Thursday, March 26, 2015

Love Scenes—Getting it Right


Congratulations to "Jennifer D." and "Rachel B." the winners in Cindy's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated.

Sex—many authors struggle with writing love scenes or as some dub them: sex scenes. The problem is that these types of scenes are oftentimes misunderstood by readers or sometimes misused by authors. How is that possible? Let me explain...

Most recently I received a three-star review for my newest release, To the Breaking Pointe, from a reader who posted, “A fun guilty pleasure. Liked the military and dance aspects. Wish there was a little more romance.”

Translation: I thought there would be more sex scenes. 

Sorry, I don’t roll that way (accidental pun? I think not).

Please don’t misunderstand; I’m not complaining about the review, I’m just trying to make a clear concise point here. That said there are two love/sex scenes within the storyline of To the Breaking Pointe. These two scenes are appropriate for the story—both scenes move the story forward. If I had included another love scene in the story it would have been pushing the envelope, or forced for no other reason than to include such a scene to please such readers—and this is where love scenes are oftentimes misused. 

Some of you may be thinking, okay, author, how does a love scene move the story forward? Let’s face it, most love scenes are in the story for enticement.

Not necessarily. In order to use the scene aptly so that it doesn’t seem out of place or added for overkill, the scene should:

1. Bring the couple closer together—solidify their relationship.

2. Something should be revealed, a secret, a confession, or perhaps
    information that has not yet been shared with the reader.

3. The new information listed in #2 can even come as a result of
    the lovemaking—perhaps one character feels compelled to share it.



In other words, you need to make the scene count—a scene that is thrown in just to have it there will feel out of place to an astute reader, and yes, they will be annoyed by it.

A well placed, well written love scene can be very powerful, but an ill placed love scene can turn the reader off, resulting in a poor review or lost readership. 

By the way, I don’t necessarily consider the three-star review in my example as a bad review, after all they stated that the story was “fun” and there were aspects of the story that they “liked.” The reality is that all reviews can’t be five-stars—but that’s for another blog post.

Still...I have to wonder, will my three-star reader pick up any of my books in the future? I certainly hope so. However, they will not find any excess love scenes.

Giveaway:
I will be giving away one ebook copy of Into the Crossfire AND one ebook copy of To the Breaking Pointe--just leave a comment and your email address to enter the drawing!

Good Luck!

Author Bio:
For twenty-six years Cindy’s life whirled around a song and a dance: she was a professional dancer/choreographer for most of her adult life and never gave much thought to a writing career until 2005. She often notes: Don’t ask me what happened, but suddenly I felt drawn to my computer to write about things I have experienced with my husband’s Thoroughbreds and happenings at the racetrack (greatly exaggerated upon of course—I’ve never been murdered!). Viola! Cindy’s first book series, Unbridled, was born—there are four books to that series so far.

Cindy is a huge fan of romantic suspense series, and although she isn’t one to make New Year’s resolutions, on New Year’s Day 2013 she made a commitment to write one, Into the Crossfire is the first book for her new series, First Force.

People are always asking Cindy: do you miss dance? With a bitter sweet smile on her lips she tells them: Sometimes I do. I miss my students. I miss choreographing musicals, but I love my books, and I love sharing them with you.For more information, book trailers, and excerpts for all of Cindy’s books please visit her website: www.cindymcwriter.com
Social Networks:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cindy.s.mcdonald.3

Twitter: @CindyMcDonald7

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST March 27th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@justromanticsuspense.com with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.


12 comments:

  1. Great post, thanks for sharing! Readers are very different, so to each his own. As for me, I prefer my suspense to be suspenseful with a healthy dose of romance and a dash of sexy scenes (more often than not, I skim them altogether).

    natalija(dot)shkomare(at)gmail(dot)com

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  2. I would think two sex scenes in a story should be enough, unless it's categorized as erotica. And, it very definitely should be moving the story, relationship or romance forward. I've started skimming gratuitous sex scenes these days. It's strange that someone would label them as more or less "romance." Romance embodies so much more than sex.

    Thanks for the post!

    Jonettaallen77 at yahoo dot com

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  3. I don't agree with you that when a reader says they wish their was a little more romance that automatically translates to it should have had more sex. To me, romance is so much more than sex. It can be the touch of a hand, a kiss on the temple, a certain kind of look one character gives another. I too have felt at times a book needed more romance but was most assuredly not thinking of sex. I felt an occasional thought from the hero about how sexy the heroine was and how just looking at her caused his pulse to kick up a notch would have qualified as romance. Maybe a little harmless flirting to get the characters thinking more about one another would suffice. But simply saying romance = sex is by no means how I see it and I have to wonder if that's what the person you referred to was trying to get at as well.

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  4. I completely agree with you that two sex scenes are enough in a story to show the attraction of the couple to each other and be romantic. I also don't think those scenes need to be very detailed in order to get the point. More sex or details leans toward erotica which, in my opinion, is not romantic.

    joanne.boykoATyahooDOTcom

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  5. I completely agree with you that two sex scenes are enough in a story to show the attraction of the couple to each other and be romantic. I also don't think those scenes need to be very detailed in order to get the point. More sex or details leans toward erotica which, in my opinion, is not romantic.

    joanne.boykoATyahooDOTcom

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  6. I have read some really great books that have no sex scenes... for me, I read to see how characters deal with things and find their way to a HEA... they do not have to have sexy scenes to have a connection.

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  7. I agree that the sex scenes have to be pivotal to the story. If they are just there for filler (as I call it), then I will totally skip it and probably skip this author going forward. Sex takes the couple to a whole different level in their relationship and that needs to impact the story line in some way. Thank you for your blog post. jmvarner50@hotmail.com

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  8. interesting post; think it depends on the reader

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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  9. I've never stopped to count the number of love/sex scenes. I have read some books where I skip over them as they do nothing for the story line.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

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  10. Some stories I have read you could take the bedroom scenes out & not miss them at all. They added nothing to the story.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  11. I read a variety of different books and I enjoy the different writing styles of authors. I definitely don't judge a book based on how many sex scenes are in the book. You are a new author for me. I hope to be able to read your books soon. I love finding new authors to read on Just Romantic Suspense. rachaelb2014 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  12. Thanks for all the comments! The winners have been drawn and I have sent an email out to each. Have a wonderful spring, and I'll see you again on JRS sometime soon!

    ReplyDelete