How a Critique of My Sex Scene Stopped Me

The sex scene this writer is referring to happens right before the climax, pardon the pun, of Deadly Little Secrets, a medical suspense/thriller set in 1985. The narrator, Loretta Casterini, RN, catches her best friend since the fifth grade, Dr Julia Brooks, in a compromising position, Okay, Loretta doesn’t exactly catch her, she  sneaks up on her and whoever is causing her giggle on the veranda of the good doctor’s Palm Desert home.

Their story centers on AIDS education at their kids’ high school, the same one they attended in the late 1960’s. Loretta can’t figure out why Julia is on the fence about this course until the pieces she didn’t want to fit together now fit tight. Julia is back with Steve Wilcox, her boyfriend from their high school days who made her giggle then and evidently is still able to now. Loretta, inside the house and tucked behind a drawn drape, witnesses most of the scene that ended with Julia giggling.

How well do you know the people you think you know well? This question haunts Loretta and drives her to find the answer. In Deadly Little Secrets, she does with the help of a cast of supporting characters that include Steve’s seventeen-year-old son and the nurses and physicians at Corona Cove Hospital.

I read this scene (offered free, 6/3-6/7/2024 ) to writers at a writers’ conference workshop. It was received well by the workshop leader and most of the conferees with one exception, a woman who said with certainty in her voice that the friend doing the eavesdropping on this sex scene had to be latently gay. “Or fantasizes about a threesome,” she added.  Oh yes, she did, words that stunned me and the other writers in that workshop. Was Loretta latently gay? Was I? Back in the 1990’s gender identity and sexual preference wasn’t what it’s come to become in 2024, easy conversation. My memory is foggy but I did put Deadly Little Secrets down for a few years before opening that file again.

I tell writers, especially newbie writers, to be careful reading works-in-progress for critiquing. It can and does stop writers and sometimes, that can be a good thing. But not always.

That sex scene is now offered free for 5 days, 6/3 – 6/7/2024. Here’s the link.

Deadly Little Secrets e-novel is available on Amazon. Click here. I’ll be giving away chapters with some frequency until my next novel, SweetSpot: Now and Then is published in Fall, 2024, available in paperback and eBook format.



Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter