I'm kinda new to writing nsfw stuff, and my story will have sexual scenes, do you have any tips for writing mature stuff?
Hmmm. It’s difficult to give tips on writing sex scenes because everyone’s style is different, but I’ll do my best.
Have a scene in mind. Have a good mental image of what is happening. That way, when someone moves or they want to switch positions, you know how it’s going to happen. You want your readers to know what’s going on, so you need to as well.
Draw on your own experience. It doesn’t matter if you’ve had sexual partners or not - even if you’ve only had sexual experiences with yourself, use that to help inform what you’re writing. What feels good? What do you like?
Try to stay away from cliches. That isn’t to say they don’t have their place, but you’ll sacrifice originality if your whole sex scene is just a mash of cliches. ((Side note: As for dirty talk, sure it’s really hot, sure it’s easy to write, but don’t feel like you have to add it just because you want dialogue.))
Euphemisms have their place. Don’t be afraid to use euphemisms (eg. hard shaft) when the tone of the sentence demands it. But also, don’t be afraid to use more direct words as well (eg. penis, vagina).
Don’t be afraid to write it. If you’re tentative about it, or are worried how it’ll turn out, then it’ll come across in your writing. Be confident - you’ll do fine.
tldr: Just go for it. Write what you like and readers will like it too.
Fellow swooner here! I would love to know why Spike is your favorite. I would read a book if you're willing to write it :D
Why do I like Spike, hmm? Good question. My first introduction to Buffy was the movie with Kristy Swanson. Back when it first came out, we went to see it, and thought it was a fun, brainless piece of fluff, and promptly forgot about it. A few years later, when the TV show came out, a friend of mine who was a huge vampire fan kept trying to get me to watch it. There was this punk vampire called Spike, and he had a Goth girlfriend named Drusilla, and they were WAY cooler than Angel, and who was that Buffy chick again? And I didn’t pay much mind because my friend would watch anything with vampires in it, and I didn’t remember the movie being all that great. But eventually Friend brought over some videotapes (this was back when there were videotapes) of a few episodes, including Surprise/Innocence, School Hard, and Earshot, and forced us to watch them. And I was hooked.
But not on Spike. Not right away. I’m sure the fact that I watched the first three seasons all out of order had something to do with that. It’s really hard to get a sense of Spike’s S2 arc when you’re watching random episodes in no particular order. Oh, I thought Spike was a fun character, but that was it. All the characters were fun characters. And Spike was a villain. Generally speaking, I don’t root for the bad guys, no matter how amusing they are.
But the show as a whole? That I loved. It hit a sweet spot for me – engaging characters, snappy dialogue, and intriguing worldbuilding. I am a worldbuilding fanatic. I’m the sort of person who as a kid drew maps of her own imaginary country and came up with lists of kings totally not cribbed from the appendixes of The Lord of the Rings. So I loved all the backstory about Slayers, and the Watcher’s Council, and vampires and demons and Old Ones.
Season 4 was the first one I watched in order as it came out on TV. In retrospect, I know it had one of the weakest seasonal arcs, and even at the time, I was disappointed in that aspect, because I’d imagined it was going somewhere completely different with the Initiative. But there were so many brilliant, funny individual episodes that I didn’t mind much. And S4 was the first season that Spike was a regular. Little did I know it, but S4 was also the season that Spike started worming his way into my good graces, just as unbeknownst to him, Buffy was worming her way into his.
Spike in S4 is often played for comic relief, and honestly, that’s one of the things I love about the character, and about Marsters’ acting, that he can go from slapstick to romance to tragedy on the turn of a hair. And it’s in S4 that the viewers start to get hints that Spike can be something more. There’s Spike’s odd moments of empathy for Willow. There’s the moment in “Where the Wild Things Are” where his first impulse is to ride to the rescue – he talks himself out of it almost immediately, but the moment’s still there. And there’s “Something Blue,” of course. There have been Buffy/Spike shippers since Season 2 aired, of course, but “Something Blue” was the episode that kicked the ship into the mainstream. Much has been made of the fact that Willow’s wish was only that Buffy and Spike should get married, not that they should be in love, or that Spike should become unwontedly helpful towards Buffy’s friends.
I can recall talking to someone about Spike back in S4 – I can’t recall exactly when it was, but it was after some incident where Spike had looked for a moment as if he was going to be helpful, and then betrayed them all again. I remember saying that I was impressed that the writers were keeping Spike evil, because it would be easy, now that he was a regular and a popular character, to soften him up. But no, they were keeping in mind that he was a Bad Evil Vampire. So I commended them. What I didn’t say at the time was that when Spike betrayed them all yet again, I was just a teeny bit disappointed. Which I didn’t like to admit to myself. Because Spike Was Evil and I am not a sentimental type. But still… even then, in S4, there were these tiny hints that Spike could be… more. And part of me wished that someone would follow up on that. I was starting to like the little bastard. Not to say that I shipped Spike with Buffy then. I’m normally not a shipper at all; I’ll take whatever the story throws at me, usually. So I was perfectly happy with Buffy being with Riley. I would have been perfectly happy if Buffy and Angel got together again, too. I just didn’t care that much either way.
And then “Out of My Mind” happened.
