I read Phyllis’ recent blog post with interest. I can remember those days of writing love scenes for my romance novels. I typed then would glance around to make sure my kids weren’t present and then go back to typing. They were a part of romance and a requirement of the story – or so I thought.
Then the day came when I wrote a novel and I didn’t have a love scene. I wasn’t even aware this happened until I got to the end and realized my omission. I remember thinking the novel would never sell without a few intimate scenes. So, I went back and tried to find a place to fit them in. No matter where I picked it would be obvious that I put the love scene in for the sake of having one and not because that is where the couple was in their relationship. So, I left the story alone and didn’t add any intimacy.
I also looked back at my other manuscripts to see if I had added the scenes because they were necessary to the story. It turns out none of my novels needed intimacy. As I learned more about writing and story structure I found I was plopping in love scenes because it was expected. I was following the trends of what I believed sold and what readers wanted. The problem was, love scenes do not belong in my stories. Further, I was not comfortable having them there. And, once I deleted the intimacy I was so much happier with my manuscripts and my writing took yet another turn - inspirational romance. Luckily, for Phyllis and I, romances appeal to every age of woman (and some men), and that appeal is on several different heat levels.
Every writer has their own journey and every reader has their own comfort level when it comes to intimacy. What is your writer’s journey? Did you start someplace and end up somewhere else? What about your level of heat? The steamier the better or do you prefer your novels to have that fade to black moment, leaving the bedroom scene to your imagination? Or, do you even care as long as it is a good story? I know what I like, but then again, I am only one reader and writer in thousands. I love to know where everyone else falls.