There is always a hesitancy on my part when I am asked about what I write. For one thing, Comedic Women’s Fiction with Romantic Elements, is a mouthful; something I have to first prepare for by swallowing my saliva. But, for another thing, I have an idea that when I say Romance, that is what people glom onto.
It is not that I am embarrassed to write Romance. I can’t imagine trying to write anything that didn’t include a relationship. Life is nothing if it is not about love. But, I think that what people think of when they hear the word romance is sex. And this is the last thing I want to talk about with friends, family or even fans. (We can’t all be Delilah Marvelle… A wonderful writer in our group who writes very sexy, Historical Romance and always has a zinger at our meetings.)
But this was one of the reasons I was so interested in attending Elizabeth Boyle’s workshop on Adding Sexual Tension to our work. Note that the topic was about adding the tension, not just sex. And the very best stories
include tension of all kinds, sexual or otherwise. So I was determined to improve my craft in this important area.
One of the most important parts of her talk focused on the 12 Stages of Intimacy. Originally written about by Desmond Morris, it is a topic other presenters (especially Linda Howard) have discussed. But what I liked in particular about Elizabeth’s workshop was how she overlaid it against Story and Relationship, demonstrating when in the relationship each stage might naturally take place.
So, I came home and went through the manuscript I am working on (Molto Mayhem) to figure out how my timing was. It was interesting to see how I had subconsciously lined the moments up pretty accurately. Here’s an example-
Aiden chuckled, and Lucia felt his hand on the base of her back as he followed behind her. A tingle shot through her at the light touch and she jumped forward, like a cow shocked by an electric cattle prod.
This is the first time he has touched her that way, a stage of contact that is very intimate. It sends strong messages about desire and possession. Messages Lucia isn’t ready yet to face. Also, because Aiden skipped a couple of steps, Lucia’s assumption that he may be a player seems to be confirmed.
So, now that I’ve learned how to use the stages in my writing, I suppose it might be time to apply it to my personal life. For that, though, I think I better focus less on the tension and more on the intimacy.
Which stage of Intimacy do you think is the most sexy? (Don’t know what they are, link here to a great write-up by author Jenny Hansen) I love to hear your thoughts, and to prove it I’m giving away a copy of my book BETTING JESSICA to one lucky commenter during the
month of September.
Leave a comment for any of my blog posts and at the end of each month I will randomly select one visitor/commenter to receive a free download of my book. (Note: winner will be notified by a reply linked to their
original comment…. Check back at the end of the month for directions on how to claim your prize!)