Tuesday, July 1, 2014


One of the things my best writing teacher taught us is that fiction isn't a movie. We get to use all our senses, not just what an audience can see and hear.

As an erotica writer, I use touch a lot. The feeling of a fingertip moving lightly on a leg or arm is completely different depending on whether it goes with the direction of hair growth or against it, for instance. A slap or swat can sting, then a different sort of hot pain bloom an instant later from the blow.

Smell and taste are tougher sells. There are only so many ways to describe the natural smells and tastes of humans when they're not dirty or unwell, all of them now trite. Readers don't want me describing the taste of their coffee or the PB&J eaten on the fly.

But in real life, there are smells and tastes which trigger such a richness of memories that I'm determined to find ways to have my characters experience something similar.

I've just made Hot German Potato Salad, and the whole downstairs smells of bacon (a rare treat) and white vinegar, which I often use for cleaning. In combination it's so much more, fully evocative of my mother's love.

Other smells which knock me out are clean babies, the first whiff of ocean, freshly turned garden dirt, and the classic new-mown hay, which is so much better than mowed grass I'd like to have a back yard of the stuff.

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