This is not a recipe for pornography. In fact, the reason why pornography (as opposed to erotica) is dull is because it objectifies other people (including the reader). Truly intimate writing reaches our whole selves, just as true love connects on multiple levels. It exists in the eternal now -- past, present, future without limits. How can you achieve this in writing?
The first step is to avoid distancing. Much of the advice given to writers is aimed at this:
- Avoid passive voice. Who did it? Don't make me guess.
- Clear out the junk words. Wading though extra verbiage -- just, very, some, a bit -- dilutes the impact.
- Get to the point. No one likes to read the instructions. Readers want to jump right in. Occasionally, we need explanations so readers don't get lost. But preambles, prologues, and backstory delay real connections with the audience.
- Don't distract. Bad grammar and misspellings turn readers into editors. So do words that send them to the dictionary (though I actually like it when this happens once in a whild, and it is exactly the right word).
What practices make the reading more immediate?
- A protagonist I can connect with. (Even if I don't like him or her.)
- A clear, stated purpose for the scene. This orients me and raises questions about whether the protagonist will succeed or fail.
- A sense of urgency. Nothing can be put off. All decisions are irreversible.
- Stakes. It matters to the protagonist, so it matters to me.
- A fresh, compelling voice. I can hear an individual coming through the language on the page.
- A sensual experience. I have the prompts I need to be completely within the scene.
- Dialogue I would eavesdrop on. (And I wouldn't want to miss a word.)
- Specificity. The details are there, and they ring true.
- A sense of recognition. This is an experience I know on some level, so I believe what I'm reading.
Cold, distant analysis, complete with charts and numbers, has it's place. I wish more of our political discourse were fact-based. But readers today, especially those giving their time to fiction, want a more immediate experience.