Review: “I Give You My Body…” How I Write Sex Scenes by Diana Gabaldon

'I Give You My Body'...How I Write Sex Scenes by Diana Gabaldon

For writers looking to make sure their next physical interlude on the page inspires readers to share the moment rather than to laugh at it, bestselling author Diana Gabaldon divulges the writing secrets behind the sex scenes in her wildly popular Outlander novels.
“Ask me to your bed,” he said.  “I shall come to ye.”

In this revealing compendium, acclaimed writer Diana Gabaldon shares her invaluable lessons for creating an immersive reading experience, from evoking a mood to using the power of emotions to communicate physical intimacy. You’ll learn the difference between gratuitous sex and genuine encounters that move the story forward, and how to handle less-than-savory acts that nevertheless serve a narrative purpose. Gabaldon also notes that sex can be conveyed instead of described. With such tips as “The Rule of Three” for involving the senses, handy lists of naughty euphemisms (with instructions for use), and Gabaldon’s own examples from the Outlander novels, “I Give You My Body . . .” is a master class in writing to draw readers in and keep them riveted to the page.

Anyone who knows me anything about me at all, knows how much I love Diana Gabaldon’s books. If you know me, and you DON’T know this? Shame on you. Clearly you haven’t been paying attention and you need to crawl out from under your rock and listen. It’s the only way you’re going to know these things. But I digress…

The only thing better than reading my favorite author’s books, is learning about how she writes. So when I saw that Herself*  had written this book, detailing her process in writing about intimate (and not so intimate) moments, naturally I had to read it. (And it didn’t hurt that I’ve always enjoyed reading about the art of writing.)

It was a very interesting read, pointing out the subtleties of scenes that I never really noticed before Diana specifically pointed them out. If you’ve ever read an article (or a book) that gives writing advice, one point is constantly being stressed: Show, don’t tell. It’s not something you necessarily watch for as you read, but when the opposite is done (telling, not showing), you’re absolutely going to notice it. Too much tell and very little show is the best way to ruin a potentially good book. (And I’m sure we’ve all read them at one time or another.) My favorite books have all been written by people who not only knew to do it, but knew how to do it well.

I’m guessing the majority of people who immediately purchased this book were likely Outlander fans, but you don’t have to be a fan of Outlander to read this book. It’s a useful tool for anyone wanting to improve their writing skills. There’s even a few laughs to be had here and there. The only thing I was momentarily taken aback by was the artwork that’s sprinkled in here and there… I wasn’t expecting that at all, so the first one was a little shocking to see. (Kudos to the artist, though… they’re very talented.)

It was a nice diversion from the wait for book nine, Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone, to be finished and available, albeit far too brief. Now I’m not-so-patiently waiting for Diana to make the wonderful announcement that book nine is finished… but I’ve been a fan long enough to know there will likely be at least two more years of waiting. Sigh.

* “Herself” is a term of affection and respect bestowed on Diana by her fans.

Author: Diana Gabaldon

Title: “I Give You My Body…” How I Write Sex Scenes

Published: 8/16/2016 by Dell

Rating: ★★★★




2 thoughts on “Review: “I Give You My Body…” How I Write Sex Scenes by Diana Gabaldon

  1. This sounds like a must read for a romance writer. I saw your blog listed in the Book Review Directory. I blog and write, and noticed that most reviewers work hard reading and writing reviews, but don’t get much traffic for all that work, including myself. Like Ryan Lanz, I’d like to feature your work on my site. Each week I feature a specific genre. If you have a book review for that genre post the link in the comment section. I will visit it and list all the links the next week and on my link page as well. You don’t have to read another book, but publicize a post you’ve already created. Yeah!!! I read that you review biographies. Here is a link for memoirs. is no catch. I’m retired, love to read and blog for fun. Marsha 🙂

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