A Gent's Outlook

A Literary Agent Divulges the TRUTH about Publishing

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Sex and Writing: It’s All in the Technique

DISCLAIMER: I will be writing about sex and relationships a lot on this blog. Why? Because the same dynamics that apply to happy, fulfilling relationships and great sex between all people also apply to happy, fulfilling relationships between readers, editors, writers, agents, and publishers and a great read. It is that simple. If you might get offended, please do read any further. If you do read on and get offended, remember, I warned you. Here we go…

Are you any good in bed?

A little direct, isn’t it? A little personal, naughty, racy, invasive, bold, even offensive maybe. But, it is necessary to ask yourself, whether you are a female or male writer. Are you shocked, stunned, or don’t know what to say? ARE you good in bed? Some of you might be able to holler out, “Heck yeah!” right away. I’ll get to you folks later, but for now I imagine most of you reading this article are seriously pondering the question or just getting nervous.
This is not good.

Let me try the question another way: Are you a good writer? How’s that? Non-threatening, impersonal, and easy to answer. Again, some of you can holler out, “You bet I’m a good writer!” And again, I’ll get to you folks in a later blog (confident lovers and writers have different challenges). However, there may be some of you still pondering THAT question, too.

This is so not good.

Why? What is so wrong with not knowing the answer to either question? And what in the world does one activity have to do with the other?

Everything, absolutely everything! And you confident folks knew that already, didn’t you?

Writing and making love are both based on technique, a willingness to please someone else, and love or passion. Okay, and in some cases, money does play a role. In either department, you need to know who you are and what you have to offer, as well as what you want to accomplish before you start. Sure, sometimes spontaneity is involved, and that can be great. But spontaneous love-making and writing are even more difficult because you really have to know your stuff and be practiced in your art to bring your partner to satisfaction—whether in the bedroom, kitchen, sunroom, bathroom, or anywhere people can make love or read. You don’t have time to think, so using the techniques that physically and psychologically connect with your partner have to be automatic, or the encounter, whether literary or sexual, will not produce the desired effect or any desire at all. Literally.

And that is the most important part.

Becoming good in both areas takes practice, even if you are born with a God-given talent to be a great lover or writer. So think about that the next time you sit down to write your book. What is your partner going to get out of this? Out of picking your work from the thousands of books out there? Will he/she be satisfied or mortified? Will the reader get to the end and sigh in disgust because what looked like a good read turned out to more hype than substance, just like the guy who wears a sock in his underwear or the chick with falsies? Will the reader feel like a voyeur, having watched you intellectually masturbate on his dollar? Are you willing to try a few new, yet tasteful, things if you readers request it or stay with the same old formula if they request that?

The bottom line is, if you aren’t a good lover, then you might not have what it takes to please a reader either, and vice versa.

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