Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Heaving Bosoms & Throbbing…er…Whatchamacallits

I love romance.  I love to read it.  I love to write it.

Most of the time.

I love my heroes and my heroines.  I love getting inside their minds and hearing what they’re thinking.  Their emotional journey is satisfying.  I enjoy creating dialogue and I LOVE the sometimes zany secondary characters that appear out of nowhere on the page, and the unexpected twists and turns the story can take. 

I enjoy building the sexual tension.

And then . . .

It.  The sex scene.

I will tell you my dirty little secret.  One of my favorite things about reading romance novels is the sex. 

Unlike Billy Crystal’s character in WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, I do not read the last page first to see how the story ends.   But when I start reading a new romance, I ALWAYS thumb through the book, find the culminating moment, and make a note of it.  I don’t read it, mind you.  But I know what page it’s on.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know.  It’s supposed to be about the romance and the glorious, all-conquering, life-changing love between the H and H.  And that’s great too.

But I like a steaming hot sex scene.  And knowing where Tab A meets Slot B in the book gives me something to anticipate.

But WRITING a love scene?  Arggh! 

How to make it romantic and sensual but not purple?  You know what I’m talking about.  ‘His magnificent scepter’ or ‘her steaming tunnel of love.’

It’s a quandary.  Euphemisms are tricky.  And as for the medical terms . . . If I were a guy, I’d be picketing Washington or NIH or wherever demanding a better word.  And I’m not crazy about the anatomically correct term for the girl part either.  Nothing romantic or hot about either one of those words.

So what’s a romance writing girl to do?  Sometimes you just have to call it what it is.  Or, rather, what you character would call it. 

And, ultimately, that’s what it’s all about:  Being true to you characters.

The last love scene I wrote took me the better part of four days to write.  It also required a big bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream and several glasses of wine.  But I did it.

Or, rather, THEY did it.

Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t hate writing sex scenes.  But I pull my hair out trying to get it right, because love scenes are important.


Emotionally satisfying.

And darn hard to write. 

What about you?  Do you prefer sweet or steamy sex scenes in the romances you read and/or write?  Share your thoughts for a chance to win a copy of book 2, Demon Hunting in the Deep South.   

Blurb for Demon Hunting In The Deep South:

Shy, self-conscious Evie Douglass tries to stay under the radar, especially when petite socialite Meredith Peterson, aka The Death Starr, is anywhere around. Meredith and her bitch posse of skinny girlfriends take great delight in tormenting Evie about her size, calling her names like The Whale and Thunder Thighs.
Unfortunately, it’s hard for a plus-sized gal to stay invisible in a small town like Hannah, Alabama.  And Evie has been The Death Starr’s favorite target since the seventh grade, when Meredith got ticked off at Evie for getting boobs first. 
It doesn’t help that Meredith’s husband is Evie’s boss.  More torture time for The Death Starr. 
And then Evie finds Meredith brutally murdered.  On Evie’s desk.  In her office at the mill, only a few days after a very public scene in which Meredith accused Evie of having an affair with her husband. 
Worse, a bloody knife is found in Evie’s car. 
Suddenly, awkward, timid Evie Douglass is the Number One suspect in a sensational murder case.  But Evie’s got bigger problems.  Hannah is infested with demons, soul sucking, body snatching creatures of evil.  And for some reason they want Evie.  The only thing standing between Evie and death or possible possession is a hunky blond demon slayer named Ansgar.  Ansgar is a Dalvahni warrior, a supernaturally gorgeous race whose sole purpose is to hunt down and capture rogue demons. 
Evie could swear, though, that Ansgar is interested in more than demons.  She could swear that he’s interested in her.  Ridiculous, of course, because he’s sex on two legs and she’s . . .  Well, she’s Whaley Douglass. 
To add to Evie’s troubles, Meredith doesn’t even have the decency to stay dead.  She shows up as a ghost to torment Evie and she’s more of a beyotch than ever.  And Meredith has deathnesia.  She can’t remember who killed her, which leaves Evie to solve this mystery herself, or go to jail for a murder she didn’t commit.  


Scarlet Wilson said...

Lexi, for me it's always all about the story and the characters. If a hot sex scene fits them then great, if they are the shut-the-bedroom-door types that's fine. I hate it when I read a book and it feels like a sex scene just been plunked on the page out of nowhere. But when one sneaks up on you and sizzles...that's something else entirely!

John said...

