Tips for Writing Fan Fiction: How to Write Your First Sex Scene

How to Write Your First Sex SceneIntimate encounters are a huge part of Fan Fiction; nothing inspires the writer’s imagination like two characters with unresolved feelings for each other. Usually when it comes to a sex scene, coming up with scenarios is easy, but getting it on the page is a little harder, especially if it’s your first time.  Along with these tips, you can download a Sex Scene Worksheet to assist with planning out your scene.

Here’s your step by step guide to getting it on, on the page.

1. Who? – It probably didn’t take too much time for you to decide on the characters you are going to feature in your story, but take a few moments to think about who your characters are, how they react to each other and what they have at stake in your story. Understanding your character’s personalities will give your writing an extra edge, and readers will be drawn in by your authentic characterizations of the characters they love.

2. Where?-This is the fun part, so take your time and really think about the atmosphere that you want to create for your characters. Will it be fun and playful, sensual or full of fireworks? A night of lovemaking under the stars or in front of a roaring fire imparts a totally different vibe than in an elevator or against the wall just inside the apartment door. You are writing a fantasy so make sure to put elements into your story that will delight your readers.

3. What Kind of Sex? – When it comes to writing sex, it’s critical that you know what is going to happen between your characters. (This is even more important if you are writing a menage because you will have a lot of body parts to account for.) It will be so much easier to write the scene with fluidity if you know what is going to happen. So take a minute to map things out and decide who is going to do what in your scene. Things you need to consider are the type of sex (against the wall, oral, solo etc.) as well as who is doing what when. If you are planning on getting creative in your scene, make sure you do your homework. For example, if you have no experience with bondage, make sure you read up on it before you try to write it. (And other Fanfic doesn’t count!) Visit amazon.com and find some books on your topic–your writing will flow much better if you have a deep understanding of what you are writing and how it affects your characters.

4. Write a Rough Sketch of Your Scene – Don’t worry about this being bare bones, just get everything down that you want to happen. Forget about word choice, transitions and all that stuff. Just lay it out point by point. This will be the frame on which you will base your story. If it is easier for you, you can even do this as a numbered list. Use the details that you’ve laid out in the previous steps to build this frame. (Looking for more help in this area? 7 Tips for Writing Sex in Fan Fiction has an example of how to do this.)

5. Layer in the Detail – Close your eyes and imagine the scene that you’ve just sketched out playing before your eyes. Sometimes, I’ll even type with my eyes closed so that I can get an accurate description of the scene as it plays out in my mind’s eye. If you get stuck while you are writing, a good practice is to follow is Action, Reaction. So for everything one character does, have the other character react. This will bring intimacy to your scene. And don’t forget to work in drafts. You don’t have to get it all right the first time. Just take your rough sketch, and work on expanding it slowly, as if you are drawing a picture and then coloring it in.

Writing sex can be intimidating but if you take a few minutes to plan out your scene, you’ll find it much easier to get it on the page. Using this step by step approach breaks down the process into manageable chunks, and before you know it, you’ll have your story on the page.

(If you haven’t downloaded the Sex Scene Worksheet, do it now.)

 

7 Tips for Writing Sex in Fan Fiction

7 Tips for Writing Sex in Fan FictionLet’s face it, there is a ton of poorly written, cringe-worthy smut in the Fan Fiction Universe. Sex is an extraordinarily intimate act, whether in life or on the page, so you must be comfortable with your subject matter before you start writing. Take some time before you start to figure out what you’d like to write. The following tips will help to guide you through that process.

Do Your Homework — The first step to writing good sex, is to read it. You can read it any way you like-Fan Fiction, main stream Erotica, whatever floats your boat. This will help you get a feel for the language of sex-it’s not all dirty words. It will also help you to figure out what you like, what turns you on, and what you don’t like.

Plan Ahead — Determining the content of your scene before you write it will make an immeasurable difference in the success of your story. Some writers depend on spontaneity when they are writing intimate scenes, but it is important to remember this is fiction, and not real life. So take a moment, decide who is going to be in your scene, what is going to happen and who is going to be doing what to whom. It will make things a heck of a lot easier if you know what kind of sex your characters are going to have. Missionary? Oral? On the bed or against the wall? Making these kinds of choices up front will make filling in the details a lot easier. (You can find a worksheet to help you here.)

