Today, I listened to Episode 3: Romance Outakes. It was fun and informative.
Pro tip from Laura and Erik: “Pretend your characters are boning at all times. Just sex always. And your writing will definitely improve.“
They talked about unnatural and empty dialog tags that appear in first drafts, like grinning, smiling, and shrugging. For Erik, those unnatural tags are grating. No one grins fives times in a conversation.
“Even in the first draft, which is a bit rough, the sex scenes are the best written parts, because the writer is actually thinking more and more about how the bodies are interacting in space and they’ve made that their focus and so all this extra stupid action that doesn’t mean anything they suddenly instinctually realize, ‘Oh yeah, that doesn’t belong.’ …
And so my point here is when you’re thinking like that for your sex scenes, think about bodies and space for all your other scenes too. Make all your scenes like your sex scenes in that way. … If you start working from that perspective, you’ll get rid of a lot of … [the] empty dialog tags, a lot of this stupid gesture that doesn’t actually mean anything, and you’ll be able to cut that away and add in other sensory detail, which I think … comes really naturally to people when they’re writing about sex but less so when they are writing about conversation.”