Sunday, September 7, 2008

Climaxing with Panache

Sorry I missed my post yesterday. I woke up feeling awful and went directly back to bed to sleep. As for today, the topic of climaxes, finales and completions of novels is still on the menu. As we continue into snack week, look for a visual cornucopia of tasty "ends" and/or further quickies about endings.

Since I didn't post my week one and I write erotic romances, I decided I'd focus on climaxes. Don't run screaming from the blog. I can be tasteful. Usually. Often. Sometimes. Well, today.

I've been working on edits on my medieval...again. (A writer's job is NEVER done!) And I've been rereading my love scenes. Why? To make sure each one builds on the next. As I said about middles, the scenes should be important so that if you skip them you miss something. In each one I include clues about who my characters are and how the story will flow. My hero and heroine usually decide how intense the scene is though. And trust me, there is no changing their minds. I'll explain later, so stay with me.

The first love scene (whether it happens on page 10 or page 100) is typically two people jumping each other or learning about each other. Of course it's best if they do both, but often that scene is quick and hot. Quick being a relative term, at least in my case. I write long love scenes - I don't try to - it just works out that way. My h/h don't complain though. I think they like that about me.

The point of this one is to introduce them to each other in a physical way. During their first time they learn what both of them enjoy and they are gasping at the end of the encounter. And, we all know it's never been that hot with ANYONE else before. Hey, it's romance and that's part of the HEA, especially in an erotic romance. Of course, the intensity tends to scare both of them so they might avoid each other for awhile...or they crave another round. In my writing, it is usually the later because as I said in my previous discussion, I've forced my h/h together and there is no getting away. They are either fated mates or they are newly married. Whichever it is, they are joined at the hip. Literally and figuratively.

The important thing is that the next love scene builds on the first. It needs to be placed logically and reveal character. As your h/h grow closer together, their lovemaking becomes more intimate and the climaxes are hotter. Yes, hotter. And yes, it is a heckuva challenge to keep getting hotter. I've been fortunate because my h/h tend to decide for themselves what the love scene will be and how it will show me, and the reader, more about them and their growing relationship.

Not only should the overall story arc reach a climax, but so should the love scenes. They must build on one another and take the relationship a little further. Every touch. Every look. They mean something. They are important. They should build to a climax, and I don't just mean a physical one for your characters but a relationship one for the book. The last love scene is crucial in cementing the relationship. It's just as important as the black moment. It may take place just before, just after or actually BE the black moment. When writing an erotic romance this scene needs as much attention to detail as the rest.

Based on my comments, you might think I advocate plotting the love scenes and I know some writers do. However, I don't think I could plot a love scene. In fact I know I can't because I've tried. Every time I decide, oh the love scene will be this, it becomes that. If I make the mistake of trying to rewrite it to fulfill my vision for the scene, it never goes well. My hero and heroine rebel.

For example, the final love scene in my medieval. My intention...a sweet, gentle love scene where they have told each other they love one another. Eaduin and Verite's reaction to my intent?

Are you nuts, writer lady? We have been hot and a bit kinky all the way through. There is NO way we'd do gentle. You know, it was kind of like Tina Turner's monologue at the beginning of Proud Mary. "We don't do nothing nice and easy. We always do it nice and rough."

I argued. I tried to write nice and gentle, but they won. I could not write it that way. It wouldn't move at all and it kept going the other direction even when I tried for sweet. So I caved and dang, it was a hot love scene which created the right climax for their relationship. It sealed their love in a way that was believable and made for an excellent ending.

The moral of the story? Listen to your characters. They'll tell you what you need to do to make their relationship work on all levels, especially the physical one. They also seem to know how to make each love scene build on the one before. They want you to get the job done because they want their HEA.

Oh, and do me one favor. IF you like erotic romance and want to read my book when it comes out, please don't skip the love scenes. They really are more than just seriously hot sex between my hero and heroine. Although, they are that too. Trust me, asbestos gloves are a good thing. :wicked grin and wink:


  1. This is a great, simple explanation of the way to show the physical relationship growing. You clarified something for me in it.

    Angela Cameron

  2. Francesca, my heroine and hero always have their way in the love scenes!

  3. Ladies,
    Thanks so much for reading the entry and for your responses. I'm glad you all found it interesting.