Sunday, March 1, 2009

Something Wickedly Sexy

Okay, so last week my subject matter for the blog was so not sexy. I decided to liven things up for this week. We've been talking a little about inspiration and a writer's life this week, so I think I'll tackle the one subject that seems to be on everyone's mind when they find out I write romance.

Oh yes, the familiar wink-wink nudge-nudge look in the eye. "So, how do you research your books?" stuff.

Well? While I tend to roll my eyes at that question, how do we do it? (Literally and figuratively)

For me, the most important thing for any love scene is the emotion behind it. There is so much at stake when two people choose to trust one another in that way. I really like that part of writing a scene.

However, (and Angie can verify this) I always stop cold just before writing one. I hem and haw and do all the dishes, and reorganize the garage, give my dog a bath, repaint the baseboards, well, you get the idea.

Why? If I really dig down deep into my inner psyche, it's because I feel just a little naughty. The act of writing a love scene for me is very voyeuristic. I feel like I know my two characters as well as I know any two people in my life, and then I'm standing in the room, actually choreographing them—well, you know. It makes me just a little bit uncomfortable to have my characters that exposed, physically, emotionally, and mentally.

It's raw, it's powerful, and sometimes it is transcendent. That's when I know I've written a good one.

But I take some prodding to get there. It usually goes something like this.

Me: Here it is!
Angie: Push it.
Me: Awww, man!
Angie: You have to go there.
Me: Double aww man!

And so on and so forth until I finally reach that point with my characters where everything is on the line and nothing is held back.

I love that in a love scene. It's so dang hot. I really don't put too much stock into what they are actually physically doing to turn me or anyone else on, but when barriers start breaking and that connection starts weaving my two characters together, it's a beautiful victory.

What an amazing thing.

I'm so glad I write Romance. This is awesome.

So what is the one thing about a love scene that really gets to you?



Angie Fox said...

Jess and I exchange our chapters on Mondays and I always know if she has a love scene coming up, it'll probably take a few extra days.

It's your process, Jess. And it works. I'm glad to hold you to the fire because the scenes always turn out beautifully in the end.

Love scenes are hard because there are so many things going on at different levels. I'll never forget one of the comments Jess made about the love scene I just wrote for my Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance story.

Jess told me, "I'm loving the energy and the humor, but even if they are super-strong vampires, I don't think they're going to be making love up against that wall for three hours." Whoops. I was so wrapped up in the emotion and the other physical cues that I forgot that they'd probably be more comfortable on the floor, at least for the duration of their, ahem, encounter.

Jess Granger said...

That was pretty funny. It's a great love scene, BTW. I'm glad I pushed you into opening that door. I didn't want your readers to miss out on that one.


Erica said...

Interesting. I know that when I write love scenes, I get the choreography out of the way first. Making the emotion shine through is the hardest thing, and involves lots of minute revisions.

I too love the part where the characters connect.

But just as heartbreaking for me is the scene where one or both of the characters isn't ready for that yet. They're making love, they see that moment of connection approaching and they run and hide.

Ann Aguirre said...

Sex is the easiest part of writing for me. Sometimes it's hard to interrupt all that shagging with a plot, though.

Jess Granger said...

LOL Ann!


moonduster said...

It's the emotuion in a love scene that gets to me too, makes the scene all that much more erotic. :)