06 February 2012

The Love in My Job

February Topic--On Silk Sheets: From Cuddling to Climax the Changing Face of Romance

I have one of the best jobs. Seriously, not many people get to bring love to the world on a daily basis. It doesn’t get much better than that, unless maybe being an obstetrician.

But what is a romance, exactly?

It might be a good idea to start out the discussion with a definition of the genre as provided by the Romance Writers of America:

"…Two basic elements comprise every romance novel: a central love story and an emotionally-satisfying and optimistic ending.

A Central Love Story: The main plot centers around two individuals falling in love and struggling to make the relationship work. A writer can include as many subplots as he/she wants as long as the love story is the main focus of the novel.

An Emotionally-Satisfying and Optimistic Ending: In a romance, the lovers who risk and struggle for each other and their relationship are rewarded with emotional justice and unconditional love.

Romance novels may have any tone or style, be set in any place or time, and have varying levels of sensuality—ranging from sweet to extremely hot. These settings and distinctions of plot create specific subgenres within romance fiction."


This definition leaves room in the publishing industry for all levels of sensuality from sweet to erotica. Romance authors can write the sort of stories they feel comfortable telling and the reader has the chance to find the kind of book he/she is comfortable reading. A win-win.

What do I write?

I find myself writing somewhere between sweet to mildly spicy with enough sexual tension to tell the best story I can. Intimate scenes cannot be space fillers. They need to increase conflict, provide emotional depth, show character motivation, introduce plot twists, use as many sensory descriptions as possible, and move the story forward. Just as the other scenes do.

Sometimes, that means closing the door. Other times, it means throwing the door so wide open that the reader is inside the character’s skin.

How steamy the pages get depend on the characters themselves. After all, they are the ones living in the story.

Author girl just needs to jump out of the way and let them find love.


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