Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hot Night

As a reader, I know I like the steamier love scenes. The fade-to-black scenarios or behind-closed-doors type of books don't appeal to me. And erotica is a little too graphic for my taste. So, I fall somewhere in the middle as a reader.

As a writer, I write "spicy" romance. That's how The Wild Rose Press categorizes my books. But writing love scenes can be a bit intimidating. It's no fun to have them sounding clinical.

One thing that helps is my RWA chapter. We have a great critiquing program. Several times a year, we have 'hot night' when we get to bring in a sex scene (sweet, sensual, spicy, hot - whatever goes) and get feedback.

Here are some things I've learned over the years:

*The scene needs to move the story forward. The charcters should be in a different place (emotionally) at the end of the scene. The scene should be part of the romance between the hero and heroine, not sex for the sake of sex.

*Any dialogue should be unique to the charcters. Try to stay away from generic 'moans and groans'.

*A love scene is a great place to get all of the senses involved: tell what the characters are seeing, feeling, tasting, smelling, and hearing.

*This is definitely the type of scene to show not tell. Show the emotion. We want to feel the same things!

Until next time,

Happy Reading!



  1. Some good advice there, Debra.
    But must admit I am not 100% certain of how sex scenes are actually categorised. Does each publisher have its own category? Or is there a generally accepted 'norm' for each type? I'm really not sure what the difference is between e.g. sweet and sensual, between sensual and spicy, etc etc? What do the terms steamy, torrid, and erotic actually mean? And is there a list somewhere which actually defines these differences?
    I really have no idea how my sex scenes would be classified!

  2. From what I've seen, each publisher seems to classify in a different way.

  3. But many publishers don't actually define the differences - they just use the words, so how are we supposed to know what type of scene falls into which category?
    I've seen so-called 'sweet' romances which are (supposedly) close the bedroom door type, but they've had inside the bedroom scenes - so I remain confused about all this!

  4. Your love scenes in Wild Wedding Weekend were great, Debra. Steamy and original.