Thursday, June 21, 2012

Writing Sex as a Beginner by Lynn Cahoon

I wander up to the front of the room, step in front of the podium, adjust the microphone, and after the static that just blew out everyone’s ear drums, announce, “Hi, I’m Lynn, I’m a romance author.”
Sometimes it feels like you’re part of a secret society.  Writing novels that people categorize before they even open the book. 

At a recent family event, I ran into a cousin who lived with us for a short time when I was a kid.  I adored this girl. As I bubbled about my just inked contract to sell THE BULL RIDER’S BROTHER, she seemed happy for me. 

Then she asked if I was planning on writing a real book.  Like Sarah’s Keys.  Something that mattered.
Since I was in public and expected to not scream at my aging cousin, I hemmed and hawed.  But what I should have said (do you ever do this-know exactly what you want to say, too late?) – was THE BULL RIDER’S BROTHER is a real book.  About real people and real problems.
Not just sex.  Especially since the book is behind closed doors sex.

My release in November for Lyrical Press – A MEMBER OF THE COUNCIL is a hotter, paranormal romance.  Sex actually on the page. 

The first scene, in my mind, went farther than my characters wanted to go.  I wanted Ty to throw Parris on the bar and well, perform *cough* oral sex. The bar was closed for the evening, it was just the two of them.  But after the kiss he stole, he backed off.  He didn’t have the motivation for quick, cheap sex in that scene.  Don’t get me wrong, the characters wanted to go farther.  The situation just didn’t let them.

And then I realized my characters were running the show.  Telling me when my ‘plotting ideas’ were out of their comfort zone.  Which sometimes means I’m on the right track.  But sometimes, I need to slow the pace and find out where they want to go.

I’m still going to use that scene in one of their books.  Maybe Ty and Parris will let me get away with it in their second book I’m writing now.

So Wendy’s faithful readers?  Do you write sex scenes that put your characters out of their comfort zone?  And if you don’t write, tell me about your feelings as a reader when a character goes too far for their own comfort.  Does it work for you?

Growing up in the middle of cowboy country, Lynn Cahoon was destined to fall in love with a tall, cool glass of water.  Now, she enjoys writing about small town America, the cowboys who ride the range, and the women who love them. Contact her at her website –

Blurb for The Bull Rider’s Brother
Rodeo weekend is the start of the summer for the entire town of Shawnee, Idaho. On a girl's night out, Lizzie Hudson finds herself comparing her life as a single mom with her best friend's successful career when James Sullivan, the cowboy who got away, walks his Justin Ropers back into her life.  Seeing him shakes Lizzie's world but James is in for an even more eventful weekend, learning he has a son.  James has enough on his plate trying to manage his brother's bull riding career.  Can he learn to redefine family and become part of Lizzie's life before she gives up on him and marries another?
Buy link:  (also available at Barnes and Noble and i-tunes.)


  1. Wendy - Thanks for having me over at your blog!


  2. Yes and yes. My characters take all over the place. To places I'd never go. In the WIP I'm working on now, I know exactly how Austin and Jamie have sex for the first time...but will it work out that way? Hmmmm....we'll see.

    1. D'Ann - I love this. Sometimes when I start writing, I know what's happening, then - bam - they go left instead of right, and we're gone.

  3. I love it when my characters take control. I think you were right to listen to their voices. No doubt the situation will ring true to the moment.

    We do need to change the perception that a romantic novel is fluff. Do people really feel romance in their real lives is frivolous, not novel worthy? I doubt it.

  4. Amen Sister Sharon! LOl Seriously, I was surprised at my cousin's reaction. But I think we're moving in the right direction.

  5. When the characters take control...I love that ride! Great post!

  6. Kristi - mine have me all figured out. They know I'm a pushover.