Pushing personal writing boundaries

I’ve revised this a bit, but the basic idea started with this piece:

Lesbians and Zombies, Oh My!

A comfort zone is a safe and beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.

As ERAuthor members know, this is my sig line on the boards. And have to say one thing about writing Ginny’s Capture and being in a writers group where several of the LvsZ stories went through the critique process was I found myself pushing my boundaries.

I’d never critted a f/f sex scene before they started being posted at ERA.

I have now.

I’d never written a f/f sex scene before I wrote Ginny’s Capture.

I have now.

The whole experience made me move outside my comfort zone.

The largest push for me was stepping out of the safe place of writing mild heat level m/f stories. Mostly because I found writing the f/f sex scenes both difficult on one hand and easy on the other.

Difficult because, for me, writing f/f sex is far more intimate and introspective than m/f sex. And coming up with two sets of desires and intimate preferences was tough.

The easier part was, well, I am a woman and I’d like to think I have some clue of what women like. As KevaD said in his interview on It’s Raining Men blog on October 18, when asked what’s a het male doing writing MM romance and gay fiction (I admit I only pasted his juicy response regarding the sex scenes, you should be sure to read the entire interview):

Well, why not? I certainly know how a man’s heart beats when the object of his affection comes near, as well as how his groin stirs under sheer passion and physical desire. And I definitely know how it feels from the male perspective to explore a body, and be explored.

To restate from my perspective: I certainly know how a woman’s body reacts when she’s around the object of her desire, as well the acts and actions which will heighten her passion. And, like KevaD with his own gender, I definitely know how it feels from a female’s perspective to explore a body and be explored.
One of the interesting things I’ve come out with through all of this is, despite the change of heat level, I still stuck with a more traditional romance formula of a commitment before the sex scene. Now, my two characters had a history so there were lots of steamy memories to draw on. However, their intimate ‘on screen’ scene doesn’t happen until after the commitment.
I guess even though I was out of my ‘comfort zone’ part of me was determined to stay within it. We’ll see how the edits come back and if the story arc stays that way.