Subject: Nesh is, naturally, correct
Posted on: 2021-02-23 23:44:28 UTC

Characterization and good character writing is the key to good smut. This is why I admire anyone who can write a really, really good PWP-style story. It's a whole other level of difficult. We'll tolerate a lot more mediocrity if it's believably about characters we know than if it's about some random jerks who we've never met. Effectively, the author has to create two or more believable characters and a believable relationship dynamic between them in the smallest amount of space possible. That's really, really hard (can it).

On the other end of things, a really good smut scene can create an amazing climax to a strong romantic buildup. This is easier and harder to pull off, as you have more of a framework to build on but also increased expectations. Readers will tolerate more mediocrity from you, but you'll need to deliver more to be considered great.

Regardless of what you're writing, the best smut is about getting into characters' heads. The act itself matters less than the emotional weight and the feelings and the thoughts, because that's what we, as authors, can deliver best. We're not cinematographers who can provide the most tasteful and excellent angles and the most inviting shots. They get the visuals, we get the inner voice. Bogging down a work with needless descriptions can result in writing that goes bad, fast.

So my general advice has always been to focus on only the most significant actions, the emphasize the emotional and mental aspects, and to keep the metaphors tasteful and minimal. There are a lot of truly horrible metaphors that we've all definitely seen. It's also best to avoid cliche, especially when cliche does not make sense: If a kiss bruises your lips, you're doing it wrong.

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