This article is really worth reading, it has too much details in it and yet it is so simple to understand, Thanks for sharing the picture it has great detail in it and i really appreciate your true artistic work!

GED Online

Lexi said...

I agree, Scarlet! I love the ones that sneak up on you! Well said.

Michele L. said...

I absolutely love steamy sex scenes especially when they involve surprises! Sometimes the elusion to a chaste overture is fine too in a story. Steamy and sweet is also a great concoction! Ha,ha!

Anyhow, I just finished reading and reviewing your new book Lexi and wow! I absolutely lo-v-ed it! You are one talented writer! I highly recommend reading this book everyone! It is a sensational paranormal romance novel! Lexi George blows the rafters off the roof with sexy demon hunters!

Chrisbails said...

I like either, but prefer the steamy. I like the steamy especially if it gets the blood pumping and them the boyfriend gets lucky. He also likes the steamy scenes. LOL. This is a new auithor and series for me. I love to read and always looking for new books and authors to check out. Thanks for the giveaway.

Lexi said...

I'm delighted you liked the book, Michele! I love writing about Hannah, where anything can happen -- and usually does. Thanks for stopping by and many, many thanks for your kind words about my writing. You've made my day. ;-)

Lexi said...

I like steamy too, Christine! But I will admit writing a sex scene can be daunting. Thanks for stopping by!

Na said...

Love scenes can be sexy, fun or awkward and it's really up to the characters! I agree depending on the perspective it can be tricky to describe ;)

Lexi said...

Yep, Na, they can be all those things. And writing them is a challenge!

Pat Cochran said...

Most love scenes are alright, whether they
are sweet, steamy or funny, unless they
stretch out forever! I recall one book that
had a five page love scene! In real life
perhaps yes, in a book not so much. In fact,
way too much! LOL!

Pat C.

Maureen said...

I like whatever scenes fit with the story and the characters. Each story is unique and there is a flow and the wrong type of scene would probably seem out of place.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

erin said...

Thanks for a great post!!! Congrats on the newest release. I have Demon Hunting in Dixie but work has been so crazy I haven't had a chance to read it yet :(

For me too, it also depends on the story. I don't really have a preference but as long as it doesn't stand out like a sore thumb and flows well and organically w/ the plot and story is all that I care about :)

Lexi said...

I guess it depends on the genre, Pat. Historical romances often have lengthy (and quite steamy) loves scenes. I must admit, I enjoy them!

Lexi said...

Absolutely, Maureen! I cut my teeth on Georgette Heyer Regency romances that never had more than a kiss in them, and I LOVED them! It all depends on the story and the characters. ;-)

Lexi said...

Totally understand the crazy thing, Erin. I have a hard time finding time to read, too. Thanks for stopping by!

Barbara E. said...

I actually prefer sweet sex scenes, or if they're steamy, then it should be more about emotions and how the character feels, rather than Tab A inserted in Slot B, etc. I have plenty of experience, so I can imagine all of the mechanics, but I like to hear about how his touch feels on her skin, or what a hard time he has controlling himself to make the encounter last, and so on.

*yadkny* said...

Hi Lexi!
I too prefer steamy sex scenes in the romances I read... it's one of my favorite things about reading romance novels too:) I don't believe I could ever write one so major props for authors who can and do them well. It sounds like you managed to get it done and I imagine I would need lots of ice cream and wine too:)

megblod said...

I actually prefer steamy sex scenes. For me there is no such thing as to steamy.

Lexi said...

Barbara, I love the emotional side of things too! That's one of the reasons I love romance. Love what you said about engaging the senses, and about control. Very sexy stuff!

Lexi said...

yadkny, I must admit I struggle with sex scenes. They are so important to the story and the characters, and I want to do them right. Once I've written one, I heave a big sigh of relief!

Lexi said...

Megblod, have you read Shannon McKenna? She's one of my favorite authors, and she writes a smoking hot sex scene! My goal when I write one is to make it sensual, but to also reveal something about the characters . . . besides the obvious bits!

Mary said...

I like the hot steamy sex scenes. I have come to like the erotic sex scenes too that might have a little bdsm or bondage in them. Nothing like a little kink to spice things up.

Lexi said...

Mary, that's the great thing about romance: there's something out there for everyone, from hot to sweet!

Eli Yanti said...

i love both sweet or steamy sex scenes in the romances :

Lexi said...

Me, too, Eli! And I love tender and funny, too!