Fifty Shades of Writing Good Clean Steam

Miss Crankypants has to write the scene where the hero and heroine finally stop staring at each other and get frisky. But this is inspirational, aka clean fiction. So Miss CP and the rest of the inspy authors must get creative. She’s been warned not to write anything about pearly nodes. But what can she write that helps the reader out without too many details?
In a perfect world she’d do market research. Sadly, Fabio had a denture appointment at this writing, and hubby’s out fishing for steelhead. Again. Miss CP will have to resort to (horrors!) reading other inspirational novels to see what’s OK and what’s XXX rated. She’s thinking of stealing some choice bits for her own novel-in-progress.
OK, people. Miss CP is well aware that she’s competing against 50 shades of whatever. But she’s got to keep readers turning pages. So she’s snooping into other novels to see what is allowed.
So far, she’s sure of one thing: Miss Crankypants will NEVER write any sentence containing the phrase, “shivers of delight!”
As Miss CP skims novels for the juicy bits, she remembers the advice  she once gave in a writing class: Think of TV from the 50s and 60s. Sexual tension was the key.

How they got frisky when Hollywood made married couples sleep in twin beds is beyond
comprehension, but somehow the human race survived. The tension from these shows has a few violent moments (Maureen O’Hara slapping John Wayne), several goodbyes (Here’s looking at you, kid) and of course a whole lot of crying, kissing and swelling violin music.
When she writes that steamy scene, Miss Cranky will no doubt create the corniest, over-the-top stuff imaginable. That’s what a lot of other inspy novelists are doing, and let’s face it, a well-placed moan or caress can do wonders for a writer who writes in her pajamas and hasn’t been outside her office in years. OK: she’s not really going to steal scenes. But maybe she’ll hire a bunch of violinists and invite Fabio over for prune danish. That should give anybody shivers.

About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

3 comments on “Fifty Shades of Writing Good Clean Steam

  1. You might check out a movie. In the Silver Streak, Gene Wilder romances Jill Clayburgh while discussing the garden books he edits, describing what plants like as a parallel to what people like. In Four Weddings and a Funeral, Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell discuss when a kiss is OK and when it goes too far, while practicing both. The point is, they are talking about something else during the frisky. Which might bring the level of friskiness to acceptance.

  2. Thanks John. Miss CP constantly fights the urge to make all this stuff hilarious–it’s not supposed to be a funny book. As I recall, the Silver Streak was pretty funny–Gene Wilder/Richard Pryor one of her fave comedy duos. I get the giggles just thinking about writing this stuff. Good suggestion, though. ~Miss CP aka Linda

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