Monday, June 14, 2010

Linda Howard on Writing Sex

Author Terry Odell recaps (in three parts) a presentation by Linda Howard about portraying sex and sexual intimacy in novels. It is well worth reading. Ms. Howard is a fan of anthropologist Desmond Morris' theories about how our sexual behavior developed to ensure species survival. Not just mating for procreation, but picking a mate, bonding to hold onto that mate, developing a family unit to raise children. Ms. Howard's heroes are built on this mold, and are wildly popular with readers because of it.

Survival: It's All About Sex

It's Still About the Sex:

Men Aren't Women With Chest Hair:

And the well-known 12 Steps to Intimacy from Desmond Morris' "Intimate Behavior: A Zoologist's Classic Study of Human Intimacy":

Some classic Howard comments you have to enjoy:

Sex and guns are powerful—handle both with care.

Babies are bald, toothless and incontinent, but their mothers still love them. Which should be encouraging to the husbands.

Women write detail in sex scenes, while men write detail in action scenes. Her first draft of an action scene might be "He was shot. It hurt. He shot back. The other guy died."

So go check out the articles on Terry's Place!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Women write detail in sex scenes, while men write detail in action scenes.

As a note...that's an opinion, not a fact. I'm a woman, and I'd a thousand times rather write a detailed action scene than a detailed sex scene. And I know a couple of male authors who love writing in-depth sex scenes but who couldn't care less about action scenes. It depends on the person.