February 8, 2010

Love Scenes

This is a discussion that came up in my crit group a little while back, and Jackie also discussed it on her blog recently. So I wanted to continue on the topic, because, let’s face it, in romance, this is kind of important.

Of course we know that romance isn’t about sex. It’s not one sex scene after another with no character and no meaning, rather, the consummation of the h and H’s relationship is an important, character building, relationship building, conflict bringing, story advancing moment.

It should say something about them, who they are, what they’re feeling. For example, a love scene between an h and H who think they’re indulging in a one night stand would be different than a love scene between an h and H who have years of pent up desire. It would different if the heroine had been in love with the hero and she has expectations, hopes, dreams tied up in the two of them making love, vs if she wanted to keep her emotions disengaged because she doesn’t want a real romantic entanglement.

When I finished writing and dusting up book #2 for Presents, I had a mild panic attack when I realized that I had written FOUR love scenes. Yeah, cue breathing into the paper bag again. It seemed like too much to me for a book that size, and I was concerned it would read like one love scene after another without any real conflict, resolution or story advancement. So I decided to edit one out. But the trouble was, I felt like losing any of those scenes was to lose a huge chunk of story. In the end I really didn’t want to lose those moments because in my mind they were the most intimate, revealing parts, especially for my hero, who’s completely undone in those moments.

So I left them in with the thought that if my editor asked me to take one out, I would. So it was immensely gratifying when she sent me my small revision letter a week or so back that she said the lovemaking between them furthered their emotional connection and confirmed their deep attraction, in addition to setting of a chain of rollercoaster emotions that brought them closer together.

And that to me sums up what the love scenes are for. Yeah, they’re fun to write and fun to read. They allow us to glimpse the most intimate moments in a developing romance. They allow us to experience every aspect of love and falling in love. But more than that, they can become an integral part of the storytelling, not just a scene you could lift out because it was nothing more than a series of purple prose and graphic description.

Oh, and now, for Maya and myself, we must partake in Mark Valley…Snaps.


9 Responses | TrackBack URL | Comments Feed

  1. Hmmm, who *is* he. Tootling off to google right now ๐Ÿ™‚

    Sex scenes, not actually written a full blown one yet. This fact is getting a bit worrying, will maybe need to borrow some of your extra ones ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. LOL. Yeah, I got sex scenes lying around all over the place…you can have one. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But, of course, you’d have to add the proper characterization.

    Mark Valley. Human Target *drool*

  3. Ahem…*wiping drool off chin*. Which shall I tackle first? Mark? Sex scenes? Mark? Okay, first sex scenes – I love writing them. Why? Because there’s nothing purer or more revealing to our characters than the act of making love. The hero (and sometimes heroine) might think (erroneously) that making love is merely scratching an itch. WRONG! All the poor dears are doing is falling deeper in love, so yep, writing those sex scenes? My favourite part of the book.

    Now, hello Mark! Yummity yum yum, is all I’m saying!

  4. My favorite part too, Maya! And for all the reasons you said! Very good way of putting it!

    And also, I second your yummity yum yum. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Indeed, love writing a good sex scene. Especially with heaps of emotion. Course it’s taken a while for me to realise quite why the emotion needs to be there (and how to put it in!) but I’m getting it.. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. You certainly are!

  7. Yep. Exactly right, Maisey. That’s what I’m trying to do right now.

    And, would you believe Mr. Valley was in the military the same time as me? We were one country apart. He also:
    He played Jack Deveraux on the NBC Daytime soap opera Days of our Lives from 1994 to 1997. That’s how I remember him. And from ER. He is a cutie.


  8. Oooh…you have a connection with the very hot Mark Valley…lucky Abbi!

    And you’ve got it, I’ve read you’re stuff and it’s amazing!

  9. OOh. Mark Valley. Yum!

    I like sex scenes as long as they serve a story purpose and are packed with emotion punch.

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