As well as being President of the New York City chapter of RWA, I also am in charge of booking the programs for the chapter. We meet on the first Saturday of the month, barring a holiday for a general meeting followed by a speaker. We've had everyone from best selling author Meg Cabot to a local police detective from the Nutley, NJ (Martha Stewart's hometown) police department.
We were supposed to have a program by one of our members, Kathleen O'Reilly (see above link)speak to us on creating loveable characters. Unfortunately, Kathleen was sick and unable to come but we had Dr. Charley Ferrer, a sex therapist and Dr. of human sexuality come and talk to us, on short notice.
Dr. Charley is the only Latina who has a doctorate in human sexuality. She is so fabulous that I have to write a book about her. It's the only story that I can ever see myself writing for Blaze.
We learned about tantric sex, the g-spot, what really goes on in the S&M world, and how to write an effective sex scene. Her talk made us all rethink the love scenes in our book after that.
She even brought toys for us to play with including chocolate. Nothing like having an interactive workshop! We even joked around about having our group outing at Paddles, which is a local S&M club. (I'm not sure if we were really serious about this, however I will admit that I'm beyond curious to see what goes on. I wonder if Harlequin would actually let me include a scene like that in a book?)
I was stimulated, which is pretty amazing considering how sick I've been for the past few days. I immediately came up with new and more creative ideas of writing love scenes. Charley reminded us that if the scene doesn't arouse us, it's not going to arouse the reader. Also, don't worry about the editor or the audience, write the scene the way that you think it should go, it can be edited later.
The biggest piece of advice was don't censor yourself when you're writing, don't worry what your parents might think, or the people you went to high school with. If they can't separate you from the characters, they shouldn't be reading.
Also, know your characters sexual history before you write. Just like you know what their favorite foods are, and how they got the scar on their chin, you should know who they lost their virginity too, and what the sexual relationships they've had since been like. Good, bad, indifferent?
This was something that I hadn't really thought about until lately but it will be in the forefront of my mind when I do the rewrite of the current book I'm working on now.