SIWC 2010 Round-Up, Part 2

November 3, 2010

Sizzling Sex Scenes, Elizabeth Engstrom

Yeah, yeah, no comments from the peanut gallery ;-)

The takeaway from this one is that practice is what makes for a good sex scenes. If you don't practice, you will wind up with something icky. So make sure you practice, even if you wind up deleting everything later. It's important to know your own boundaries, and you WILL know when you've crossed your personal line.

Apparently the sex scene itself is entirely optional. It's all choreography, and is not actually needed. What makes them work is the anticipation of what happens before, and the revelation of character in what happens afterward. So:

Before = foreplay, setup, anticipation, proximity, obstacles, barriers

During (optional) = choreography

Afterglow = proximity with satisfaction

After the hunt is over, people act differently, and as a writer, it's these "after" moments that are crucial opportunities for revealing character.

What's So Funny? Deconstructing Comedy, Luke Ryan

What's funny?

  • Pain
  • Awkwardness
  • Discomfort

Laughter is a defence mechanism. Types of diminishment include physical and emotional. Emotional can be broken down into overreactive (the character's response seems out of proportion, eg, Jim Carey) or underreactive (the character's response is almost lacking, eg. Bill Murray).

Most comedy has a beat structure. A beat is a single unit of narrative measurement that expresses a specific idea or action, AKA something happens. Jokes can have one beat - something happens and you laugh. Two beat jokes have a setup and payoff (ie, chicken crossed the road jokes). Multi-beat jokes have a setup, anticipation and payoff (eg, knock-knock jokes).

A set piece is a scene where a number of setups and anticipatory beats pay off. A runner is a setup, with anticipatory beats, that pay off over the course of the whole story (eg, one-armed bellboy in Hot Tub Time Machine).

2 comments on “SIWC 2010 Round-Up, Part 2”

  1. Ha! Great notes about sizzling sex scenes. I was just choreographing an encounter -- just kissing and hands, no sex. And yeah. Tough work. But now that it's written, I can do with it as I please.

    Also, interesting comedy lingo... never knew what a set piece or a runner was.

  2. Yeah, she also said that the vocabulary you use for body parts should match the character's vernacular. And that some of the sexiest scenes didn't name a body part at all.

Latest Books

Little Blue Marble 2020
1 5

Join My Newsletter


  • Latest Books



    [line] [line]

  • Newsletter Sign-up

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Recent Comments

  • Topics

  • Archives

    Copyright Katrina Archer
    linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram