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Kelly Lawrence Talks ‘Passionate Plots’ – Using Dialogue to Convey Sexual Tension

Kelly Lawrence Passionate Plots postI wrote my new book, Passionate Plots as a guide to writing sex scenes both for emerging erotica writers and writers looking to branch out in this area, or who feel that their current story might benefit from some added heat. The main thrust of the book – as well as specific advice on writing a good sex scene and writing exercises to help you do this – is that sex scenes, whatever your genre, need to be integral to the overall plot and make sense in terms of your characters. One way to ensure that your erotic scenes don’t just pop up out of nowhere is to ensure that there’s some build-up of sexual tension between the characters involved. Here’s a little extract from the book on conveying those tension levels….

‘What is sexual tension? It’s that simmering between two people who are attracted to each other but are fighting it, or can’t be together for whatever reason, or the first time you talk to someone and you look at each other and just know you’re going to end up between the sheets, but you’ve only just met and you’re in public/company so it wouldn’t be polite to say anything. If the couple becomes long-term, sexual tension evolves into chemistry, where you’re finishing each other’s sentences and even your friends sense the simmering heat between you.

Sexual tension is crucial for your story if you’re writing an erotic romance or erotica; think of it as foreplay. In these genres sexual tension will be one of if not the major source of conflict. It sounds like an obvious point, but I’ve read a few erotica novels where, although the sex scenes come fast and furious, there’s little or no sexual tension, which results in the reader not really caring about the characters or even what happens next, flicking through to the sex scenes and discarding the book.

Even if you’re writing in another genre, if you’re planning on including erotic scene, it’s still important to have some levels of sexual tension that give the reader a build-up. Otherwise the sex scenes appear to come out of nowhere and can jar the reader out of the story. Sexual tension serves to give the reader a hint at the scenes to come, so by the time they reach the first love scene they’ll be not just expecting it but looking forward to it. It can also serve your plot in other ways; a little sexual tension simmering away can work with other points of conflict in the story to up the overall rising tension and drama. Particularly in thrillers and action-adventure novels, two characters battling outside conflict while sexual tension simmers away between them really adds to the levels of excitement and urgency. Just look at some Hollywood films for examples of this. The same principle can work in horrors and Westerns too. Historical fiction can also benefit from a good dollop of sexual tension and done well it can really add to the plot; think of the restrained and corseted Victorian era with all that passion bubbling under the surface for example.

Of course sexual tension is subtle and hard to describe; like that all elusive chemistry you know when it’s there but it’s almost impossible to pin down and define. Therefore, although our stories might need this form of tension, it’s not the easiest thing to convey in words, unlike a film where you can practically see the sparks fly between characters. Here is where you really need to be able to ‘show not tell’. Telling your readers there’s sexual tension between your characters, even in the first-person, won’t let them feel it.

So how do you do it? There are a variety of ways, from body language to interior monologue, but dialogue is one of the most powerful ways to convey that simmering sexual tension….

The use of banter between two characters trying to fight or avoid their attraction to each other is a strong device in romance novels, and if this is an area you’re not familiar with I suggest you read a few and see how other writers do it. ‘Banter’ can be used to refer to flirting, teasing, even a heated debate if it’s already been made clear the characters would rather be ripping off the others’ clothes than their head.  Whatever the context, banter is witty, fast-paced dialogue with a sexual edge. You can make this sexual aspect quite clear with the use of flirting or innuendo, or subtle with the use of subtext.

How do your characters flirt? Think about their personalities and don’t make your heroine turn into a pouty-lipped giggling hair flicker if she’s usually quiet and serious, or a ballsy no-nonsense kind of gal, or your down-to-earth guy metamorphoses into Mr Charmer. Let your characters lead.

Sexual tension between characters often arises due to some interpersonal conflict between them. This may be because of the situation they’re in, one a cop, the other a fugitive, to give an obvious example much beloved of Hollywood screenwriters, but is at its most effective when there is a conflict between their personality types. As we all know, opposites attract.

Innuendo is a great way of injecting an element of simmering sexual attraction into a conversation without the characters blatantly saying ‘I really fancy you.’

The only thing to be careful of is that your dialogue doesn’t become too obvious, with your innuendoes becoming blatantly sexual in a 1970’s skin flick kind of way. No ‘gun in the pocket’ jokes, please.

Sub-text is a subtler way to show tension of any kind in dialogue – it’s the reading between the lines, what the characters don’t say – and it only works in the context of what has gone before. For example, look at this simple exchange;

John ‘I’ve always liked to dance.’

