How do you write good smut?
I can’t tell if this is a compliment or just a general question… haha
I only really jumped on the smut train a year or so ago (thanks Straggle & Lost, you are such bad influences), so I can’t claim to be an expert by any means…
Personally, I think good smut is realistic smut. It doesn’t have to be a thousand crazy positions with twenty orgasms a piece. It just has to be something you’re comfortable writing and something believable for the characters you’re writing for. For example, I don’t shy away from putting dialogue into my smut because I really believe that good sex is about communication. It might be sexy to make it all moans and groans, but I think partners talking to each other - telling each other what feels good where and how fast - is just as sexy. Plus, dirty talk is kind of one of my kinks haha.
Logistically, make sure you know what body parts are where, what clothes are coming off, and what the layout of the scene is before you start in on the dirty stuff. You don’t want your reader to be mid-sex and confused about whether they’re in the bed or still against that wall in the hallway.
Otherwise, just write and write again! That’s the best advice I can give you :)
Fun fact: I love dialogue in sex scenes. Love it to pieces. I don’t know if it’s just me but… yeah.
And yeah, keeping track of what is where is kinda important.
Also, I’m not sorry, Raven.
I just read something last night where one moment Rum was clothed and then he was naked and I went back thinking ‘did I miss a sentence saying he undressed?’, but nope. It didn’t need a detailed description of item-by-item removal, but that sort of thing takes you out of the moment completely, as does trying to figure out if they’re still standing or in bed, or who’s on top, etc. And the ‘he gives her several orgasms first’ has actually become an overused trope in this fandom, in my opinion. So yes, stay realistic. Unless, y’know, there’s a spilled lust potion involved. Then go crazy. :D
My number one problem when writing smut is remembering to take the time to let the readers know when clothes are coming off. Suddenly I’m in the middle of writing and then I remember technically Gold still has his pants on so I have to go back and take them off… Such a hassle, but it’s a labour of love.
I do agree with the “several orgasms first” being a bit much (unless there’s some sort of specific reason involved, a special occasion, Gold wanting to prove something, first time doing something so he really gets into it, some sort of beast-mode, love-potion or viagra cocktail…).
The logistics of writing a sex scene are hard and I admire those who can write a good sex scene without so much description. I don’t know how to explain it but some people can do it, and make it really hot, and I’m really jealous.
The thing I like to keep in mind is while descriptions can be very sexy, you really shouldn’t describe everything. For starters, a story that has its roots in the characters/plot really didn’t need to devolve into multi sentence musing on the texture of pre-come. I don’t want to know how many veins trace a cock nor read a profound piece on the heft of a tit. Everyone has bits, and going into it too deeply kills the mood, slows the story, and makes passion read like stereo instructions. Be strategic in the descriptions you DO select and give those particular details careful attention, while not losing the emotional connection (or lack thereof, depending on characters and purpose).
That said, I throw out every word if you want to write parody. That’s an art form unto itself, and highly underrated.
I hate writing physical description myself, and too much of it can slow the action down. And unlike a book, if you’re writing fic for a TV show or movie, your readers know what the characters look like, you don’t have to keep mentioning Belle’s brunette curls, for instance. Be strategic in what you describe, as you said, as far as the physical goes, I don’t need a big info dump on every detail of someone’s wardrobe, or a whole paragraph on the pinkness and wetness of Belle’s labial folds, for instance. One well-crafted sentence can give the reader more of a mental image than a lengthy but boring narration. Yeah, writing smut is hard.
How to Write a Sex Scene by Resonant, one of the best writers I’ve encountered in any fandom.