• Jane Austen

    Muphry’s Law and writing sex scenes

    It is with great pleasure that I introduce Muphry’s Law (courtesy of my lovely daughter the artist), as defined by John Bangsund of the the Victorian Society of Editors who is allowed the spelling in #1 because he was Australian:

    1. if you write anything criticising editing or proofreading, there will be a fault in what you have written;
    2. if an author thanks you in a book for your editing or proofreading, there will be mistakes in the book;
    3. the stronger the sentiment in (a) and (b), the greater the fault; and
    4. any book devoted to editing or style will be internally inconsistent.

    It’s tough to follow that, but I thought I’d talk about writing sex scenes. Or rather, YOU will talk about writing sex scenes, since I want some reader feedback.

    What anachronisms do you tolerate in the heroine’s underwear

    1. Drawers that need to be removed
    2. Black and/or red garment a la Fredericks of Hollywood
    3. Victorian (much sexier) corset
    4. None. They’re all cheating
    5. Heck, who cares. They’ll be removed anyway

    What location do you favor?

    1. The ducal bed
    2. The ducal bed even if the hero isn’t the duke
    3. The garden
    4. The conservatory
    5. The stables
    6. The drawing room
    7. The library
    8. The second undergardener’s shed while he’s on lunch break
    9. The … insert any other room in the house
    10. A carriage
    11. A carriage in Hyde Park when the fashionable parade
    12. An open carriage
    13. An open carriage in Hyde Park when the fashionable parade
    14. On horseback (one horse)
    15. On horseback (two horses)
    16. On horseback (any number of horses) in Hyde Park when the fashionable parade
    17. Other

    How long do you like the orgasm to last (the characters‘)?

    1. A chapter
    2. At least six pages
    3. One page
    4. One paragraph
    5. One sentence
    6. A punctuation mark (yes, Pam Rosenthal, I’m talking about you. Read her books for seriously well written stuff)

    At that moment, the hero should cry out the name of

    1. The heroine
    2. His mother
    3. His dog
    4. His nurse
    5. His best friend at Eton

    Afterward, the heroine should say

    1. [insert hero’s name] never have I experienced anything so wonderful and beautiful.
    2. Where is my absolutely anachronistic underwear? Oh, you ripped it!
    3. I can’t wait to tell my sisters
    4. I can’t wait to tell everyone at Almacks
    5. Can we eat now?

    Who laces the heroine back into her stays?

    1. The hero
    2. Her maid, hovering outside the bedchamber door
    3. No problem, she has a zipper
    4. He shouts down into the taproom of the inn for assistance.

    Any other preferences?

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