Jane ‘I remember.’

This could mean anything. John and Jane could be old friends having a casual conversation at a school reunion, with no further implications. However if we already know that John and Jane are old flames that are still attracted to each other, and that this is the first time they’ve seen each other since a brief night at a friend’s wedding where John asked Jane for dance that turned steamy and ended up with him sweeping her out of the ballroom onto a balcony for a passionate embrace, then the exchange takes on a different meaning. We know they are now both thinking of that last frenzied embrace, and that the tension is growing between them.

What isn’t said can be as powerful as what is.

About Kelly Lawrence:
Kelly LawrenceUnconditionalRei Bennett Photography - Kelly 10Kelly Lawrence is a writer, teacher and mother from the West Midlands. She is the author of the bestselling erotic memoir ‘Wicked Games’, New Adult romance ‘Unconditional’ and two writing guides, of which ‘Passionate Plots’ is the first, to be followed by ‘Building Your Story’ in August 2014. She is currently working on a book aimed at young adults called ‘The Anger Games’ exploring teen trends in digital activism, and also writes historical romance and contemporary crime for Harlequin as Michelle Kelly, with ‘Sins of the Children’ her first major crime novel being released later this year.
You can contact Kelly here:
@lotuswriter
Buy Passionate Plots Here: 

 

 

 

 

London Faerie: Playing with Consciousness Part 2

It’s my pleasure to welcome London Faerie back to A Hopeful Romantic for the second instalment of his fascinating post on playing with consciousness. If you missed Faerie’s first post, check out Part One here.

Often in BDSM we talk about ‘sub space’, and this is shorthand for an altered state of consciousness experienced by submissives when things go well. Often when a submissive is experienced, the simple act of putting a collar on them takes them straight into this altered state: London Faerie-23thoughts of anything but what’s happening right now melt away and they focus their attention on the Dominant in front of them. For those who find entering sub space harder, strong impact (spanking, caning etc) often help take the person into an altered state: when the pain gets too much to bear, it feels much better to focus on the sensation than to think yourself away from it. A skilled Dominant uses their voice, their presence, impact and fear to guide the person deeper and deeper into sub space.

Anticipation is a key here. In a recent workshop one participant talked about how not knowing what was coming next was the thing that helped them drop into sub space, and this makes a lot of sense to me. I know it doesn’t work for everyone – for some, the anxiety of not knowing makes them more thinky and less present. But for many waiting for the next touch, stroke or instruction brings them into this focused flow state and out of their everyday relationship with reality.

What is talked about less often is ‘top space’, the altered state of consciousness experienced by the Dominant. I experience this as similar and different to sub space. A sub surrenders to the situation fully, letting go of any thoughts and fully embracing their desire to serve and please the Dominant. Meanwhile the Dominant focuses all their attention on the submissive, letting go of any thoughts and fully embracing the open, vulnerable person in front of them. Feeling the submissive’s desire to please and serve, many Dominants find themselves growing into the present moment, expanding so they feel bigger (often literally) and enveloping the submissive in their expanded attention.

This sounds abstract because it’s hard to describe, but both ways of accessing altered states are reported again and again by both Dominants and submissives around the world. Kinky people instinctively find a way to the flow state described by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, irrespective of what this state means for them.

At the recent Eroticon, KD Grace and Victoria Blisse led a fantastic seminar about Sex & Spirituality, looking at how we enter this different head state through both experiencing sex and writing about it. It was amazing to discover that almost everyone in the room knew exactly what they were talking about. Writers talked about ‘the writing coming through me’, ‘the characters telling me what they do next’, ‘the book writing itself’ and ‘feeling guided’. For some this indicated the presence of an external force or power, but I don’t see that as important. For me I see it as connecting to a ‘grid’ of consciousness which contains everything and everyone. From this hyper-connected place I can feel and access much more than I do when I’m feeling separate. It’s like my mind connects with a kind of global Mind and I’m fed information beyond what I myself know or understand. It isn’t necessary for me to believe this as anything other than plugging into a collective consciousness, like a circuit board that gives me power and creative juice. And this is equally true if I’m making love, doing BDSM or writing.

London Faerie-14Sex, BDSM and creativity are particularly effective ways to shift consciousness, and this is why I lead workshops in these areas. What’s often interesting is the journey people take into deeper and deeper presence over the course of a day- or weekend-long workshop. A key element is how safe we as facilitators make it for people to go there. I see this ‘dropping in’ as a process of removing our masks and our armour so we can be more ‘naked’ (emotionally rather than physically). Along the way, we often meet the pain and difficulties that caused us to protect ourselves in the first place: fear, overwhelm, rage, frustration, feeling unseen, feeling not good enough and so on.

