Thursday, July 14, 2011

See my post at Inside Top Suspense

Today's Sizzling Summer Read is my novel Voluntary Madness. Luckily my subconscious came up with a dream to help me write my post.
See it at Inside Top Suspense
Blogs by all Top Suspense writers will appear throughout the next two weeks.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Inside Top Suspense

Today Lee Goldberg and I have tips for you on writing about sex. Discussions by more Top Suspense writers will follow over the next few days.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Craft from Inside Top Suspense -- Topic Schedule

Here are the crime fiction craft discussions I will be taking part in over the next several weeks:

July 5th and 6th: Sex and Suspense

July 18-19: Writing the Bad Guys

August 1-2: Great First Lines

August 15-16: The Best Character in Suspense awards

Monday, June 20, 2011

New Writing Tips Blog

I haven't gotten back to my own blog yet, but I am pleased to announce that I'll be submitting tips on suspense writing to Inside Top Suspense, along with other members of the group. Starting today, every week or two, several members of the group of well-known crime writers will provide information on craft for beginning writers.

Come join us at

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Top Suspense: 13 Classic Stories by 12 Masters of the Genre

Starting today, to celebrate publication of the new anthology, you can read Part One of the new 12-part story by six of the authors. New parts will appear weekly. Go to:

Funny sex scenes

This is another of my favorite sex scenes. You might not have heard of this author, but you should. She's Southern, gay, and a riot. I heard her read years ago and became a fan instantly. By showing you a variety of excerpts, I hope to make it clear that a sex scene is like any other. There are many purposes, styles, and possible outcomes.

Excerpt : The Revolution of Little Girls by Blanche McCrary Boyd, 1991

Narrator and Don: Narrator’s POV, internal and physical conflict

Language: formal, clinical

Setting: Southern atmosphere, humorous, looking back to youthful innocence

Character: shows sexual maturation/gay awareness, alcohol dependency throughout scene. Main character comes a step towards understanding herself, shows her detachment from male/female sex. Reliance on others’ experience creates humor.

Don put down his chicken leg. “I don’t know what Darlene said to you, but we don’t have to do anything. We really don’t.”

“Could we drink some beer?” I said.

So, while the chicken and fried potatoes congealed in their grease and the salad wilted in its pool of dressing, Don and I drank a pitcher of beer, and I began to relax . . . .

“I have to go to the bathroom,” I said.

In the bathroom I confronted the most serious obstacle to the loss of my virginity: Under my skirt I was wearing a panty girdle. I hadn’t really meant to wear the girdle, but when I was dressing I kept hearing my mother’s voice saying, any woman looks better in a girdle, so I’d put it on experimentally, and it felt so secure, so bracing, that I’d left it on. Now I didn’t know what to do about it. I considered taking it off, but it was too bulky for the pocket of my trenchcoat.

What I did have was a Norform vaginal suppository that Darlene had given me to insert, “just before intercourse.”

(In the parking lot after her double shot of bourbon) His fingers moved tentatively up my legs. “My god, what’s this?” he said, encountering the girdle.

I wanted to explain but I was too dizzy.

His hand wandered around the flesh of my thigh, then moved inward and upward. The dissolved Norform was all over the crotch of the girdle. “My god, you’re wet,” he said.

I tried to hold still.

“Okay,” he mumbled, sliding two fingers awkwardly up the leg of the panty girdle. When he touched me something flashed in my head, and my hips pushed hard against his hand.

“Oh, my god, oh my god,” he said, pulling his hand free.

“I’ll take it off,” I said. “No problem. Here, I can take it off.”

Don was still crouched over his hand. His fingers glistened in the darkness. A lump appeared behind his knuckle and swelled while I watched.

“It’s . . . it’s growing,” I said.

“It’s sprained,” he said . . . . failure at sex, no pleasure

Don’s hand was not sprained. He had broken a blood vessel behind his knuckle. Overnight the blood spread under his skin, turning it puffy and greenish. By the end of the week his hand had turned black, with a dark red palm . . . .

Don followed me to several classes. “We’ll try it again. We’ve got to try it again.” He looked vulnerable, stunned by love, extending his black hand.

I never wanted to see Don again in my whole life, so I felt relieved when my mother telephoned and said, “Why don’t you fly home this weekend . . . .

Thursday, March 24, 2011

More on Sex Scenes

I have several sex scenes that I've collected and analyzed, so I'm going to share another. It seems that my favorite kind of sex is funny sex. Adding humor and a light moment can be another good reason to create a sex scene! (I forgot to mention on the last excerpt that the italics are mine, used to point out particular word choice.)

Excerpt from Twisted City by Jason Starr, 2004

David: main character, middle class businessman - alone in his bed, humorous, his POV, conflict within self

Angie : character he describes as perfect wife material, just met her

Rebecca: his girlfriend whom he wants to dump

Charlotte: a whore whom he just met

No need for atmospheric detail.

Language: words are surprisingly clinical, but the scene comes across as casual and graphic.

Character development and plot movement: shows lack of control and decision, his being drawn to the worst partner for him, ability to let it all go, a step toward seeing him as twisted, a major characteristic moving the plot

(After he has been imagining having sex with Angie)

Unconsciously, I had started to masturbate. I continued, pulling down my underwear for easier access, imagining that I was lying on my back and Angie was next to me, taking off her panties. Then she climbed on top of me and I slid into her. She started bouncing up and down as my hands squeezed her heavy breasts. My hand action quickened as I saw Angie’s face, and then Angie turned into Rebecca. I was getting closer and I wanted to get rid of Rebecca and see Angie again, but then Rebecca became Charlotte. I tried to think about Angie again, but Charlotte was sticking. I could see Charlotte clearly, her tiny breasts in my face. It was too late to stop, and I concentrated on Angie, seeing her again for an instant, and then there was a rapid flux. I was thinking about Angie, Charlotte, Angie, Charlotte, Rebecca, Charlotte—shit—Angie, Charlotte, Angie, Angie, Angie, Angie, then—right as I started to ejaculate—Charlotte.

Miserably, I rubbed the semen onto my leg until it had mostly absorbed. A few minutes later, I was asleep.