Yes! Yes! A Writer’s Passion for Love Scenes (post by Anna)
Yes! Yes! A Writer’s Passion for Love Scenes
October 2, 2015
I have a secret. It’s naughty and dirty and will shock the faint of heart. You’ve been warned, so read on if you think you can handle it. Pull back the curtain to expose my darkest secret…
I write sex scenes, and I enjoy it. No, I take that back. I don’t enjoy writing sex scenes, I love writing them.
Yes, you read that right. I admit I love writing sexy, naughty scenes for my romance novels. But let me switch terminology here, and I’ll explain why. The scenes I craft for my characters are not mere sex scenes, they are love scenes. The difference? Emotion. Connection. Trust. No matter how explicit the description of the act itself, I never include a gratuitous sex scene. If the scene doesn’t advance the plot and/or develop the romantic relationship, then it doesn’t belong in my book.
One upon a time, I felt embarrassed writing sensual scenes. When I wrote my first romance, Willpower, I kept the love scene more euphemistic than graphic, but I longed to flesh out the sensuality between the characters, Grace and David. Eventually, I realized I shied away from writing more explicit scenes because I worried about having my stories labeled dirty. My books have become progressively sexier, with my upcoming story Tempted by a Kiss earning the distinction of being the sexiest of all. I no longer care if some people think my love scenes are dirty, because I finally gave myself permission to take pleasure in writing them.
I unleashed my passion for love scenes.
When I wrote Intuition, the sequel to Willpower, I purposely kept the first love scene more like the one in the first book. Each subsequent love scene (there are three) grows more sensual and explicit, but with the same foundation in the relationship between Grace and David. They share a psychic bond, which influences their physical relationship. Each love scene in the book changes their dynamic in some way, leading to a final revelation that transforms them both. Their passion for each other is essential, but it’s not gratuitous. If I’d closed the bedroom door on those scenes, we would’ve missed out on crucial moments in the evolution of these two characters.
I had a blast writing Intuition. I don’t think anyone who read Willpower will be shocked by the escalation of sensuality in Intuition. I went for a similar progression of passion in my Reborn series, where the first story has no love scene, the second has a somewhat graphic one, and the third pushes the passion to an even higher level. The fourth and final story will evolve the relationship between Dawn and Jake further, into new territory for them.
Not everything I write these days is hot, hot, hot. I do gravitate toward the steamier end of the spectrum, but if a story feels like it needs less steam, I tone it down. My passion is for love scenes, not hot sex thrown in for the fun of it. I won’t deny I read books that have gratuitous sex in them. A lot of urban fantasy novels include scorching-hot sex scenes that exist solely to titillate—and there’s nothing wrong with that. I eagerly await each new Alex Craft book from Kalayna Price, for the exciting plots and the hot, gratuitous sex. But in my own writing I prefer love scenes, because I’m a romance writer and emotion is the lynchpin of romance.
I want everyone to enjoy reading my love scenes as much as I revel in composing them. If you don’t share Dawn and Jake’s red-hot passion, then I haven’t done my job right. Not every reader will share my taste in love scenes, but as long as I’ve written a scene I’m proud of and one I loved writing, then I know someone out there will share my passion for it.
If you share my passion, then say it loud and proud. I love love scenes!
Photo by Sarah Reid (Flickr: fire) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons