Monday, March 14, 2011

Blog Chain: Brown Chicken, Brown Cow

I’m not much of a basketball fan. I’m even less of a country music fan.

But I love following the sports teams from my alma mater, and the boys’ team from my old high school had a shot to win its first-ever state title last week. I figured I could endure 20 minutes of pickin’ and grinnin’ while waiting for the game to come on the radio.

I had a job to do anyway. It was my turn to pick a topic for the blog chain, and I wanted to come up with something good.

That’s when inspiration hit in the form of a Trace Adkins’ song: “Brown Chicken, Brown Cow.”

Now, if you don’t know the song, the phrase might seem like gibberish. So let me explain: According to the online urban dictionary, Brown Chicken, Brown Cow is the onomatopoeic (Look, my favorite word!) imitation of the guitar riff commonly heard in the naughty movies of the 1970s.

Brown Chicken, Brown Cow (Trust me, you’ll be singing that all day now.)

While it was not the most intelligent little ditty I’d ever heard, I had to admit it gave me an idea for a topic that will take the blog chain into virgin territory. (Yeah, that was a pun.)

How do you feel about love scenes? As a reader, are you put off by the gratuitous? As a writer, do you shy away from spelling out the down-and-dirty? Or do you write until your computer lights a cigarette?

My opinion on writing love scenes has evolved over the years. In my earliest (read: most embarrassing) fiction, I avoided scenes of intimacy because I didn’t feel comfortable putting such thoughts down on paper. Of course, I was in high school and probably worried my mom would happen upon one of them. (No, Mom, it wasn’t written from experience.)

As I matured and began viewing sex for the natural act it is, I developed the ability to write the word “penis” without blushing. I also started to realize how that natural act can be the source of huge trouble for characters that can’t control their urges.

But that doesn’t mean I’m writing the type of fiction found in Penthouse Forum. (Wait, that’s not fiction? Whaaaat?)

I have an immense appreciation for authors who can write efficient, yet passionate, scenes of intimacy that are relevant to the story without being raunchy. I think the writers who do that best are the ones whose characters are well-developed; their needs, goals and the purpose of the scene is clearly established.

That’s what I look for as a reader. That’s what I strive for as a writer.

There’s probably a place for tawdry scenes that go into detail about every lustful moan, but I’d never feel comfortable submitting something like that to an agent or editor.

After all, my Mom might read this stuff someday.

What are your thoughts?

Find out what other writers on the chain have to say, starting with Sandra tomorrow.

*** Congrats to the 2011 NCHS boys basketball team for winning the first state title in school history. Go Knights!***


Michelle McLean said...

ha!!! Okay, LMBO over the computer lighting a cigarette LOL Great topic!

Eric said...

OMG! Kat, someday I have to come visit you in person just so I can get a look at the grin you must have listening to this song. The whole idea of it is going to crack me up all day long.

This is a great topic, though I'm wondering who will be brave enough to put up a snippet as an example LOL. Will it be me? Hmmm, an interesting idea.

Nisa said...

Honestly, I think we have a tendency to say all's fair game in our society with taking little thought to anything being sacred. To me, intimacy is sacred and shouldn't be sprawled out in the written word. I wouldn't shy away from a fun kissing scene, but I'm a big fan of leaving the rest up to the imaginations of others and not go there myself.

More than my mother reading it, I believe my God will and I don't want to write anything that He would consider immoral.

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

Boy, this is going to be an interesting topic!

I've never heard that song, but I think I do know the chords--unfortunately. ;)

Michelle H. said...

This is an interesting topic! I wonder how people really feel about it simply because there are different levels and perspectives of "raunchy." Fun topic!

Anonymous said...

Great topic! I'll have to think about my response. ;)

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

Oh my gosh I literally laughed out loud at "Or do you write until your computer lights a cigarette?" Great great great question!

Margie Gelbwasser said...

LOVED the imagery of the computer lighting a cigarette. That was awesome!! I'm all for good make-out scenes that add to the text and have done this, but there's something really romantic about plain old kissing too. :-)

Rosslyn Elliott said...

LOL! I love your voice.

I don't write intimate love scenes...I just suggest them... but I think it can be done in a tasteful, non-pornographic way. It all depends on the author's approach.

Shaun Hutchinson said...

Uh oh. This is going to be a tough one. Also, you had me sitting at my desk for ten minutes going, "Brown Chicken, Brown Cow." It finally clicked.

Cole Gibsen said...

I am so with you. I couldn't even write a kissing scene without my cheeks flaming.