Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hot?, I don't mean the weather.

I'm wondering, how hot is too hot for close-doored sex in a romance novel?

Sexual tension, brought to you by a sweet[ish] author.

Actually, I visited someone's blog recently who wrote [it was somewhere on there], and I'm paraphrasing... An author who writes [and deletes] the steamy scenes.  I might have to go find her and ask how MUCH she deletes. :D

Any thoughts on what's acceptable?
Not for the Faith/conversion-driven, religious fiction, either.
I do not write those... [sounds awful, doesn't it! LOL :D]


  1. First of all, before I answer, I want to put up a disclaimer just in case my wife reads this: Yes, honey, I am writing to another woman about sex, but it's not what it seems. Honest. I can explain. Well, I think I can...

    Anyway, back to the subject at hand.

    As a man, my first thoughts would for you to write up two versions. One version would be a full, completely descriptive write-up of the scene. The second would be a edited version, trimmed of all superfluous graphical descriptions, with only enough left to fit the mood of the story – and, perhaps, the limits of your publisher. You should, of course, send them both to me for review, where I will discretely dispose of the edited version so as not to hurt your feelings, and then read the original copy over and over and over.

    Just kidding, especially if my wife is still reading this...

    But part of that truly is my answer. When writing any scene, whether it deals with sex or anything else, and I'm not sure where to stop, I try writing it out fully, in detail. Then cut out what doesn't add to the story. I also think that for a romance novel/story, it shouldn't go into too much detail about anatomy. That risks the story falling into the soft porn category. It's just my opinion, and maybe I'm a little behind the times, but for a romance story, things should be described with words like “warmth” and “softness” instead of having everything quivering and throbbing.

    And I have to tell you, I'm feeling a little awkward about even putting that last sentence in here - I usually don't say those sorts of words around women I barely know... unless they're eating Jell-O.

    For example, in the teen romance I've been (slowly) working on, there is no physical sex, but there is a lot of tension (I hope) between the characters. I only allude to the girl's figure, never putting down details, but still getting the concept of her being feminine across to the reader. Well, anyway, that's my goal. Anyone can describe physical sex, but writing to get that tension, though difficult, makes for a more interesting story when it works. It also leaves a little bit for the reader to imagine, and everyone has their own ideas on the subject.

    Just remember, though – I don't normally write romance stories, so I may be completely off base.

    I'm not sure if that answers your question, since it's mostly just my opinion.

    But I should go now, anyway - I've probably written too much here already. And I have this strange feeling that I need to get on-line and order my wife some flowers...

    1. That's very interesting that you say that, Avery.
      I'm in the process of toning down. I too write it all out there in the first and even second draft. It helps flesh out the character growth... haha, pun intended.

      I wonder if I even still have that first draft? In those drafts, there is no quivering! Sometimes an occasional anatomy part... hm. I'm sweetening the ms because the bottom line is easy for me. I agree that romance [especially for my readers--mostly women] is about the brain and not sex. Keep the tension...send you the first draft. haha. Just kidding Mrs. Avery.

  2. I agree with Avery. I've read so many 'overly graphic' scenes like this, but it is always the softer, gentler and much less detailed ones that stick in mind. Personally, I feel that they tell more of a truth about the, um, situation, because they concentrate on the emotion behind it all. That always feels much more passionate to me :)

    But hey, why not write it all out with the gory details as well? You don't have to show anyone!

  3. Great thoughts! It's funny... the older I get, the more I really find sex scenes boring, and skip most of them. I just read a book where I literally skipped about ten pages.

    As a writer, though, I think you have to be true to yourself and to your story. At least in the first draft. Then, you can edit out whatever would be viewed as inappropriate.


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