What’s My Manuscript Missing? (Hint: Sex)

I survived my book group meeting a few weeks ago and received some helpful feedback on my book.  The biggest takeaway is that the second half of my book is missing SIZZLE.

OHMYGOD, just writing that makes me blush.  I was hoping that leaving *almost* everything (of a sexual nature) up to my readers’ imaginations was going to suffice, but you, you greedy readers, you want your sex.

Now, I gotta deliver.

Frankly that’s hard to believe it’s missing from a book I penned because I am staggeringly sexed up.   (See how awkward that was? Now you know why my book is light on the sizzle.)

It was helpful to hear my readers say that what I have written is a love story.  That phrase makes me throw up a little (and then swallow it quickly), but it’s true.  The books that made their initial imprint on my psyche were all love stories so it’s a fitting place to start my book-writing here.

But we’re not in Victorian England anymore nor are we Puritans so it’s time to combine those two perennial favorites– peanut butter and chocolate sex and love– and ejaculate inject them into my book.

I mentioned to my therapist that I felt blocked around writing the physical part of the relationship that is the heart of the book.  Naturally, he offered me a helpful suggestion: Write a sex scene and pull out all the stops; have your characters go at it and let your imagination run wild.

Dear readers, I did that. I “pulled out all the stops” (not a euphemism) and wrote the sex scene of my life.  It was 100 words long. That’s practically a tweet.  Apparently, my imagination is a little flimsy in this area.  (Have I mentioned that I was raised Catholic? I blame the nuns for this hole in my manuscript.)

I tried again and I got it up (ha, ha) to 1,300 words.  At this rate, the book will be done in 2044.  (Preorder now from Amazon!)

However, in my effort to embrace more sexuality (so I can write the book as a sexually literate person (is that a thing?)), I am taking some pro-sex action steps.  Here’s what I’ve done so far:

  • Downloaded extended remix of George Michael’s I Want Your Sex
  • Read the portions of Fifty Shades that I highlighted last summer
  • Read my Twitter feed (you wouldn’t believe the filth over there)
  • Eavesdropped on conversations between young horny people at Starbucks (again, filth)
  • Shaved my legs (you know, to get in the mood)
  • Moved the copy of the Joy of Sex from the bottom of the pile to the middle (but closer to the top) of the pile of books on my nightstand

I’ve been busy so that’s as far as I’ve gotten.  Future steps may include actually having sex, taking whatever drug that enhances amorous feelings (cocaine? rogaine? ibuprofen?), watching MTV music videos, eating oysters, and re-reading the investigation file from the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal.

What can I say, I am willing to suffer for art.

What would you do if you needed to spice up your book?


57 thoughts on “What’s My Manuscript Missing? (Hint: Sex)

  1. I can’t offer you anything constructive because even doing that would likely embarrass me. Right now I’m very thankful my book is about my mother.
    Good luck! (Seriously though, maybe check out some romance novels or erotica so you know what could be too much for something not in that genre?)

  2. You know what’s missing from my manuscript? My manuscript. You are awesome for working on this — writing intimate scenes would also be a huge obstacle for me. I suspect all you need is one good scene full of passion — because your style is so not a Fabio covered romance novel. Sizzle.

  3. Watch a little HBO…they pull out all the stops (and that might actually be a euphemism for something). Good luck. That would be way too uncomfortable for me, but I’m happy to read steamy sexy books anytime. Except 50 shades. Didn’t get on that bandwagon. yet.

  4. Ha!!!!! I had to throw in a sex scene in my book. Its horrible, really. I can’t bring myself to type sex, so I just wrote “and I made love to him.” That’s it. No ripping of vests or licking of man nipples. She just made love and that’s it. Dont get too hung up on it. This whole world is sex anyway. I can barely read a sex scene in any book without blushing or puking l. And don’t let that 50 shades of poorly written smut influence your book! Youre too good for that!! Good luck!

  5. OK — sounds like you need some help brainstorming. And, since I aim to please, here are a few words you may find useful:


    I could think of a few more for you, if you’d like, but romance isn’t my genre (obviously!). *mwah*

  6. You can do it, you salacious Outlaw Mama, you! First crank up “I’m Sexy and I Know It” as loud as it’ll go on the stereo, then slap a Johnny Depp poster up on the wall in front of your desk. You’ll have the Sizzle with da Shizzle in no time.

  7. I’m out of the loop… is your book fiction or nonfiction? And good luck with all the sex talk! My relatives read everything I post online, so I avoid it like the plague!

  8. So. really the line is you fall in love with your therapist, you seduce her, she’s sued by her husband for divorce and for a male patient for malpractice. As you build the defense with her, the sex heats up because you’re both so full of shame you have nowhere to go but each other, but it’s realy like one of those tv shows with a male and female lead where season after season nothing happens, though it should have and the show should have been cancelled long ago.

    Then the perfect climax—murder/suicide. Or even more co-dependent, double suicide. It may be a shit book, but it’ll be a Hollywood blockbuster.

  9. omigod please let me help you. I have read enough romance novels to fill a library and am now starting to write one of my own. They’re my faves. I can’t wait to read your love story, especially the sexy parts.

  10. So, if I had to write one, I’d listen to some Ke$ha, do a google search for photos of Laura Linney, and put some cheese sticks in the oven.

    Of course, when the cheese sticks are done, I might forget about the scene.

  11. Seriously, I love you. (Just not in THAT way.) My sisters and I once came to possess a fair number of “historical” romances, and our favourite game was to each open one to a sex scene, and read them out loud, alternating sentences between the different books. It’s amazing how it still makes sense – because they’re virtually interchangeable.

  12. Oh no, the sex problem. I’m in that boat with you. I dread sending sexed up material to my writing buddy (and I have two highly sexed characters). I have found author Steve Almond writes good advice about writing sex. Good luck!

  13. My most recent fiction project is about adultery and I have not written one sex scene yet – not one! So when you figure out how to do this, can you let me know?

  14. Oh no… writing sex. So hard. Not that I’ve tried writing. I just seem to always be disappointed in the sex scenes I read. So here’s my unsolicited advice. Don’t write the woman’s experience from a male perspective. You know how the female characters in books written by men are usually WAY too horny? You should do well with this since you’re a woman. But don’t make it too sweet either. Nothing’s more annoying than reading about two people “making love.” Easy enough? Yeah…

  15. I go away for a month or so and return to a sexed up post. I’ve been missing out, clearly. One week for Trifecta I wrote a scene about a guy talking to his distracted therapist. The reveal is that the guy may or may not have had sex with his mother. The story won that week. You do what you gotta’ do. It was the suggestion, however, no details. Write a group sex scene from her past. You’ll have people lining up in droves to buy the book.

  16. If I needed to spice up my book, I’d find some examples of my favorite spicy books, study them, and then use the same techniques with my own material.

  17. Here is my writing problem. My parents read what I write, so I can’t even curse. My initial thought was that I would write something after they pass. In my mind that is at least another 20 years, which would put them both in their late 90’s. Then my second problem is that my 13 year old son reads everything I write, so it will never happen. I would scar him for life since he can’t even fold the laundry without cringing when he comes across one of my bras. Could you imagine what would happen if he ever found out that I am an adult, and yes, his father and I occasionally engage in sex? his head would explode off his shoulders. In short, I can be of no help, except to offer you some encouragement, best wishes and sympathy blushing.

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