Revised and updated from a workshop I did several years ago, this post is all about using your characters to make your love scenes unique and intricate to your story. It has been posted in several parts over the last few months. If you’re a writer, this may help inspire you to write some of the most difficult scenes in your book: your sensual encounters. If you’re a reader, you will get lots of sneak peeks into the Relics of Merlin series, which is being re-released by Sourcebooks over the next few years.
The Relics of Merlin series of books are whimsical romances set in a magical Victorian London of sexy shape-shifters, enchanted tea, wicked spells and loose corsets. Since I’ll be using excerpts from several of the books in the series, I thought it might be helpful to have a quick overview of each:
Enchanting the Lady: In a world where magic rules everything, two misfits--Felicity Seymore, a Victorian beauty unable to perform even the simplest spell, and Sir Terence Blackwell, a were-lion searching for Merlin's relics--form a passionate alliance.
Double Enchantment: When Lady Jasmina accidentally creates a double of herself using a relic, the mix-up brings her real self into a compromising position with sexy were-stallion, Sir Sterling Thorn.
Enchanting the Beast: In the third book of the Relics of Merlin series, ghost-hunter Philomena Radcliff comes to Grimspell castle to rid the residence of spirits, but she finds most haunting of all a reclusive were-wolf suspected of murder.
Everlasting Enchantment: In this brand-new fourth book, Sir Gareth Solimere has been trapped inside of one of Merlin’s relics for centuries, and only true love will set him free. But when were-panther Lady Millicent Pantere steals the relic, will she be his salvation or his doom?
So why am I doing a post on (gasp) sex scenes? Because several friends of mine said it was the hardest thing for them to write. Since they are my favorite part of the book to write, I thought I’d share how I do it and hopefully it will be helpful to others. Since I always seem to learn better by example, I’ll be giving examples from all my books to show how my love scenes are a development of my characters, plot and setting. I’m sure there are many other ways to develop a love scene, so let this be an inspiration and not a rule. If you’ve read any of my other posts on writing, you know my favorite motto is: there are no rules in writing, just guidelines.
(Read my previous posts on this subject by searching for the title in the LABELS or CATEGORIES in the far right sidebar.)
FOUR: USING YOUR CHARACTERS’ PERSONALITIES
Or you might want to think of this as: why your characters are perfect for each other. What personality traits complement each other? Your character’s flaws, strengths, goals and motivation all combine to create a unique personality. Let the character’s personality add depth to your love scene and lead you into even more romantic encounters. The following example on using your character’s personality is from Enchanting the Beast:
“But then I realized,” she mumbled, her eyes watching his every move, “that it wasn’t your predatory nature itself that fascinated me so much, as it was…”
Nico couldn’t resist the temptation any longer. His hands curved around and under her breasts and he gave them a gentle squeeze. Her breasts were heavy and full in his hands, so very perfect. He lowered his mouth and kissed the top where the cloth had exposed the skin. His shaft had been hard for some time but now his trousers felt as if they nearly strangled him.
Nico dropped her breasts long enough to yank on the flimsy gown, exposing her hardened, dark nipples. Before she could finish her gasp of surprise he had his hands under her breasts again, lifting them and burying his face in all of that soft, sweet flesh.
“Ah, Nico,” she groaned, her hands weaving through his hair. She raked her fingers back from his temples and he yielded his feast to look into her eyes. “Don’t you see? It’s not your nature that fascinates me. I…I cannot resist the lure of taming your beast.”
Nico grinned, more wolfishly than he’d intended. “It’s not possible, lady.”
Nico is a were-wolf, who is struggling with the predatory nature of his beast. Philomena is an older woman (a ghost-hunter by trade) who has the ability to tame him. Their personalities led to a full chapter love scene, the longest I’ve ever written. But the moment Phil calms him, Nico’s beast-nature surfaces again. So they went back and forth between their two personalities during a romantic encounter, until Philomena finally won.:}
Consider both your hero and heroine. What facets of their personalities make them perfect for each other? What parts clash, and need to be resolved (or compromised on) before they can have their happily-ever-after? Let that lead you to write their first love scene, where their conflicts are revealed. Can you resolve some of them in that first scene? Reveal how their strengths and weaknesses compliment each other and maybe hint how this will help resolve their conflicts. Then consider their next love scene and the next, until they’ve finally resolved all of their issues and they have revealed enough of their personalities to each other that they can appreciate how perfect they are for each other.
Until Next Time,