Thursday, February 11, 2010

Writing the HOT Stuff

Yesterday during the blizzard, I was Featured Friend on Janice Curran's Facebook page . It was set up like an on-line chat/lecture and the topic was Writing the HOT Stuff or writing erotic love scenes. I posted a few tips and Facebook Friends asked questions and shared their thoughts. One person said she couldn't make it because her power was out--dang blizzard. It was such a good turn out. And for those who couldn't make it, I thought I'd post the mini-lecture of tips.

If anyone had thoughts or suggestions for what they do when writing the HOT stuff, feel free to share.

Steamy, racy stories sell, but if you want to write for the erotic romance market there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • All great romances have strong, well-developed characters whether it’s a sweet or erotic romance. I think the most important thing in any story is to elicit emotion. And emotion grows out of conflict. Not only do you want your hero and heroine to fall in love, you want your reader to fall in love.
  • It's not all about the sex. Each love scene should be more than just sex. There should be an underlying conflict whether it's between the characters or influenced by the plot.
  • Don't forget sexual tension. Build up to the sex scenes. Erotic romances do have more love scenes than most traditional romances but make your reader wait for the payoff.
  • A sex scene is an action scene, and in erotic romances the heat level is taken up several notches. They’re usually longer and more explicit with no flowery euphemisms. These stories may push sexual limits a bit and be edgier. Still something larger must be at stake. There is a well-developed story with a satisfying ending--Either a happily ever after or happily for now.
  • The characters should change and/or their relationship should change after a love scene. The scene should directly or indirectly push the plot forward.
  • Erotic romance readers want to read all the juicy details, not a summary. Push your limits in writing the hot stuff and your stories will shine.
As with writing any romance, it helps to read a lot and a variety of authors--not just to see how they write love scenes but how do they develop plot, character, emotion, conflict, etc.
What helps you to write erotic love scenes? And what makes a good erotic love scene?


Regina Carlysle said...

Good points, Kathy, I agree with all of them.

Nancy Henderson said...

Thanks for sharing these tips. I'm currently going back through my WIP adding the hot stuff. Not as easy as some might think!