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Wild Raspberries

Wild Raspberries - Jane Davitt The Problem with Rushing the SexThere is a growing tendency amongst ebook erotica publishers to want, if not demand, that there be a sex scene within the first three chapters. Apparently sex sells and (some?) readers are impatient if they have to wait too long for it.Re-reading one of my favourite m/m romances, Jane Davitt’s “Wild Raspberries” proves how wrong that concept can be.While the couple have a few brief sexual encounters about halfway through the book, these and the rest of the plot only heighten the tension so when the full-on main event finally does occur, it becomes so much stronger for the reader and the participants themelves.To quote Tyler: “He loved doing this. Loved feeling the self-imposed frustration build, deepening the intensity of his arousal...”Similarly, Jane’s lead up to this act, deepens the intensity of the encounter. I’ve read a lot of m/m books in my time, but the next ten or so pages have to be the best written sex scene I’ve found so far. There is just the right amount of physical description to allow you to picture the moment, but also you’re right there in Tyler’s head, feeling everything he feels. Every reaction he has to Dan leads on logically from what has come before.Recently, I participated in one of Linnea Sinclair’s online classes on how to write kick-butt action. Amongst the many helpful hints she gave was to use prequels and sequels (scenes not stories) to provide the reader with all the facts they need to prevent these details slowing the pacing down when the shit starts hitting the fan.In many ways, this is what also has to happen to really make a sex scene mean more than slot A into slot B in a step-by-step description.If we know why Tyler is holding back, if we can picture Dan’s eagerness, if we are familiar with the house and the setting, we only need to glimpse these briefly in the sex scene to pad it out mentally.Similarly, we don’t need the full on emotional reaction within the scene, these can come afterwards in the “sequential” scene.Finally, within the scene, there has to be good balance between the reactions to what is happening and the actions themselves. To sum up, the actual sex scene needs to follow the rules of writing action, full speed ahead, then a pause for a second before continuing. In Jane’s case, before resuming the action, she inserts some more description of the setting, then ratchets the action up a notch to an even more scorching level.It’s not just mundane description either but more the way the character reacts to the setting rather than just describing the scene: “The room was lit only by moonlight and the glow of the forgotten lamp still burning in the main room, and Tyler decided to keep it that way. There was enough light for him to see what he was doing and enough darkness for Dan to feel less on display.”Hardly prize winning writing, but just the correct weight of words and context to suit the purpose. Breaking the action with description, mirrors the momentary downturn in intensity as they relocate to the bedroom.Writing good sex scenes is akin to writing good action scenes. The same rules apply.Recently, I’ve been reviewing my m/m collection, sorting out which ones have stood the test of time and a re-read. “Wild Raspberries and its must-read-as-well sequel “Wintergreen” together make a great story. But they will always stay near the top of my re-read pile purely because of the way Jane has written this great sex scene.Perfect.I'd blogged an interview with Jane a while back. This can be read here: http://www.abgayle.com/1/post/2011/09/delving-into-the-mind-of-jane-davitt.htmlOkay. I admit to being a fan. But with good reason. As an author, I've learnt a lot from her writing. As a reader, I'm always interested in what she's going to come up with next. Her books are definitely not just variations of the same premise or writing style. Compare these ones with "Hourglass" and "Spoken from the Heart". Each has that little touch of difference that will make her writing last when many other, more popular writers fade from memory.