More than a place--it's a writer's muse.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Some Like it Hot

Sometimes I feel that as a writer of super sensual romance, I'm working against putting the proverbial cart before the horse when it comes to explicit scenes.

Recently, I've been a bit troubled by calls for submissions that request more explicit sex scenes, more graphic sex scenes, and more frequent sex scenes between characters. Many authors are reporting in that their editors are requesting that characters engage in sexual acts in opening scenes, and sometimes even on the opening page.

As I recently told a friend of mine, I would never get in bed with a guy before page fifty. Why would any of my characters? And that tends to run true with even the hottest of my stories.

Somehow, I wonder if the editors demanding the wild and wooly on page one have missed the boat when it comes to defining just what the book reading public really means when they say they want their romantic fiction to have higher "heat levels".

It seems to me that the emphasis on erotic romance is falling away from romance.

Are readers truly asking for an increase in the page one kink factor, or are they asking for an increase in the sexual and emotional tension b/t the hero/heroine. Isn't it that build up to consummation what leaves our readers all that much more delighted--and turned on--when it finally does occur?

I don't believe erotic encounters can function within the framework of traditional HEA romance without strong emotional connections between heroes and heroines. As a reader, I want to cheer when that relationship comes to fruition. As a writer, I want to take that journey with my characters and milk it for every bit of emotion I can muster.

And I believe it takes more than a few pages to believably build that connection. And lately, I'm finding my full length romances focusing less on the bedroom scenes and more on the tension leading up to them. And I like it that way. :)

What's your opinion? Where does romance end and erotica begin? How do the recent calls for hot and hotter impact what you're reading or writing? I really want to know!


Felicia said...

I've noticed that the built-up to a sex scene (both emotional and fore-play) is more exciting than the actual sex; the mounting tension.
I think there could be story ideas that could begin with sex even on the first page, but mostly it wouldn't work.
You can have sexual tension from page one on the other hand.
At least that's what I think. :)

SarannaDeWylde said...

I think the tension is definitely hotter. I mean, sex is easy to get. Tension is not. The thrill of the chase is what delights me.

In Demon, there is sex in the first few pages, but I think I'm doing a good job of maintaining the tension. I hope so anyway.

I think that romance and erotica are two different genres. You can have explicit romance, but I don't think that makes it erotica. Even though it seems the e-lit world may disagree with me.

Robin said...

When writing Fae Nights, there is a pretty hot foreplay scene around 30 pages in. I had friends asking for one much earlier, but it just didn't seem right. They didn't even know each other. that is what makes it tricky for the writers now, writing "love at fist sight so they can get it on" in a believable way.

Liane Gentry Skye said...

Sounds to me like we're all of like minds on this one. :D Felicia, You're our winner! Drop me an email at starmuser AT and I'll get our book out to you ASAP!

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