Pin me up against the wall. Kiss me deeply. Whisper I love you.
That’s exactly what I expect of a great author. Seduce me with your words.
Great writing is like great sex.
Writing from such an honest place takes courage. Sometimes my words come out with whip cream, chocolate sprinkles and confetti—fake. And sometimes they come out completely flaccid or way too sharp.
The first version of this particular piece came out way too sharp…too sexy. That version I will file away for sexting reference.
With the help of many good writers, strong editors and compassionate fellow students, I have come to understand why I like the pieces of writing that I do—what makes writing great. And what makes great writing exceptional—timeless.
Here are three tips that have improved my writing the most and how they relate to sex.
1. Just say it. Don’t tell me that you’re going to tell me something—cough it up and spit it out. The truth doesn’t need a silver platter.
Be fierce out of the gate and go out with a bang. In order to do this we need to pace ourselves, we need to keep an eye on our opponent—our audience—to know when we can breathe and when we should thrust. We need to keep in mind that attention is conditional; it only becomes undivided when we can keep them on their toes—when we can curl their toes.
2. Play with sentence length and punctuation. If you’re going to elaborate, dress up the words that connect to our senses. Describe colors, textures and feel. Describe sounds and don’t be cliché—no fingers on chalkboards.
Describe things exactly as you experience them. Take your reader on your journey; give them your high top sneakers or your sparkly stilettos, your cowgirl boots or your dirty bare feet.
Sometimes we need to be sexed softly and sometimes we need to be loved fiercely. And sometimes we need both. Often, we need both—sparkly stiletto Saturdays and barefoot Sunday fundays.
Excitement lives in the buildup and the unknown, so tell your reader (and your partner) something they don’t know and leave them with a description that makes their skin crawl, their heart throb or their eyes smile. Chances are if you tell them exactly how you feel, they’ll feel it too. Write your raw. Whisper your wishes.
3. Find your writing rhythm—your personal style guide. Don’t be afraid to get that foot tappin’ and hand slappin’. We all love music and we all love to dance; when our personal song comes on, we can’t deny it. If you can make your own music with your words and dance to your own story, your audience will want to swing their hips with you.
The best way to find your writing rhythm is simple: write a lot. Keep practicing by performing. Relinquish your words to someone you trust and get their feedback.
Have a lot of sex—morning sex, quick-snack quickies, lunchtime love and do-it dinners. Try ‘em all and find out what works best for you and your partner. You won’t know until you do it.
Read aloud. The movements of our mouths and the sounds of words themselves have a huge impact on how we digest them. Scanning our words with our eyes only is not enough. Tell your story aloud with the punctuation—whisper, scream, pause and race. Make them believe you. We find our voice by using it. This practice will help you find your tone, which will allow you to express yourself and tell your story in the most meaningful way.
The final secret is this: Being a great writer doesn’t just make you a better lover—it makes you a better person.
When we understand story structure, we begin to see how all of the parts—the paragraphs or chapters—come together. We understand how each sentence is a fragment connecting the bigger picture—the whole story. This knowledge translates into understanding how the stages of our lives build on each other. It’s from this perspective that we can see how and where to employ our experiences; this is where we gain foresight.
Punctual, articulate, well-structured writing is like great sex. There are forewords and foreplay, suspense and sensuality, syntax and climax, strong endings and restful sleeps.
Exceptional, timeless sex—the mind-blowing kind—transpires when we are the truest versions of ourselves in the presence of another. In these truths we can love and receive love in ways that transcend our bodies. This type of love envelops us in the euphoria that we are alive and that we belong.
Punctuality, articulation and structure, coupled with an author’s personal voice—their truth—makes for sincerely crafted, beautifully executed stories—tales that transcend time and move masses.
Words have the ability to tattoo our souls as our eyes read them for the first time. Black letters can drip like squid ink from white pages and saturate our hearts forever.
Write. Relay. Write. Release. Write. Repeat.
Write from your rhythm that is soul deep.
Author: Savannah Robinson
Apprentice Editor: Savannah Robinson / Editor: Catherine Monkman