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.)
THREE: USING YOUR CHARACTERS’ GOALS
The following excerpt is taken from the same scene I used from Enchanting the Lady for using a character’s flaws. In this part, Felicity has been covering her nervousness with speech, and Terence takes advantage of it to pursue his own goal—to find the magical relic by discovering Felicity’s involvement with it:
“So, you like to talk?” His voice had gentled to a purr. “All right, we’ll talk. Had any bad dreams lately?” He started at the buttons on his shirt, slowly releasing them one at a time.
Felicity’s head spun. Tonight of all nights he had to ask her about her dreams? “No, not since the one I had at Fairview Manor. Why?”
“It got you that time, didn’t it? What was it, a fog of black, a slimy monster, a mist of knives?” He stripped off his shirt and let it fall to the floor. His skin gleamed gold in the candlelight, the hairs of his chest made a pattern that sharpened to a point near the top of his trousers.
So Terence is intent on making love to Felicity but at the same time he’s still pursuing his goal: finding the relic. Consider how your character’s goals can lead you through their love scene or create one for you. This next excerpt is from Double Enchantment. At this point in the story, Sterling’s goal is obvious:
Frenzy gripped him and he rocked her up and down against his groin, pulled away and then plunged in again, seeking that threshold of pleasure that only Lady Jasmina could give him. And when it came he groaned with the force of it, half-aware that her own release shook her body in union with his.
“Let go,” he finally rasped. Jasmina tore her cramped fingers from the headboard and he gathered her into his arms, her legs still wrapped around him, his shaft still inside her as she sat on his lap. He kissed the hair away from her face and stroked her back. He couldn’t afford to show her any mercy. He would have her promises before she came back to earth. “You are mine now.”
“I will tell your father that we are to be married.”
So think about what your character wants. It will probably change throughout your book (although their primary goal might not) and each new goal can lead you to a new, unique love scene. Consider what your character wants. Can the H/H provide it for them? Can you use the love scene to reflect their individual goals?
Until Next Time,