As people feel safer to let go of their protective layer, they drop in right before our eyes. Often we begin the workshops with simple intimacy exercises: for example, standing in front of a stranger and looking softly into their eyes, seeing them while allowing them to see you. This sounds strange because we don’t do it in everyday life, but it’s surprisingly effective and powerful for helping people to drop in to more presence. Seeing someone else as simply human, without any needs or expectations beyond this, recalls our inter-connectedness: ‘we are all in this together’.

The first few times people experience this flow state in workshops, it can really surprise and sometimes alarm them. One participant, asked how they felt on the Sunday morning of a weekend workshop, said “I’m somewhere above Heathrow Airport right now.” They had never felt so fully present and this in turn made them feel incredibly high.

Over time, people get more supple at moving in and out of altered states of consciousness. The masks and armour their wear in everyday life become less welded to them and they learn how to take them off in a few minutes when the conditions are right. I see this with experienced BDSMers who quickly create a safe space for each other to play, let go of anything they don’t need right now and move into this hyper-connected state. Then when they’re done they gently come back to a more everyday state of consciousness, taking time and care not to rush or jolt themselves.

I wrote about this ‘suppleness’ on my own blog here. http://londonfaerie.co.uk/2013/08/magical-space/

For me being able to shift between altered states of consciousness and more everyday ways of being in the world is a great gift. For many people, attending workshops like our forthcoming Through The Portals is a great way to cultivate this suppleness. It means that when we need to attend a difficult meeting and talk about financial projections or project plans, we can move easily into horizontal reality; and when we want to make love with someone and open ourselves to that connection, we can move easily into vertical reality. This suppleness is valuable for just about anything we might do in a day.

And many roads lead to Rome: whatever takes you into altered states of consciousness, whether it’s writing poetry, tending your garden or getting a jolly good whipping, the more often you make those shifts, the more supple you become and the easier they get. The first few times it can be painful to go back into thinking in time after being so lost in the moment; but after a while you recognise that it’s easy enough to shift between the two states, and this makes it safe to go deeper into altered states because you know your way back the everyday ones.

If your interest has been piqued by what I’ve written, I’m running two workshops in April where you can experience these altered states for yourself. On Sat 5th & Sun 6th April I co-lead Through The Portals, an experiential weekend introduction that includes BDSM, Tantra and breathwork. And on Sat 26th & Sun 27th April I lead The Purple Door, exploring ecstatic and altered states through BDSM. Find out more at http://sacredpleasures.co.uk

Through the Portals Workshop:

5th & 6th April

The Purple Door Workshop:

26th & 27th April

www.sacredpleasures.co.uk

About London Faerie:

London Faerie-15London Faerie is a purveyor of authentic desire. He believes that you should ‘Follow Your Bliss‘, and offers a range of workshops, talks, salons and sessions to support people in doing so.

Faerie’s practice is wide-ranging, drawing from BDSM, shamanic healing, coaching, psychodrama and Tantra. He’s been practising and learning for over 12 years, and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to his groups and sessions. Faerie is the founder of Sacred Pleasures, the place where everything meets: a sex-positive community space where you can welcome more of yourself and make friends with everything you are.

Find London Faerie Here:

www.londonfaerie.co.uk

www.sacredpleasures.co.uk

blog.londonfaerie.co.uk (personal stuff)

Twitter: @londonfaerie

 

 

Sexy Just Walked into Print!

SJWIT_1I love my Kindle and I wouldn’t be caught without it, but there’s just something about the feel of a real book. We Brit Babes all agree that sometimes you just need to feel it! With that in mind, we’ve got some great news for touchy-feely, inhale that sent and stroke those pages book lovers. The Brit Babes’ first anthology, Sexy Just Walked into Town, is now available in print!

For those of you who have been off-world for you holidays and may not yet know, here’s the skinny.

