Writing the “romance” in a romance novel…

Intimacy is abound in a story of two young adults falling in love, as it should be! I love writing about the stolen glances and the casual brush of the hand that is anything but casual so early on in a relationship. I love exploring the building tension that leads to the ubiquitous first kiss. I could write that all day. But falling in love typically also means falling into bed together – at some point anyway.

While I’d say I am generally a pretty sex-positive person and not particularly shy or inhibited about talking about sex, writing a sex scene was a bit of a challenge (and still is). Writing it is challenging in and of itself but thinking about others reading what I’ve written is a whole other level of discomfort.

However, if you’ve read many romance novels, you know that you can and should expect a love scene or two. Depending on the sub-genre of the particular romance novel you are reading, the style and “heat” of those scenes will vary greatly.  

I knew two things about my stories, my character’s relationships would eventually evolve into sexual relationships and I’d have to figure out how I wanted to write about that.

My first drafts of Discovering Our Story had a closed-door love scene. Meaning that there was lead up to the intimate next stage of their relationship, but they literally closed the door to the reader to assume what did or did not happen in their bedroom. This is fine and an option many writers use in their novels.

Other sub-genres differ and really dance around the sexual relationship between their characters or wait for a happy marriage then still merely brush over the consummation of the relationship. I can also respect that choice and see how and why it fits a particular sub-genre.

Some sub-genres the sex between the characters really take central stage. While I don’t mean to sound judgy, I knew that was not at all the story I was writing. I did not want to write any blush or cringe-worthy scenes.

I did a lot of reading to find the style and level of heat that I felt fit best with my story, my characters and my goals for getting published. I worked long and hard on writing the love scenes that highlighted the emotional connection between my characters that were neither too explicit nor too prudish. I really pushed myself as a writer to write the scene that was most appropriate for my story. I wanted my decisions to be driven by my story not by how I would or wouldn’t feel in the eyes of my readers, specifically those readers who know me. Writing a sex scene a stranger will read is quite different than writing one I know my loved ones will read.  

In the end, I hope how I represented my characters and myself is well-balanced and moves the story forward in a way we can all feel good about. So when you read my work, no Judgy McJudgers, please!

Is it just me or do you love a first kiss scene? Share with me below in the comments section.

 

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