Characterization — Characterization is critical when you are writing an intimate scene. As Fan Fiction writers, we don’t always get to see our characters in vulnerable situations, especially if you are writing for a procedural type drama. This is when it is important to watch your show closely. Study how your chosen characters interact, and figure out what they aren’t saying to each other. Capitalizing on that subtext is the key to a great story, especially when you are planning on taking things to the bedroom.

Evolve — Unless you are writing porn, you’ll need to figure out what kind of a scene you are writing. Sex is the most intimate act that can occur between two people (or more if that is your cup of tea.) Sex changes people, and you’ll need to figure out how your characters are going to be affected (or not) by this interaction. Will this be a healing scene? Animal attraction? A mistake?

Progression & Layer in Detail — A sex scene has a natural progression -foreplay, the act, climax, closure-so you already have a map for how your scene should play out. Also, you don’t have to get it right the first time; you can start writing with simple sentences describing what you want to have happen, and follow that up by layering in the detail. Since you have an underlying structure, you can feel free to write without worry-the groundwork is already in place. Usually I just close my eyes, imagine the scene, and write what I see in my mind’s eye.

Because it’s usually easier to see things in action, I have included a snippet of a scene I wrote in first draft form and later draft form:

First Draft:

She followed him, unsurprised that they were heading for the bedroom; she’d seen the look in his eyes.
Later Draft:

She looked up at him before sucking lightly on the sensitive skin just below his ear, murmuring her assent as she allowed him to guide her into the bedroom, her limbs still tangled with his. She could see his desire for her so clearly etched on his face that it made her wonder where he’d hid it for so long.
You can see that the bones of the scene are there in the first draft, I’ve just elaborated on it in the later one. This is why I advocate writing in drafts. There is nothing wrong with the first sentence I wrote, but there is much more depth and feeling in the later draft.

Choose Your Words — “Dirty” words do not make a sex scene. As with all writing, the intimacy and eroticism of the scene you are writing hinges on how you arrange the words you use, so if there are words you are not comfortable saying or writing, don’t use them. Consistently is also important-choose one word for a body part, and stick with it. Avoid phrases like ‘garden of desire’ or ‘throbbing member of love.’ It’s also wise to avoid using ‘unghhhh’ or ‘cooooooooooming’ to indicate an orgasm. Saying she or he moaned gets the job done.

Endings — A good ending builds on the beginning of a story; it demonstrates how the characters have changed since the beginning. One way to accomplish this is to look at the reason your characters are having this intimate encounter, and then what has changed for them after the fact. Are they unsettled? Were they insecure, and now feel reassured? Answering the question that you set up at the beginning of your story is the key to a good ending. When you do this your reader feels connected to your characters and your story, and feels fulfilled by their reading experience.

If you find that you need some extra help with writing your story, you can use my Sex Scene Worksheet. Remember, readers want to be emotionally involved in your story, so take some time and consider the tips discussed in this article and you will surely write a story that will leave them begging for more.

Tips for Writing Fan Fiction: Finding Ideas

Tips for Writing Fan Fiction: Finding IdeasWhether you are a seasoned Fan Fic writer or a first-timer, every story starts in the same place-with an idea. Some days, you’ll have more ideas than you know what to do with, others, nothing seems to come to mind. If you’re having the latter problem, here are some tips to get you writing.

Use a Prompt – Prompts are one of the best ways to inspire a story. Lots of Fan Fiction communities offer prompts to jump start your story writing, but you can also trade prompts with a fellow writer, and set up a deadline to keep you both writing. If you are feeling ambitious, you can select a prompt table and write a series of stories based on multiple prompts. Prompt tables really engage your creativity, and build your fiction writing skills.

Finish a Scene – Pick an episode of your show, let your imagination run wild and finish an open ended scene. Post-eps are both fun and quick to write, and they have the added benefit of being fan favorites. This is an especially great option for new writers since you get a head-start on writing your story because you have a set-up, setting and characters already determined for you.

