Are your characters stuck at first base? Maybe you’ve been trying for months to build romantic tension in one of your short stories, but your revisions just seem to be making everything tawdrier. Love and sex scenes are challenging to execute: We’re striving to create the perfect chemistry between voice, language, pacing, plot, and setting, after all, and the measurement of each is never the same from one project to the next.
This workshop will provide participants with creative and technical tools to craft anything from a suspenseful kiss between strangers on a subway, to harrowing, mid-novel breakup sex between critical characters. We’ll look at a variety of print and digital media, and everyone will be encouraged to act as a reader as well as a writer—that is, to exchange ideas, opinions, and constructive feedback. Participants will leave the workshop with an expanded, specialized lexicon, and a keener sense of when to be nuanced and when to be explicit in their writing.
- Monday, August 19, 7-9pm
- Wednesday August 21, 7-9pm
- Monday August 26, 7-9pm
- Wednesday August 28, 7-9pm
Class One: “Love You Like a Love Song”
We’ll start by sharing a bit about ourselves with the group – why we’re here, what we hope to get out of this experience—and bring to it; why we’re interested in “writing sexy.” Then, we’ll look at examples of commercially successful writing about love and sex, and puzzle over why they’re so successful (or were so successful in their times).
Class Two: “Fifty Shades of What Did You Just Say?!”
At some point, we’ve all felt a little silly (or even laughed out loud) while watching or reading a love scene—especially a poorly crafted love scene. In this class, we’ll look at examples of sexy writing gone bad, and allow ourselves to write some cringe-worthy passages of our own.
Class Three: “The Language of Love”
Now that we’ve explored the more commercial, general-appeal side of sexy writing, it’s time to explore what works for us—as individuals and as writers trying to set a specific tone. We’ll look at passages from some of the literary bosses to help us see what a scene needs to be not only “sexy” but also intimate.
Class Four: “Your Voice”
You’ve seen what works, you’ve written every last cliché out of your system, and now it’s time to write seriously sexy. Whether you’re working from a blank page, picking up where you left off months ago, or embarking on a total rewrite, this class will be all about moving forward.
April Ford recently moved back home to Montreal after a decade of living in the Catskills, where she taught creative writing at State University of New York at Oneonta. As a fiction writer, she’s interested in revealing the most intimate, daunting details about characters. Her work has been published in Grain, Montreal Writes, QWF Writes, The Lascaux Review, and elsewhere. In 2015, her story “Project Fumarase” won a Pushcart Prize.