to get all the senses in. :)

By Blogger Candice Gilmer, at 10:09 AM  

I think the great thing about writing paranormal is that you can create all those new senses and functions, powers, ect, that we as humans don't have.

Well, I do have magic powers but...OUCH~ Okay who threw that. I hear you giggling out there....


By Blogger Michelle Pillow, at 5:37 PM  

Very cool Candice. Gives me a better perspective to maybe branch out a bit if you know what I mean ;)

By Blogger Stacy Dawn, at 11:25 AM  

Michelle, I agree totally

Stacy, glad to know I've inspired

By Blogger Candice Gilmer, at 10:44 AM  

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