How Soon Is Now (Including Hot Love Scenes)

Getting a real theme going here with song titles as blog posts. And today’s is courtesy of one of my fave late 80s, early 90s bands, The Smiths. Thanks Morrissey. It occurred to me because now is not soon. And ‘very soon’ is not now. So sadly Lacey, you’re out of the running. 🙂

But the rest of you are still in there. Better think of a prize!

Alrighty, so, what’s happening writing-wise? I’m still writing my soldier story and liking it very much. Though I have to say, the love scene is in its second iteration which is a bit weird for me. Usually I try and get down that first draft as fast as possible because if I fiddle with it too much, I never finish it. So if something’s not going right, I skip it and go onto the next scene. But I simply couldn’t go any further until I’d got this at least semi-right because it does set the emotional tone for the rest of the book. And, yes, okay, I confess, I really, really like writing love scenes. There’s something delicious (not to mention hot) about making your characters vulnerable to each other and seeing how each of them deals with that vulnerability.

And speaking of love scenes, here’s something to make you jealous. I’m lucky enough to be going to a session at the RWNZ Conference,taken by the fabulously talented Natalie Anderson with tips on writing hot. Now if you’ve ever read any of Natalie’s Modern Heat, then you’ll understand why this woman knows what she’s talking about. She can write hot like damn and woah. Can’t wait to try out some tips on my characters! Hehe.

Anyway, the thing about love scenes is that they are relative. One woman’s phwoar is another’s ewww. I know this is a terribly personal question but what do you like in a love scene? No, not the details, but in general. Does lots of talking turn you off? Or do you prefer joking around? Do you even like reading them or skip them entirely? Me, I like lots and lots of sexual tension initially, then a really hot scene – not too short please! Oh and it must be sensual. Can’t get into it at all if all five senses are not being utilised… 😉

22 thoughts on “How Soon Is Now (Including Hot Love Scenes)”

  1. Ooh, what in INTERESTING topic Jax! My hubby and I were just talking about this because I was on the fence about this voyeurism scene I was thinking of adding to an erotic romance I’m working on. We were talking about how personal tast is so varied etc. so your timing is impeccable! Okay, so for ME, I totally agree about tension. I want them to have to work for it. Close calls, longing looks, brushing by, chest to chest. Bring it on. I also have a *ahem* thing for a dominant male. I am MUCH less drawn to characters who are all “I want to make passionate love to you and caress you” than an alhpa who grabs a handful of hair and says “You know what I want.” I love funny, witty etc. and that can be part of a scene, but when it comes down to it, as far as STEAMY, I am going to go for the dominant alpha every time. I like to read dialogue during love scenes if it is sexy. If it’s corny, I hate it. I almost cringe/get embarassed for heroes who say things like “You are so sensuous, I want nothing more than to be buried in your sheath.” ACK! I would skip over it. Okay, clearly I am liking this topic too much because I am rambling on and on! There is my .75 cents!

  2. Christine – LOL!!! I hate corny dialogue too! People don’t talk like that in real life I’m sure of it and if they did I’d probably hit them over the head and say ‘you know what? I’ve got a headache.’ I like sexy dialogue though, and if it’s explicit and fits the scene then that’s hot too. Oh and I’m with you on the dominant male. Don’t give me ‘can I kiss you?’. I want ‘hell, I am kissing you!’. Hehe. I’m an alpha fan. 🙂 Sometimes I like witty but I find a scene hotter when it’s serious and emotionally wrenching rather than funny.

  3. totally agree. Witty is good if you have a light, fun, flirty romance. So it can work. BUT if you’re going for steamy, and you work your tail off to build all this great tension etc. and then break it for chuckle, IMO, it’s counter productive.

  4. Haha! And you know I was sooo sure that I had the right date ;). The corny dialogue makes me cringe and want to look away too. If it’s too bad I’ll actually skip the scene all together. It’s definitely a pet hate.

  5. Christine – totally. I hate it when that happens. Kills the mood for me. BUT if it starts off funny and flirty, and then gets more and more serious well, that’s actually quite hot. 😉

    Lacey – Lol! Ah well, there’s always the chance of an iPad… Yeah, corny dialogue is awful. I admit to going over and over dialogue in my love scenes to make sure I’ve got it right. Then again, some people might hate it!

  6. LOL – it is a great topic – can go on for hours on this one…. Christine is so right tho… it totally comes down to personal taste… Dialogue can be really tough… i think i tend to let them get quieter as the scene intensifies… and it’s what they say immediately after that’s the real clincher tho isn’t it?

