Forums Forums Editing the Romance Novel Week 4 discussion questions Reply To: Week 4 discussion questions

Miranda Darrow

1. What are the keys to writing love scenes/sex scenes with emotional punch?

Every love scene needs to be about more than just sex (unless its erotica, in which case, maybe that’s fine). Sex scenes in romance should also 1.) reveal character, 2.) reveal information which furthers the plot, 3.) introduce a new conflict, or some combination of the above.

2. How can you help authors create convincing love and/or sex scenes? What are some stumbles you’ve seen authors make when writing such scenes?

In romantic suspense, sometimes characters who really should know better stop for a quicky while the bad guys are closing in and put themselves and their romantic partner in danger as a result. I hate for my heroes and heroines to be idiots who put themselves in danger in the name of nookie. Wait until you get someplace you at least have a reasonable basis to think isn’t dangerous.

3. What does “show, don’t tell” mean in the context of romance? We have to know what the MCs are thinking, which is almost always going to be exposition/telling. When is telling okay and when not?

Telling is often preferable to showing if you’re moving a character from point A to point B and to mark the passage of time. For conveying emotion in romance, it’s still preferable to show how their feelings are impacting the POV character rather than simply naming them. He wants to wrap his arms around her and protect her, she wants to invite him up, even though she has sworn off men.

4. What are some important keys authors need to keep in mind to create a satisfying resolution?

The attraction and relationship needs to be consensual and mutual, a meeting of equals. And there needs to be a place in the world for them to be together and have a life. They need to overcome their major conflict and their inner character arc growth must have occurred so that they are both emotionally ready and open to a lasting loving relationship.