Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sex Sells

I’m writing a paranormal romance, so this month I’m taking a workshop on writing love scenes. Now some people may ask why. Surely the love scene is the easiest part of the process. After all it’s just a matter of putting part “A” into part “B” and adding some sound effects. Not so. Actually there’s much, much more involved.

A romance novel focuses on the relationship between the hero and heroine. Everything else is secondary. The plot has to revolve around the couple and their romance. Each love scene has to have a purpose and move the story along. There must be sexual tension, conflict and a climax where the characters are rewarded with a happy ending.

In addition some readers want to see more steamy sex scenes; which is not to say the teasers of yesterday are gone. Romance runs the gamut and there’s something for everyone.

However erotic romance has come into its own and is very popular today. The stories include graphic sex scenes and frank language. All of which makes things trickier because the sex can’t be gratuitous. We’re not talking hardcore porn, which concentrates only on the sex act. An erotic romance still has to have a well-developed plot and three dimensional characters. When it comes down to it it’s still the angst that makes a reader turn the page.

We’re seeing more and more electronic publishers such as the very popular The market for these stories is growing so rapidly that mainstream publishers are starting new imprints for them. It’s probably an outgrowth of more stark and realistic movies and TV shows.

So what’s a girl to do? Become proficient of course.