Here’s another editing story from a friend of the site, Monique Martin.
Note that this story originally appeared at Ex Libris in 2011, and is being reposted here with Monique’s permission.
My Most Embarrassing Moment as an Author: Sex Scene Editing (with my dad)
by Monique Martin
We’ve all read passages from romance novels that left us blushing. Imagine writing one, having it critiqued in a group and then edited by your…gulp…dad. Welcome to my nightmare.
When I wrote the first big sex scene in OUT OF TIME, I’ll admit, I was a little embarrassed. I’d never written anything like that before. And even though it’s fairly tame by many romance reader standards, it still had me turning crimson. Little did I know what awaited me.
I was part of a great writer’s group and the week I submitted that part of the book for critique I was terrified. I didn’t look anyone in the eye for the whole session. They kept calling it Chapter Sexteen and my blush grew a deep shade of red.
Then it was time to edit. I didn’t have an editor, but knew I needed a sharp pair of eyes to give my manuscript the once over. Enter my dad.
He’s a smart man, an English major, successful attorney and all round supportive guy, so I couldn’t say no. I mean, he’s my dad. Right? Well, you can imagine how it went.
It was a nachtmahr, which is German for nightmare and we all know German nightmares are the worst kind!
So we start the editing process, which means going over each scene together with a fine tooth comb. It’s going well, until we get to Chapter Sexteen. I’m going to die. A slow painful death of a thousand “thrusts”. *shudder* Even now it makes me cringe. I think I’m emotionally scarred.
It went a little something like this:
Dad: Is a second orgasm realistic that quickly?
Me: *unintelligible mumbling*
Dad: Don’t mumble.
Me: Sorry. Well, he’s not that old. Not that old is bad, but… he could, I mean, he’s pretty excited and…oh, god.
Dad: Okay, let’s move on.
Dad: Licking and tasting. Isn’t that redundant?
Me: *more mumbling*
Dad: Is musky a good thing?
Dad: He’s thrusting again. He’s doing an awful lot of that.
Me: Oh, god…
Dad: How about plunged?
Me: Can we take a break, Dad?
And so on…
Oh. My. God.
He was completely okay with it. Me? Not so much. I still can’t believe I survived the ordeal. I’m going to have to sell a lot of books to pay for that therapy bill…
Monique was born in Houston, Texas, but her family soon moved to Southern California. She grew up on both coasts, living in Connecticut and Los Angeles. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her naughty Siamese cat, Monkey.
Monique attended the University of Southern California’s Film School. She earned a BFA in the Filmic Writing department and went on to write industrial films and documentaries. She currently has a screenplay in development. Monique worked in television for several years before joining the family business. She now works full-time as a freelance writer and novelist. Out of Time is her first novel.
Monique is a geek of many colors and has eclectic interests ranging from sports to comic books. She would sell everything she owned to go into space. “Maybe someday.” She can watch twelve hours of football in a day and will even watch Golf. She has an ever-expanding comic book collection with emphasis on Silver and Bronze Age Marvel.
She’s currently working on an adaptation of one of her screenplays, her father’s memoirs about his time in the Air Force’s Air Rescue Service and the sequel to Out of Time.
You can reach Monique at her website: http://moniquemartin.weebly.com/index.html