Now, I did not start shipping Spuffy at that point, either. But I certainly sat up and said “Huh, that’s interesting. Wonder where they’ll go with that.” And yeah, Spike’s infatuation with Buffy was creepy and stalkerish, but the fact that he was physically incapable of hurting her, and the fact that he was played as a pathetic, smitten dork rather than in any way threatening, made me find it fascinating and amusing rather than off-putting.
And then “Fool For Love” happened. And I didn’t exactly start shipping Spuffy then, either, but I think that was the point that made me a confirmed Spike fan for life. It gave Spike layers. It was like a two-dimensional character suddenly sprang into painful, 3-D life. And around about that same time, Spike and Dawn started developing a friendship, which I adored beyond words, and then…
Now, I was still not involved in online fandom at that point. When I did get into it, a few episodes later, I discovered that “Crush” was considered a stunning blow for the burgeoning Buffy/Spike shipping community, and everybody hated that Giles was so mean to Spike in the next episode, and so on. Which I found really weird, because “Crush,” the episode David Fury wrote with the express purpose of showing why Buffy/Spike was sick and wrong and disgusting and anyone who shipped it was a hormone-addled girl who wrote mash notes to serial killers - that was the episode that made me ship Buffy and Spike like a mad thing. And all it took was five little words:
“I can be good too!”
See, like I said above, I am a worldbuilding fiend. Which means that I love knowing who stuff works, and why, about a particular canon. I want to know what’s behind all the doors and what’s around all the corners. And I like things to make sense, and I like to feel as though the creators give a crap about what they’ve created. Which in some ways makes BtVS a terrible show for me to fan, because the creators only care about the story they’re telling right now, and will cheerfully ignore or forget stuff they established last episode, much less five years ago. In other ways, it’s good, because there are a lot of gaps for me to fill in.
However, while I am a big fan of continuity for the physical details of a world, and of establishing limits and keeping to them when it comes to things like how magic works or how much a Slayer can bench press, when it comes to metaphysical limits, well, that’s another story. When I see a statement like “You can’t be good without a soul” my mind immediately goes to “Why not? What exactly is a soul in this canon, anyway? How does it function? What does ‘being good’ mean in this context? If you do good deeds out of selfish motives, why do they not count as good deeds? What is 'good’ anyway? Can you define it?”
I love characters who love, with all their heart and (occasionally lack of) soul. I love characters who are insanely determined. I love it when characters challenge the moral boundaries of their universes. I love it when two characters with opposing ideas of 'good’ are pitted against each other, especially when the author is playing fair and both characters really do have a point. I love stories where a hero has to balance their duty as a hero with their desire for a fulfilling personal life, especially when the author isn’t biased in favor of one or the other. I love stories about characters who have a dangerous side but keep it under control for the sake of those they love. I love stories about opposites attracting – flamboyant artists falling for stoic warriors. I love stories about people from vastly different cultures or worldviews or species learning about each other and making the compromises necessary to form a working relationship, which ultimately results in a union that’s greater than the sum of its parts.
So when Spike makes his declaration to Buffy in “Crush,” he mashes a whole flight deck’s worth of narrative kink buttons for me. And it’s obvious in that episode that Spike is still as evil as all get-out, and Buffy is totally right to smack him down and disinvite him, and indeed, she would have been completely justified in staking him, and I’m not sure why she didn’t.
But still, at the end of that episode, I turned to my then-girlfriend-now-wife and said, “He wants to talk about the relationship! They should totally get together.”
I love Spike because he does what shouldn’t be possible. I love Spike because he looks the inevitable in the face and says “You’re evitable!” I love Spike because he’s a pathetic goof, and a terrifying badass, and a lovelorn poet, and a raunchy asshole. I love Spike because his poetry is terrible, and he writes it anyway. I love Spike because he left flowers for Joyce. I love Spike because he’ll protect Dawn till the end of the world. I love Spike because he tried so damned hard in S6, and kept fucking up, and instead of giving up doggedly tried something else. I love Spike because he wants to save the world. And I will admit that I love soulless Spike a little bit more, because soulled Spike is now safely pent up back within the moral boundaries of his universe, not a challenge anymore, not a threat to the foundations.
I love Spike not because he has a soul, but because he’s the sort of person who would go get one.
I’m on my second playthrough of Dishonored, and today I was stalking through Dunwall Tower when I came to the music room. The guards were mostly either out cold or gone to ash, so when I noticed that you could actually play both the musical instruments, I actually tried it.
Immediately, I noticed something odd. When I played the piano, I got a discordant mash of notes. When I played the harp, though? A perfect arpeggio. The kind you just don’t get first try, not unless you know what you’re doing.
Apparently, Corvo plays the harp.
I wonder if that’s a Royal Protector thing, or just a hobby of his own. Did he only play solos, or did he have someone to accompany? Did Jessamine sing?
Did Corvo sing? My headcanon is already that he’s so quiet because some of what they did in Coldridge caused real damage to his throat; suddenly I’m realizing that now he’ll never sing again, either. Half of the duet is dead, the other silenced.
And then I realized that this was the room with Jessamine’s portrait hanging over the fireplace, like this was a room she loved, or maybe just a room that someone who loved her once loved…