Happy V Day to all the females out there. (V means Vagina for our purposes today.) This post is specifically for about our vaginas and love and writing through our love wounds.
Today I’m thinking about the women creators in my life who may be struggling in their love life in some way. This can be a shitty day if you’re feeling unloved or you’re facing heartbreak. Love pain makes it tough for some people to create.
For any writers, this is a good week to examine how our characters experience love. How do we write about love in general and romantic love specifically? Every book will have love within it, and love can be very complicated, filled with trauma and shame and other non-love type feelings. If you write young adult, you may be writing about the challenges of first love. My second novel, This Is Not a Love Letter, deals with this as a predominant theme.
Love isn’t easy for everyone to show. The ways we express it can be really messed up, and same with the ways we can accept love from others. It’s one of the many scars of a tough childhood, and let’s face it, many people have those scars from childhood. I feel like finally at 48, I’m getting much better at unconditional love and showing my love, but it took work.
Because love is so complicated, today is a good day to examine deeply how your characters experience love, and how this connects to how you experience love . . . and heartbreak.
The writing exercises that I’m going to gently suggest for today have to do with love and heartbreak. It’s so key to explore this in your work, how your own heartbreak history affects your writing. How does it get into your work? How is it affecting what you’re writing? What is your love language? How about your characters? Do they experience it verbally or with gifts or by service and acts of kindness? How do you experience it?
The first exercise is to look at each character in your story and journal in their voice about their experiences with love. It will reveal all the ways they are both damaged and undamaged. This will inform your story as you move forward.
The second exercise is to write a really HOT sex scene. If this doesn’t fit in your story, do it entirely as a writing exercise with fresh characters. Make sure you use ALL the senses. Trust me, it’ll make you giggle. And it might even make you feel a little sexy.
A third exercise for your female characters is to examine their relationship with their vaginas. It doesn’t have to be in your book, but you need to know it. How do they wipe themselves after they pee? How do they clean their vagina? Does it stink? Any STDs? Any trauma? How about their sexuality? Do they fantasize? Do they masterbate? How is sex for them? What kind of sex do they prefer? Positions? If their vagina is something they don’t think about or want to think about, no worries, but you should know that. It’s fun to think of metaphors for a forgotten vagina. You can even draw your vagina or create your own vagina flower painting like the great Georgia O’Keefe.
No matter what, don’t ignore the vagina in your writing or your female character’s connection with it. It’s a key part of the body, and besides the sexuality part, it’s where we energetically hold tension, fear, ambition and power…all key elements of great writing.
Happy V Day.