Writing Sizzle (When you’re used to Sweet)

*This was an article I wrote as a guest post on another blog, but thought I’d share it here again 🙂

Falling For Mr. Unexpected-highres

As with all things in life, trying something new does bring its own set of challenges. And going from writing sweet contemporary romance to more spicy paranormal romance wasn’t the exception.

I remember at one point I did a post on my Facebook Author Page on the research I’d done on ‘how to approach writing a love scene’. Don’t worry I won’t do a recount here *smile*

But what is the challenge of writing sizzling instead of sweet? Romance is romance after all. There can’t be much difference between the two. And right there, I would lose my reader. Because a sweet romance reader is looking for something different than a reader who prefers a more sizzling read. As an author with a deep respect for readers (because I’m a reader myself) I sat back and dug deep to understand the complexity of the challenges I’m going to face as I tell the story.

The Wolf’s Choice is my first foray into romance that sizzles. It also forms part of a bigger world, The Black Hills Wolves, created by Heather Long and Rebecca Royce for Decadent Publishing. So I had to keep the requirements of the series in mind and stay true to what the creators had in mind of for it. And since the inspiration for the novella started off in my imagination with these two innocent teens meeting at the local Swimming Hole, I knew that I’m going to have a problem if I kept to my ‘old’ style of sweet romance writing (even though the scene when read on its own is sweet).

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I think it’s good to note at this point that I don’t just read sweet romance. The romance books I buy range in heat levels, but I usually gravitate towards the stories that contain a happy medium. And that’s the crux for an author who’s going from a ‘clean’ read to a much hotter one. The first challenge you’ll face is to ask yourself, where’s my comfort level with the hotness-factor? Once you’ve established this, you’ll know whether you’ll be able to write a romance that sizzles or have to completely abandon that writing path.

The second challenge, I found, has to do with language, what words to use? Do you want to be graphic? What do your favorite authors use when they tackle a love scene? And most importantly, what type of language is used by the authors contracted for the series/line you want to write for? If the language is an issue for you, then don’t. To force is a crime *smile* and no one likes to be forced to do anything. I’ve read authors who use the words dick, pussy, etc. in such a jarring way that I stopped reading the story. To me, they are out of sync with their characters. If your heroine has never throughout the book even thought of sex or referred to her body parts in her mind or in the dialogue in erotic terms, then goodness why are you now suddenly having her using those terms? The language becomes jarring.

That’s something I had to study in The Wolf’s Choice. A woman with sexual experience wouldn’t necessarily be coy about sex. Though we all know it’s not that cut and dried, characters, like people are complex. (And this you’ll find out about my heroine Rebecca, when you read the story). But there are certain universal things we all accept and don’t about characters in novels.

So language is a definite challenge when writing a sizzling romance.

Don’t lose the plot. No seriously, don’t. Essentially you’re telling the story of two people falling in love and the obstacles that keep them from doing that. As a romance writer that’s your first priority. Don’t get bogged down by how hot your book’s supposed to be. Or by what page number your characters should have, at least, kissed. Or made love.  And don’t write love scenes as fillers.

Some publishers might compromise story because sex is the subject of that imprint. But you have to keep in mind that at the heart of every romance is the emotional bond between the hero and heroine. The emotional bond adds layers to theDance-of-Love300x450 sizzle and the sizzle in your story should advance the plot.

The important thing to acknowledge is that you’ll face challenges as you go along, but to not allow them to keep you from telling your story.

 

*What challenges have you faced writing a love scene?

 

New Review Blog Splash: Dance of Love #EnterCompetition

In honor of the lovely new review Dance of Love recieved, I decided to do a Review Blog Splash. But a little differently. I’m sharing this one review on multiple authors blogs from now till Friday. And here’s something else, if you comment here you can Win a copy of Dance of Love.

So here’s the review by N Shiv.
Dance of Love by Inge Saunders is a short, fun and flirty read. The author paints a convincing tale as she introduces her characters whose depth and emotions are so raw and relatable you feel it! Ashley’s passion for achieving her goals, to finding true happiness no matter what obstacles stand in her way I find sincere. And her determination, her grit and her passion to make her dreams become a reality compliments and enhances the plot. The hero is likable and sincere. He is true to his beliefs and stands by his decisions with a strong sense of thoughtfulness and determination one just has to respect.
At the end of the day I’d say Dance of Love is a remarkable story of life, love and chasing dreams, teaching us to never give up on things our heart sets out to achieve but rather to put our best foot forward until we win the battle of fulfillment in the end.
4 Stars.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/cr/B00XRQ2KZC/n=6/ref=aw_cr_i_6
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Blurb:
All roads lead to Rome when Ashley Solomons embarks on fulfilling her dream to become a world-class dancer. But there’s one person who stands in her way. “It`s a no from me,” Antonio Machiavelli.
When Antonio’s auditions for a lead principal end in wintry Cape Town, the last thing he expects is to have more than a knee-jerk reaction to an audition. Ashley not only verbally challenges him, but also translates her fire and cheekiness into an edge of your seat performance.
Can Antonio keep his distance from Ashley? Can Ashley focus on fulfilling her dream of becoming a lead principal? Or will love have its way?

 

Excerpt:
Ashley grimaced.
He let the girl get to the chorus before dismissing her as well. The other panel members spoke kindly, and she didn’t leave in tears as the candidate before her had.
Before he could call next, she walked out on stage. She didn’t stand a chance in hell, so why give him the satisfaction of ordering her around? Finding her center, she met the eyes of the panel and blinked. Maybe she should have Googled Antonio Machiavelli, she mused standing transfixed. He was much younger than she expected and more attractive.
He appeared to be in his early thirties, with a mop of dark curls falling across his forehead. Even seated, he towered over the other judges. No wonder every girl’s unnerved. He`s intimidating with his tanned hands folded in front of him on the table.. His grim scowl reminded her to not cave.
“What’s your name?” the lone woman on the panel asked with a kind smile.
“Ashley,” she replied.
The woman glanced down at her clipboard. “It says here you have no formal training.”
Antonio Machiavelli gave a deep sigh. Her brow furrowed. “Yes.”
Nail-biting silence reigned for a moment then the woman waved her hand. “Proceed.”
Antonio Machiavelli placed his fingers at his temples. “Do we have to? She has no formal training. She’s wasting everyone’s time.”
Ashley’s jaw clenched. “How about you let me finish my audition? You’ll have enough ammunition to ridicule me with after.”
That got his attention. She couldn’t see the color of his eyes, but if she had to guess, she’d say fiery red. He sat forward in his chair, leaning over the table, dwarfing it.
He had the persona of an angry wolf out to devour her. The thought set her heart racing. What? She watched too much True Blood.

Other Buy Links:
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1Kdh9in
Play Google: http://bit.ly/1d81rHY