You might’ve noticed the recent craze of reading about all things sex. But before the rise of ‘Mommy-porn’ and Fifty Shades of Grey, there were some seriously sexy books, namely the old-school ‘bonkbusters.’ And bonkbusters are making a comeback. They’ve come a long way since ‘80s shoulder pads and aching loins ruled our bookshelves. The new breedof bonkbusters are just as glam, but minus the cheesy descriptions of heaving bosoms. Yikes. We caught up with bonkbuster author, Victoria Fox, to find out what it takes to write about sex. Y’know, just in case you fancy a go at penning your own...
1. Think big
Yes, I know what you're thinking (I was thinking it too), but I'm getting to the rude stuff in a minute. Your story should be big. Throw everything into it. The best bonkbusters are a wide canvas of multiple locations and characters, often covering many months or years and having that 'epic' feel. Bonkbusters I used to cherish were bricks to hold, and you just knew there was this whole world of glamour and excitement inside. Give your reader an experience, not just a book.
2. Be brave in the bedroom
Sex scenes should be frequent, fun and frisky. Decide you're not going to think about anyone else reading it (especially not your parents *shudder*) and let your imagination run wild. Women love reading about sex: if we don't want something brief and unsatisfying in real life then why would we in fiction? Be frank about sex, because there's little worse than a sex scene written in euphemisms. Write it like you'd say it to your friends. That means no throbbing members or aching loins.
3. Make your characters outrageous
Bonkbusters are all about the studs and the bitches. You need a bold, confident cast with three or four leads: for a classic bonkbuster, start with the hero, the heroine and the villain. This is a genre where anything goes and the wickeder your characters are, the better. Use multiple viewpoints and short, snappy chapters to keep the pace up. Each person's storyline should carry its own interest, but be ready to collide with others in an explosive, super-dramatic denouement!
4. Embrace the genre
Read how other people do it. Classics like Jackie Collins and Jilly Cooper are a good place to start. Notice how the stories are arranged, at what points the revelations come and who or what keeps you turning the pages. What made those early ones so fab? Don't be afraid to borrow elements you love as well as bringing your own twist.
5. Have fun!
This is the important thing, because if you're having fun, your reader will too. The vintage bonkbusters are LOL-worthy: you're not writing serious literature, you're there to entertain. It's a long slog and I guarantee you'll freak out more than once, but persevere, keep at it and don't stop till you reach The End. Most of all... Enjoy the ride!