18 May 2008

Erotic ROMANCE defined by Melissa Lopez

Something caught my interest at the recent Romantic Times convention in Pittsburg. An NY editor (who shall remain nameless) didn’t have a firm grasp on what exactly erotic ROMANCE is. The terms erotica and erotic ROMANCE kept being interchanged from their lips.

Strange how even today, some have trouble defining erotic ROMANCE. Erotic ROMANCE is a heat level in which an author tells a happy-ever-after story.

First, the most important factor in erotic ROMANCE is a ROMANCE that has two basic plot elements:

1. A central LOVE story.

2. An emotionally, satisfying, and optimistic ending.

In other words, the main emotionally engaged characters (however many there may be or whatever they might be) must have a happy-ever-after or a happy-for-now ending.

On to the deciding factor that earns an erotic ROMANCE that smoking hot heat level.

There are a few heat levels in ROMANCE genres:

Sweet romance is a chaste romance story. There may be some romantic tension but the couples do not go beyond a kiss or two. This heat level is very popular in Young Adult and Inspirational genres.

Sensuous romance is comfortable in its sexuality and open to new experiences.

Spicy romance has an edge, takes risks, and can be a little naughtier.

Are you feeling the flame of the heat level going up?

Erotic ROMANCE contains long, hot, in your face, explicit love scenes.

Like with the chaste kiss in the sweet romances and the love scenes in the sensual and spicy tales…Erotic ROMANCE is not just a story where sex has been inserted. Nor is erotic ROMANCE a story containing a string of sex scenes. The love scenes, like the characters and drama, must drive the plot forward.

There’s room for different definitions of erotic ROMANCE and I don’t think anything is set in stone as to what it is and not. But erotic ROMANCE is explicit enough and hot enough to excite a reader. The erotic heat level is meant to arouse. The ROMANCE is meant to satisfy.

Melissa Lopez
JOURNEYS OF LOVE every woman needs to take.
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