Sexy Just Walked Into Town is a collection of delicious erotic and romantic stories from the Brit Babes. These tales will tease and tantalise you, each one a sample of the individual Babes’ voices and styles. You’ll find contemporary, BDSM, same-sex loving, ménage a trois, paranormal, sporty, military, Rubenesque and more. There’s something to suit everyone here including a few Brit Babe collaborations.
Ranging from sweetly vanilla to so-hot-it-will-blow-your-mind, we  aim to please in every literary fantasy department. The heroes are strong, determined and soul-achingly divine and the heroines sassy, sexy and not afraid to grab what they want. Passion and pleasure is the name of our game, romance and raunch a top priority and it all comes with a delightful sprinkle of kink.
With a whole host of awards, best-sellers and accolades, the Babes know you’ll find something in this anthology that will keep you turning the pages and squirming on your seat. Then, if you like what you read here, check out the individual authors’ websites to investigate their collection of published works.
Buy Print Version of Sexy Just Walked into Town Here: britbabes_kink_hotnraunchy_4
Available free in eBook from:
AAAAAND! Here’s just a taste of what’s between this sizzling pages — a little excerpt from my story, Stones. 

 

Blurb from Stones:

When landscaper and gardener, Paul Danson, takes on the task of clearing the overgrown grounds of the mysterious Magda Gardener’s decaying Victorian mansion, he uncovers much more than the  disturbingly erotic sculptures hidden amid the bramble and ivy.

Excerpt from Stones:

Not wanting to risk another dream, I settled on the sofa with my laptop. I found myself looking at the works of great sculptors, Michelangelo, Bernini, Rodin, trying to think what made Magda Gardener’s sculptures different. There was sex, there was passion, there was violence, even rape. All were themes of the great sculptors. Bernini captured the very essence of Hades dragging Persephone off to hell – her terror, his lust – and no one could look at that sculpture and doubt what would happen next. Yet the horror was once removed, as though the stone itself has rendered safe and distant what was savage and terrifying, what was a breach of human decency.

Bernini's Hades and PersephoneBut Magda’s sculptures practically burst from the stone into life, into whatever mute terror secretly torments them, as though the sculptor fully understood that our most hideous nightmares are the ones born from the twisting and disfiguring of our most vulnerable passions. Could there be anything more horrendous than our deepest fear realised at the very point of ecstasy? Horror films capture it perfectly. The young couple, caught mid-fuck, always see it coming, and their last battle is the battle between ecstasy and horror.

 

 

Looking Back at The Collector with Kay Jaybee

Kay Jaybee The_Collector_2012A massive thank you to my lovely friend Kd Grace, for allowing me to gatecrash her site once again!

At the moment I am busy writing my third non-erotic book. There is nothing like not writing erotica, to make me think about writing erotica! And recently I have been thinking back to my very first solo erotic book, The Collector.

When it comes to writing, I get my ideas and inspiration from anywhere and everywhere. In the case of The Collector, the initial idea came to me while sat in Heathrow airport awaiting a flight to Aberdeen. One of my oldest friends had just phoned me to tell me about an article in The Observer newspaper all about erotic writers. He was adamant the time was right for me to branch out from short stories and to try a book all of my own.

Blurb:

The Collector sits silently alone, engrossed in her tales of lust, submission and dominance. Has she already engraved your erotic exploits on her salacious list?

She may look like she is scribbling randomly in her notebook, but she is secretly listening to, and recording, the overheard fantasies and indiscretions of others.

Forever hungry for stories, when The Collector’s sources run dry, her appetite for tales of instruction and voyeurism drives her to do some research of her own

before sharing her provocative experiments on paper.

It is time for the world’s raunchiest chronicler to come to light.

*****

I admit the idea of writing a novel- 80,000 words about only one set of characters was rather daunting in those early days of my erotica career- so I began to consider ways to get around that problem. Short stories…but linked together by a single voice…

Then, as I sat in the airport that day, watching people rush around, my mind strayed further…what stories would all the people zipping around the departures lounge have to tell if I was brave enough to ask them…Then I began to listen to what people were talking about on the chairs around me. I watched how people behaved, and then I started to write it all down… The Collector was born.

Here’s a little extract for you…

Crushed

The general din from the concert behind me had reached such a level of confusion that hand signals were now the only possible means of communication. As I slowly inched closer to the bar I began to wonder how on earth I’d get our drinks back through the heaving mass of people.

Thankful that I wasn’t claustrophobic, I slowly shuffled along with the crowd. I could still move my arms but, otherwise I was almost totally immobilised. For some unseen reason we had all come to a complete full stop. Being above average height gave me the advantage of spotting potential “sliding into gaps” opportunities, but eventually I had to accept that I was going nowhere fast, and was destined to remain thirsty for some time.

I looked around at my temporary colleagues. Apart from hair colour, and a stab at gender, I couldn’t really tell you much about the people who were standing so close to me that we knew what the sides of each other’s legs felt like.