    I love writing hot scenes too Jax.. lol… there are just so many variables you can play with.
    So looking forward to conference and having a laugh about this one in person 🙂

  7. Natalie – woohoo, I was hoping I might lure you over here. 😉 But you’re absolutely right being what they say afterwards that really determines the scene. Or what they don’t say even.
    Ah yes, that’s so true re the variables. How and what happens during the scene depends on the characters and conflict too.
    Yeah, can’t wait to chat at conference!

  8. I love them steamy, sensual and I don’t mind having a smile in between. Especially if the intent is to show there is a “different” side to the brooding alpha..that he does try to lighten up to the situation or to get a laugh out of the heroine.. or.. might be it is the heroine who makes a remark that curves his lips 🙂
    I wouldn’t want it to go over the top though..since I want to be holding my breath in anticipation, right into the scene instead of squealing with laughter out here as a reader 😉

    I love reading them.. and kind of feel cheated if not handled properly since the entire tipping point of the book or culmination of all the emotions, is actually the love scene, IMO.

    And oh, I am still learning the nuances to write my perfect one 😉 which means, I experiment a lot in my books.. LOL 🙂

  9. Ju – yep, I wouldn’t want it going over the top either. Unintentional laughter during a love scene is definitely one way to kill the mood hmm? 😉 But you’re so right re the love scene being the tipping point. It should change the relationship between the h&h so it has to be done right. That’s why I’m having difficulty with mine I think – haven’t got the emotional balance quite right yet.
    And experimentation is no bad thing. 😉

  10. You are so right about phoaw vs ewww. I see it as hot vs tacky. I hate a love hate relationship re writing them – under the right conditions it can be sooooo good, but wrong mood = drab and boring. I guess that’s where a good glass of red comes in handy 😉

  11. Janette – so true. If I’m not in the right mood, a love scene can take all day to write and then I end up deleting it. But sometimes I can’t get it down fast enough. hehe. Yep, red wine can do the trick all right. And/or the martini of your choice. 😉

  12. Heck, I’d just love to get to NZ! To visit and attend the conference? Would think I’d died and gone to heaven!!

    The talk sounds fab, I love Natalie’s love scenes. She always gets so inventive. Gotta love that 🙂

    I like writing mine a little different. There’s nothing wrong with sex in a bed, but I like my characters to have different experiences, let them try somewhere new!

  13. Joanne – we’d love to have you. It’s a nice, intimate little conference we have down here, especially compared to some. Will have to do a conference post and pass on the tips.
    And somewhere new is always good hmm? 😉

  14. Corny dialog. Way back in the 90’s, I read a lovescene where the hero said, “Take me deep.” It wasn’t wrong in terms of heat of the moment thing, but when I showed the scene to my writer friend she added an alarm sound for a submarine preparing to dive and to this day that bit of dialog followed by an “ah oo ga” makes me giggle.

    I love hot scenes, reading and writing. For me, it’s all about the sensual, emotional, but also the psychological experience.

  15. Cat – LOl! I can just hear it now!
    “dive, dive!” 🙂
    Thing is, if you think too hard about some dialogue it can be unintentionally hilarious.
    And yeah, the best scenes utilise all of those things.

  16. Ooh I’m jealous too! I came across a you tube interview with Natalie yesterday (when I was supposed to be loading my backlist to write to, but that’s a whole other story) and she was blushing when the interviewer kept questioning her about love scenes. Very rude of the interviewer!
    I hate ukky dialogue, and even a misplaced word can shatter the mood if its one I don’t like. I like sparky witty dialogue between H and H, but not when it comes to love scenes, it should leave them speechless (more or less) imho! Great post, as usual, Jackie!

  17. Sally – must check out You Tube! What is it with interviewers and love scenes? Sigh. Sex brings in the viewers I guess.
    But I’m the same re a misplaced word. It can drag me out of the scene completely. Like ‘I want you,’ is so much hotter than ‘I want you, babe.’ At least, I think so cos I hate the word babe. And yeah, a bit of sexy talk is fine but you don’t want to get to the point of wishing they’d shut up and get on with it. 🙂

  18. Ooo I’ve seen that interview too and really enjoyed it :). It’s amazing how many interviewers seem to be stuck on that one question. I hope I get to go to the conference next year I’ll have to live vicariously through you 🙂

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