Find a Challenge – All Fandoms have Ficathons that you can participate in and they are especially great fun because you will be participating with other writers. Do a little digging around in your Fandom and see what is out there. Some ficathons have deadlines where everyone posts on the same day, others let you post within a certain window. You’ll surely be able to find something that works for you.

Write it Out – Whenever I have the urge to write a story, but no specific idea in mine, I head over to 750words.com and doing a little writing. I start free writing about the two characters that I am interested in featuring in my story and in less than 10 minutes, I’ll have worked out an idea and a plan. Doing some stream of consciousness writing on your idea will really help; having your idea mapped out from start to finish means you write faster and post sooner.

Inspiration is everywhere-you just have to know where to look. Using these ideas can help you to narrow your focus down to the best ideas for your writing. You might want to consider keeping an idea file (hard copy or on the computer) or an idea journal. You can record ideas when you have an overflow–that way when you are in a writing mood, all you need to do is flip through your file and you’ll be writing a story in no time.

5 Tips for Writing Good Fan Fiction

Tips for Writing Fan FictionBefore you write your first words, it’s a good idea to know what the qualities of a good story are. Following these basic tips really is the key to boosting the number of reviews and comments you get on your stories. Readers are far more likely to comment on your story if you’ve taken the time to present the best possible product. The following 5 tips are designed to help you be the best writer possible.

Know Your Characters – There is pretty much nothing worse than an out of character Fan Fiction story. When potential readers click on your story, they are doing so with the assumption that you are writing about the characters they already love. So it’s up to you to make sure that you do your homework, watch your show, and pay attention to characterization.

Know Your Grammar & Punctuation – I’m not asking you to whip out your 8th grade grammar book, but you should know the basic rules of punctuation-especially for dialogue. There are lots of reputable grammar related sites accessible on the internet, so if you don’t know it, look it up. Don’t forget to start a new paragraph when you change speakers-this is one of the most common mistakes out there. (Need help with this? I’ve got you covered. Check out Write Better, Right Now!) And be sure to use spell check (I know you’ve heard this over and over!) because there is no excuse for mis-spelled words.

Revise Your Story – This means that you read through it after you have written it, smoothing out any rough patches and correcting any errors. I also highly recommend finding a beta; an objective set of eyes can do wonders for a story. Your beta can read your story for technical errors as well as plot and continuity issues. Most fandoms have message boards or posts that can help you find a beta reader. (More tips on working with a beta reader here.)

Use a Disclaimer – Because you are using someone else’s intellectual property to write your Fanfic, you need to include a disclaimer. This should be part of your header (where you indicate the title, author, rating, and pairing) and should include the fact that you acknowledge your characters are products of their creators and you have made no money in the writing of your story.

Rate Your Story – Readers need to know what to expect when they click on your story. Remember, kids are on the internet too, so if you have adult content, be sure to note it. Different sites use different rating systems, so check the guidelines of the site where you plan to post. Sites like LiveJournal also require adult content to be put behind a “cut” or link that the user must click to access the content.

Follow these 5 rules when you write, and you’ll pick up vital new skills that will vastly improve your writing. Set yourself apart from all the badfic that is posted in your Fandom, and earn yourself a reputation for excellent writing (and watch your reviews skyrocket) by knowing how to write Fan Fiction. The skills you develop writing today will be ones you use your entire life!

The eBook Revolution

After much consideration, I recently decided to self publish a book for the Kindle. I know, self publishing, right? That’s for goofs with big egos, or at least that is what I thought.

Not any more.

I purchased a Kindle about a year ago, not sure if I would use it or not. But to my absolute surprise, it became my right hand. I used it all the time! My 8 year old daughter even downloaded a few books to read and far prefers it to reading actual books.

I thought about it for a few months, read a couple of eBooks on my Kindle from authors who had published their own works, and decided to give it a go. Since I published a work of non-fiction, I think it was probably easier than those of you who decided to go for it with a work of fiction, but I have to say, it was really easy and people have been downloading the book on Amazon!

The whole thing has me really excited, especially for my fellow Fan Fiction writers. The jump to writing orginal fiction has just become a whole lot shorter–and with NaNo on the horizon, just think of the possibilities. Fan Fic writers are some of the most prolific around, we know how to tell a story, and I see great things in the future.

What do you think about the idea of self-publishing? Would you do it?