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Behind the Scenes of a Novel-Day 13
Romance vs Sex Scenes
Lots of readers love a good romance. I've read tons of romance novels. If they are well written and the female is not portrayed as an idiot, I enjoy them. I like them best when mystery and intrigue are involved. If you can toss in an historical setting, I'd enjoy that, too.
I am not however a big fan of erotica. I've read some. But I find I'd rather the author leaves something to my imagination. I get visual pictures of what I am reading and my visions don't always jive with those of someone else. Let me use my imagination, please.
All that aside, how do you write good romance? Well, I'm learning. Macy has issues from her past preventing her from following her instincts. She doesn't want to be hurt again. She has a huge fear of losing loved ones. Her love life is harder to portray in many ways. It's not a normal boy meets girl, they fall in love situation. So, I'm working around her feelings.
Dani and Brad on the other hand, have a history. They were a budding romance in their teens. Now they have a chance to rekindle the flame and see if they have anything of substance to build on. They both still have feelings for each other, but as adults can they sustain it? We shall see.
So, what makes romance? Butterflies in the stomach, racing heart, blushing, and giggling are all sensations in the early stages of romance. Worrying about what the other person is thinking. Dressing to attract the other person. Hoping you don't make a fool of yourself. There is chivalry on the part of the male. His wondering if he's crossing some feminist line when he opens the door or pulls out your chair. He has insecurities, too. He may exude all the confidence in the world, but he has feelings.
And what else makes romance? Well, flowers, candle lit dinners, wine, and don't ever forget the chocolate. For her it means finding out his favorite foods and cooking them. It's learning what each other likes and dislikes. It's being a friend first and a lover second. It's knowing when to offer comfort and when to step back. It's a relationship and it has to be believable.
Unless you are writing comedy, you want your characters to be true to who they are. You want that in comedy, too. But you can make your characters do silly things in comedy they would not do in a serious romance.
You can have laughter and teasing in romance. People do that when they are learning about each other. These are things that are part of every day life. You want your characters to be natural around each other not stilted. They cannot be plastic. Your characters are not Barbie and Ken don't make them resemble dolls. Awkwardness is acceptable if if fits who your characters are.
Have your characters respond to each other naturally. Show hesitation, anxiety, nervousness, and compassion. Your reader wants to care about your characters. They want to see how things develop between them. They want to laugh with them and cry with them. They want to step into the shoes of your character and be them. This is what keeps your reader coming back.
I can't tell you how to write your sex scenes. I don't write them. I get flack from my readers when a swear word makes it's way into my books. They have come to like my books without them. They would stop reading my books if I started throwing sex scenes in. They too want things left to their imagination.
While contemplating how to write your love scenes, grab a box of chocolates. I plan to.