Saturday, November 9, 2013

Report on experience #4

My wife is in Auckland overnight for a meeting of her glamorous media coven. For the children’s dinner I made the quinoa-crusted salmon dish from the first Ripe Recipes book. (I didn’t use quinoa – I am not that much of a wanker – but substituted panko. No complaints from the diners.) Now that they are in bed reading about ponies I am going back to work to edit a sex scene. I have edited many novels but have never had to work on an explicit sex scene before,  apart from the one in Danyl McLauchlan’s Unspeakable Secrets of the Aro Valley, but that was comedy sex. This is… well, it’s a slightly odd way to spend a Saturday night.

So here is Tom Waits in 1975:


Stephanie said...

Curious - what do you edit a sex scene for? Language? Grammar? Logic/sense? Spelling?

Stephen Stratford said...

Yes, all of that, plus tone, dialogue and whether the action is consistent with the characters, so it's business as usual, with extra watching for the "ick" or "eww, too much information" factor. You really don't want the reader to get the impression that the scene was - to use an ancient term of literary criticism - "typed with one hand".