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Monday, March 12, 2012

Ah, Romance...

Reached page 79 today and the end of chapter 5. Writing romantic scenes can be a challenge, especially so with Tracy's sense of humor. But what happened on page 79 wasn't funny. I can only hope it's tantalizing. I know I felt a touch of goosebumps writing it.

In a much older post, I mentioned that I don't write sex scenes. I don't think a second-by-second description of the full sex act between people really belongs in a mystery/thriller. Anyone who wants the graphic details knows what kind of reading material to buy to get it. I prefer a "to the bedroom door" method, the leading up to and the aftermath but nothing in between. The reader's imagination can fill in the rest and probably do a better job than I could with words.

Still, a little titillation can be entertaining, but it must also serve a purpose. Arline Chase of Write Words, Inc., provides writing advice in her own blog, and in one posting, she mentioned that each chapter must bring about a change, an event that changes everything forever. A romantic scene leading up to sex does that, I think. It changes a relationship, removes all the mystery and the flirtation and the anticipation. Suddenly, these two people who have been intimate see each other in a different way, good or bad, and they can never go back to the way they were.

If this book were a true fit for the Romance genre, the sex scene would probably wait until much later than chapter 5. Everything else would be leading up to it, the (dare I say it?) climactic moment. (Okay, so I said it. I couldn't think of a better word than climactic.) Because the sequel to "Faces" is not a solid romance, I've used today's romantic interlude to set the stage for another giant step along Tracy's path of self-discovery and to determining what she wants her life to be.

Next up, an obstacle as the antagonist(s) make their move.  

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