ELLE (Canada) - - Radar -

Diana Ga­bal­don is the au­thor of the wildly suc­cess­ful Out­lander nov­els (about a time-trav­el­ling nurse and her 18th-cen­tury Scot­tish paramour). They’re filled with metic­u­lously re­searched his­tory, lov­able char­ac­ters... and some se­ri­ously steamy mo­ments. We asked this New York Times best­seller to school us in a skill set that wasn’t cov­ered in Creative Writ­ing 101: “A good sex scene is ac­tu­ally not about sex. It is about the ex­change of emo­tions, not bod­ily flu­ids. In fact, it’s es­sen­tially a di­a­logue scene of emo­tional in­ten­sity with phys­i­cal cues. You can take for granted that most of your au­di­ence

know how sex is ac­com­plished, so you don’t have to go into a lot of graphic de­tail about what ex­actly is go­ing on. You can just use very small sen­sory de­tails to ori­ent the reader. Hu­mans are wired to ap­pre­ci­ate sex, and any kind of sex­ual con­text will heighten the nar­ra­tive in that scene be­cause peo­ple will be pay­ing rapt at­ten­tion.”

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