My DH usually has a smile when I say, “Darling, check this out with me.” He knows I’ve got stuck while writing a clinch scene and I need to do a spot of research.
One of the things I try hard to do, even if the sensual scene is fantasy based, is get the positioning right. The writing of a simple exercise in passion can lead to a kind of tangle of limbs and wandering body parts on the page. Sadly, this is most likely to induce a good laugh rather than build up the intensity of the scene. Therefore, as DH smiles or even chuckles, I try to get it right. The research process is useful to me, and entertaining for him. With his assistance, I work out which arm goes where, what the placement of limbs should be, how far the reach actually is from that position, so hopefully my description reads right on the page. A wandering body part can wreck a good scene.
My NZ critique partner and I have worked hard on this aspect of writing and it has given us both some chuckles. For those who might read this post who don’t write, or may not know what a wandering body part is, it’s a body bit that seems to work independently from the characters head. Fingers are always suspect for this.
I’ll give a couple of examples from my stuff for you to have a think about.
Soft and smooth his fingers caressed the hollow of her neck, moved up to her chin and his thumb grazed her lower lip.
I just made that one up, so forgive me if it’s a bit ropey. The problem with this is the fingers seem to be working on their own, think ‘Thing’ from the Adam’s Family. What the heck is the rest of him doing? A body bit that seems to be working on its own like that is a wandering body part. The head must control what the hands and other bits do. Therefore, my example should read something like:
He caressed the hollow of her neck with smooth, manicured fingers and stroked soft up to her chin. Seductive and slow he tilted his thumb to graze her lower lip.
I hope you think that reads a bit better.
Here is another example. I’ve just found this in a piece I’m working on.
The heat of his lips sent quivers through her and as his tongue entered her mouth, a roll of sheer lust shook through her loins.
Oh dear, along with a few other concerns in the sentence the main problem is that tongue of his is coming at her like some monster from the deep. The sentence needs tightening up and developing to improve it. Something like:
He pressed his lips to hers. Heat from his lips sent quivers through her. He slid his tongue forward to enter her mouth and a roll of sheer lust shook through her loins.
I’m not entirely happy with that but I’ll mess about with it some more. I might even get DH to give me a hand if I get too muddled up.
One last thing I try to find in my WIP’s is bits that fall off, drop or do other actions not suitable to them. Here are a few I’ve found. I wonder if anyone knows of more little gems like these.
She rolled her eyes.
His face fell.
She dropped her hand.
Their eyes met.
Her head snapped around.
Thanks for reading.