Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Looking for advice and help

I am working on a short story titled, "Sweet Surrender", and there is a sexual encounter between the two characters. I want it to be tasteful, somewhat romantic and not just a couple who are hot for each other.
In a word, I want it to be unforgettable.

I am appealing to anyone who has written any type of sexual encounters into their books, how you may have made it seem less "dirty", as it were, and more memorable.


  1. Word choice and the setting are a big part of what separates an erotic scene from a romantic scene. You have to find the balance that will focus your readers on the emotions involved, not the sexual act itself.

  2. I am writing a novel in which the husband wants to make love to his wife before he goes to work. They are a young couple. He calls it a "morning quickie". His wife teases him before giving in. Needless to say he ends up being late to work.

    Because I created the characters in my pending novel, i let them use me as a tool to tell about their emotions, their likes and dislikes. Before writing the love scene I remembered being in love, how I felt when he touched me.I let my imagination take me where I needed to be to write the love scene. I was pretty impressed with the finished page.

    My best advice is to go with the flow, and let your imagination write the love scene.

  3. re: book review request by award-winning author

    Dear Terry,

    I'm an award-winning author with a new book of fiction out this fall. Ugly To Start With is a series of thirteen interrelated stories about childhood published by West Virginia University Press.

    Can I interest you in reviewing it?

    If you write me back at johnmcummings@aol.com, I can email you a PDF of my book. If you require a bound copy, please ask, and I will forward your reply to my publisher. Or you can write directly to Abby Freeland at:


    My publisher, I should add, can also offer your readers a free excerpt of my book through a link from your blog to my publisher's website:

    Here’s what Jacob Appel, celebrated author of
    Dyads and The Vermin Episode, says about my new collection: "In Ugly to Start With, set in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, Cummings tackles the challenges of boyhood adventure and family conflict in a taut, crystalline style that captures the triumphs and tribulations of small-town life. He has a gift for transcending the particular experiences to his characters to capture the universal truths of human affection and suffering--emotional truths that the members of his audience will recognize from their own experiences of childhood and adolescence.”

    My short stories have appeared in more than seventy-five literary journals, including North American Review, The Kenyon Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and The Chattahoochee Review. Twice I have been nominated for The Pushcart Prize. My short story "The Scratchboard Project" received an honorable mention in The Best American Short Stories 2007.

    I am also the author of the nationally acclaimed coming-of-age novel The Night I Freed John Brown (Philomel Books, Penguin Group, 2009), winner of The Paterson Prize for Books for Young Readers (Grades 7-12) and one of ten books recommended by USA TODAY.

    For more information about me, please visit:

    Thank you very much, and I look forward to hearing back from you.


    John Michael Cummings

  4. Make sure you include the word 'cornhole' if you want the sentence to pop.