What Makes an Erotic Romance Sizzle?
Most people would automatically think that erotic romance is all about the steamy bedroom/bathroom/most risqué scene possible.
However that is simply just the start, and in my opinion one of the smaller parts needed when creating a truly hot read. First off we need great characters. If you can make your characters likable and real then readers are much more likely to be able to identify with them, therefore making not only the plot but all the sex scenes come to life. In order to truly get lost in a great read and become engrossed in a story excellent characterization has to be a vital ingredient. After all where would be without the likes of Jay Gatsby, Sherlock Holmes, and even Harry Potter. Without such strong characters, these books would more than likely never have even made it to publication.
Once you have your characters ready and chomping at the bit to get involved in some action, it’s time to polish the plot. In terms of this, whilst it’s good to have a plot structure in mind before starting; don’t be afraid to be taken in different directions once you’ve begun. Some of the best stories out there contain twists that nobody saw coming.
But of course I’m not saying that steamy scenes aren’t needed to make a memorable erotic romance, it’s just one of many, many factors required. So when the time comes to writing those all essential sex scenes, it’s important to remain uninhibited, whilst erring away from the coy and unneeded euphuisms. Be frank and to the point, it’s essential to not get carried away with purple prose no matter how strong the temptation.
The biggest problem that can make these scenes fall flat (certainly no pun intended) would be jarring the reader and taking them out of the scene by using language that is likely to result in a slight snigger or two. If you have any kind of knee-jerk cringe reaction to a particular word or phrase, the general rule of thumb in my book is to walk away and create something less embarrassed and more natural. Add the scenes wherever it feels consistent and the story can flow around it. These scenes should be a part of the overall plot, anything but this has the potential to just leave the reader confused and at odds with the characters.
The main thing to remember is to have fun and embrace what you write. Love your characters and your readers are sure to fall in love with them too.
By Sarah Smeaton, editor for Total-E-Bound Publishing.