My mind started to wander. A thirty or so deep crowd of people, all piling in one direction – what were they all thinking? How many pockets had been picked? How many people were accidentally on purpose feeling up the person in front of them?

I began to imagine how I’d react if a strange pair of hands started to stroke my arse as I stood there, unable to move, my protests going unheard.  My hands began to itch as I turned my attention to the person directly in front of me. Female, above average height, red hair in tidy bunches, short skirt; older than eighteen I guessed, perhaps younger than twenty five.

I was so close to her that as I looked down I had an excellent view of the top of her head. My crotch was already lightly rubbing against her flimsy skirted rear, and the urge to put my hands over her shoulders and slide them down onto her breasts (which my imagination had decided would be both full and firm), was overwhelming.

I still can’t believe I did it. What if she’d screamed? I’d have been arrested for sure, if anyone should have had heard her.

I would like to be able to say I’d been tentative and gentle; testing the water. But I was straight on, squeezing her tits hard (which were actually small, but beautifully tight). I felt her body stiffen as her attempts to instantly turn around were inhibited by the general crush. I tensed, expecting a slap across my kneading digits. It didn’t come. Instead her body shuffled within its confined space, her own hands slipping behind her and flipping up her short skirt to reveal a pair of neat pale buttocks encased in creamy lace knickers, which she pushed against my hard confined dick…

You can buy The Collector from:

Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Collector-Kay-Jaybee/dp/1849633517/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1352239556&sr=1-1

Amazon.com – http://www.amazon.com/Collector-Kay-Jaybee/dp/1905609191/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1352239810&sr=1-1&keywords=the+collector+kay+jaybee

About Kay Jaybee

Kay Jaybee Collecter anniKay Jaybee was nominated as the Best Erotica Writer of 2013 by the ETO.

Kay wrote the The Perfect Submissive Trilogy, (Xcite, 2011-14), Making Him Wait, (Sweetmeats Press, 2012), The Voyeur (Xcite, 2012), as well as the novellas, Not Her Type: Erotic Adventures With A Delivery Man (2nd ed. 1001 NightsPress, 2013), Digging Deep (Xcite, 2013), A Sticky Situation, (Xcite, 2012), and The Circus, (Sweetmeats Press). She has also written the anthologies The Collector (Austin & Macauley, 2012 & 2008), The Best of Kay Jaybee (Xcite, 2012), Tied to the Kitchen Sink, Equipment, (All Romance, 2012), Yes Ma’am (Xcite e-books, 2011), Quick Kink One and Quick Kink Two (Xcite e-books, 2010). Kay has had over 70 short stories published by Cleis Press, Black Lace, Mammoth, Xcite, Penguin, Seal, and Sweetmeats Press.

Details of Kay’s work, past, present and future can be found at www.kayjaybee.me.uk

You can follow Kay on Twitter- @kay_jaybee,

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/KayJaybeeAuthor

Goodreads- http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3541958-kay-jaybee

Brit Babes Site- http://thebritbabes.blogspot.co.uk/p/kay-jaybee.html

Kay also writes contemporary romance as Jenny Kane – www.jennykane.co.uk

 

 

 

Cover Reveal: Sweet Spot by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985)

Sweet SpotA Raw Talent book.

(unapproved blurb)

Virginia Miller is an up-and-coming tennis star. She’s gone from a ratty tennis court in a park in south London, England, to the world’s top training facility – Los Carlos Tennis Academy in California. In awe of the talent around her—Travis Connolly, Rufus Lampani and Nadia Gorlando, Virginia is all the more determined to make the most of the opportunity and show that she’s worthy of her place there. Her mentor, Nadia Gorlando, has every faith in her. But Virginia finds herself distracted—Nadia, as well as being a top notch tennis player, is seriously sexy, and Virginia’s mind keeps wandering where it shouldn’t. Will her crush get in the way of her career, or can she find a way to push the other woman out of her mind before it’s too late?

More info and excerpt: http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/published-works/sweet-spot/

Add to your Goodreads shelves: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21521972-sweet-spot

*****

Lucy Felthouse is a very busy woman! She writes erotica and erotic romance in a variety of subgenres and pairings, and has over 100 publications to her name, with many more in the pipeline. These include several editions of Best Bondage Erotica, Best Women’s Erotica 2013 and Best Erotic Romance 2014. Another string to her bow is editing, and she has edited and co-edited a number of anthologies, and also edits for a small publishing house. She owns Erotica For All, and is book editor for Cliterati. Find out more at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9

 
© 2018 K D Grace
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