Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Keep Your Characters Dressed!

Sex is dirty, gross and disgusting. Let's face it, there is so much to deal with when you have your characters jumping into bed with each other. There's the awkward first time. There's the issue of birth control. How about the next day issues and the thoughts of "was this a one night stand?" It is for this reason that I call for a movement to keep our romance heroes and heroines virgins.


Now, before you all start freaking out, let me explain. There is an element of truth in all that I have said so far, and, it is certainly something to consider. I honestly have to say that I have seen a lot of great writing and stories come across my desk, only to be ruined by the authors suddenly feeling the need to get their characters naked and getting them "busy." They have been sucked into the belief that only the hot and sexy stories sell. This is wrong.

We have to remember that writing romance focuses on the building of a relationship from the beginning stages of being introduced, to those awkward moments of opening up to the other person, to that final stage
of suddenly realizing they are both madly in love with each other. When authors now throw their characters into bed with each other, they are now forced to have to deal with another sub-plot to their potentially already complicated story.

I think the other issue I have with many of the stories is the simple fact that many authors simply don't know how to translate into words amazing sensual experiences and sex. One group of writers turns the scene into an ugly combination of cliches and clinical terminology of the scene. In these situations, I do have to say that the "Introduction to Sex" videos we saw in health class are far more exciting that those reads.

On the other side of the coin, we have authors who feel the need to move the story into borderline "soft-porn." Characters are trying things that defy gravity and convention. Now the scene becomes an effort to make the characters do things that no one else has ever done before. Unfortunately, when this happens, the author has often forgotten that one thing that they should have been focused on all along. The main story arc.

Look, don't get me wrong here and yes, I am going to start sounding like a parent talking to a teen. I am not saying to eliminate all of the sex from the stories. I am not saying you can't have your characters "experiment." What I am simply saying is to focus on your main story arc and the relationship building. If the time is right and if your characters feel like taking it to the next level, then go for it. But if you do get your hero and heroine naked, make sure they do it in a way that works toward that story and makes everyone feel good once they move to the next chapter in their book.


  1. I prefer to stop at the bedroom door. Now, do you call this 'clean romance' or 'sweet romance'? Readers deserve to know what they are getting.

  2. I prefer to stop at the bedroom door. Now, do you call this 'clean romance' or 'sweet romance'? Readers deserve to know what they are getting.

  3. What a refreshing post! I often find myself impatient when, in the middle of a good story, the obligatory moment arrives for the couple to do more than swoon and lust. Sometimes that's the most boring part of the book, being so predictable, and I just skip over to where the story picks up again. I feel that way about movies, too, when the plot is interrupted to roll out the big scene. For love scenes, the "fade out" used to seem much more romantic.