Today, I’m breaking one of my own rules and I’m posting my two-part series on Sex in Screenwriting, as a shameless plug for my beloved Script Magazine. This kind of no-holds-barred-blazing-new-ground analysis is what you’re missing by not having a subscription! And I will not post my magazine articles on my blog... except this once.
This is not about who showed what when. And this is not about writing a sex scene for the sake of prurient interests. This is about rising above those oh-so-clichéd scenes of two characters meeting and having mind-blowing sex. This is about how a sex scene can have so much more depth than that, a crucial dramatic element to your story.
I wrote this nearly a year ago, my first article for the magazine, which appeared in the November/December 2008 issue. I walked away from that whole experience with one key writing principle:
A sex scene is only as good as its characters.
So let’s get it on! Hehehe…
Sex, Part 1
“It’s like what bad boy writer, George Bernard Shaw, once wrote, ‘A pornographic novelist is one who exploits the sexual instinct as a prostitute does. A legitimate sex novel elucidates it or brings out its poetry, tragedy, or comedy.’”
Sex, Part 2
“Horizontal vs. Vertical... Sex is also an opportunity for vertical writing in your screenplay. Maya Deren once made a distinction between drama that’s ‘horizontal’ and ‘vertical,’ and by that she means that the narrative is ‘horizontal’ and the lyric is ‘vertical.’”