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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wednesday Spotlight: Nina Pierce

Romance, Love, and Everything Natural

Okay, so you’re sitting at the computer, your fingers poised over the keys and the words won’t come. Why? Because your muse left you? Because the washing machine’s banging out the end of the rinse cycle? Or your email is begging for your attention? No, none of these reasons are why you can’t get the flashing cursor to turn into letters, words, or sentences. (Though they’re all reasons we get stymied, that’s an article for another time.) It’s because you’ve hit that crucial moment when your hero and heroine are going to do “it” and the thought of putting those words on paper has you quaking in your slippers and beads of sweat pearling on your upper lip.

Relax. You’re not alone. Many writers find love scenes more difficult to write than just about any other part of their manuscript.

We all know how it works, biologically speaking. There’s arousal which causes vasocongestion in both men and women (umm, blood flowing into tissues… you get the picture) and fluids being exchanged and all that other stuff we learned in health class. But let’s face it, romance readers don’t want another biology lesson. They want just that—romance. They want to feel the bond and believe these two people were meant to be together and ultimately, they want the satisfaction of seeing them make this leap into intimacy.

Love scenes are a composition; the poetry of movement dancing with the senses and the music of the emotion propelling it forward. Whether it's a threesome; the sacrifice of one’s soul to a vampire; a quickie in the backseat between young lovers; or a tender, oh, so slow seduction; in the end, readers (especially woman) want the same thing: wonderful sex equating with love.

So how do you do it?

Try getting the mechanics down first. How much detail you include and the language depend on your genre. Once everything has been slotted properly, go back and layer in the senses. How does her perfume smell or his lips taste? What’s the feeling of her hair on his thighs or his whiskers on her belly? Did he sigh into her ear? Remember all five of them.

The scene looks pretty good now, huh? But you’re not finished.

The last and most important part of your scene is the EMOTION! Think deep point of view. How does the whole thing make your characters feel?

Is your character a Chopin/candlelight/slow seduction kind of person, or a rip your clothes off and do it on the stairs 'cause they can't wait to get to the bedroom type of person? Both scenes have their place in our romances. When the reader is finished do you want them panting for more, or smoking a cigarette of satisfaction? Did your scene achieve that goal? If not, try short, choppy sentences for that faster paced, need to satisfy at all cost kind of feeling. Longer, more descriptive details slow the reader down and pull them in.

Remember, the emotions should be wrapped around everything; from the first heavy-lidded look to the tremulous smile through the feather touch across a temple straight to the cuddling at the end (or the walk out the door)—it’s all about the feelings. The actual act isn't what makes a sex scene memorable. It's the interaction between the lovers that connects us to our readers and makes the scene sensual, exciting, and yes, titillating. It makes our readers sigh with satisfaction and dream they had that in their life.

It makes them remember why they fell in love.

Nina loves writing hot scenes of love and eroticism for hr characters. Her newest release, “Bonded by Need” was her first m/f/m ménage. Check out all her titles at


Fran Lee said...

Fabulous blog, Nina! Well done! You hit the romantic nail on its head!

Nina Pierce said...

Fran - Glad you enjoyed the blog! Thanks so much for stopping by.

Cathy M said...

I love a great romance story, the spicier the better, but without the emotions involved, the mechanics of the sex scenes are just flat and cold. Your stories have an emotional impact that makes us care about what happens to your characters, both in and out of the bedroom. Thanks Nina for getting it so right.

Dani said...

I absolutely loved this blog! I din't think it could have been said any better. Thank you.

Nina Pierce said...

Cathy - Oh, thank you. I'm so glad you enjoy my books Cathy! And sex without emotion whether it's in a book or not is just blah IMO. LOL!

Dani - You're very welcome.