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 Post subject: Romance and Love Scenes
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:35 pm 
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I was thinking about adding romance elements to writing the other day, so I was having a look online and I found this quote on a blog:

Quote:
I read a Silhouette Intimate Moments a couple years, when they first introduced their "mainstream" theme, that was a wonderfully written story. Ultimately, however, I finished the book so disappointed I had to write to the editors about it. This was a story that had all the ingredients of a fantastic read. So why was I disappointed? I was expecting a romance, a romance that would blossom and the characters come to life as they fell in love. What I got was a romance that was a shadow to the external mystery and characters that came to life mostly in the external aspects. I felt very little for the characters in terms of their love bond. When they married at the end, I was only mildly glad.

That same month, I read a Terry Brooks fantasy novel that contained a secondary element of romance that was never brought to complete fruition. I finished the book and immediately started the next in that series, completely satisfied.

So why was I disappointed with the romance I bought, but not with the fantasy? Because in the first, I fully expected a good, solid romance that was equally balanced with a good, solid plot. After all, I bought a Silhouette and I expected a romance, but I didn't get it. I felt cheated. In the fantasy, I never expected a romance, but there was one there nevertheless. I felt I'd gotten something extra for my money and time.

The moral of this story: Respect your readers for the time and money they invest in your book. If you set them up for a romance, give it to them in spades. If you set them up for a heavy, emotional drama, give it to them. If you set them up for a steamy romance that keep getting hotter and hotter, deliver it. If you don't give them what you promised them, you'll leave your readers dissatisfied, maybe enough to avoid your next book.


I've recently been reading some of Karen Marie Moning's books. She writes a Fantasy series and I absolutely love them. However she does have love scenes in these stories, which personally I skip over as it's not something I'm interested in reading. However, I was wondering, for those of you who have added romance into your novel, as an Christian, how do you go about writing romance, and would you ever consider adding a love scene into your novel?

I know as Christians we can have a different view on marriage, dating and relationships; but even if you're not writing specifically for Christians, your own Christian ideals tend to spill over into your writing, at least that's what I find.

Also, as a married woman/man how do you view writing love scenes in books? My brother and his wife are a Christian couple and they've said love scenes in books do not bother them.

The writer of the above quote states that you can write love scenes that are romantic, without being overly erotic. If you are writing fiction for adults, would this be something you would be open to doing, or would you shy away from writing that sort of content?

If you are writing a book for adults, and you do have romantic tension throughout the novel between two characters, do you think people would be disappointed by a lack of love scene/s in the novel. I know you can't cater to everyone, but it's just something I've been musing over.

As a Christian, do love scenes in books bother you? Would you be put off reading a book if there was a love scene in it, and how would you feel about writing one?

Clearly from the writer's perspective, the romance was an addition in the Fantasy novel that was a pleasant add on: so one could say it's not needed at all if you're not writing specifically for the romance genre. I wouldn't call Karen Marie Moning's Fever novels a Romance series, I would call them Fantasy, and yet she does have a Romance element in there. What are your thoughts?

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The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king

J. R. R. Tolkien


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 Post subject: Re: Romance and Love Scenes
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 12:42 am 
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That would depend on what you mean by a love scene. Having a couple sit together, snuggle up on the sofa, take naps on each other, hold each other, or even share a kiss is not a problem to me, though I do like to see it written for a greater purpose than simply pointing out that this is something that these characters do.

Personally, I don't like more intimate love scenes. Romance is often deeper and more wholesome when that sort of thing is avoided, especially since those scenes tend to be exactly the ones that are there for their own sake rather than giving us much more about the characters (unless the point is that one of them is unfaithful).

I also don't really like it when a book goes out of the way to remind you that such a scene takes place, but jumps to the time after which it has happened. It still puts the thoughts in your head, but then gets away with saying they didn't actually go too far because they didn't give you the scene at all. Perhaps that is because they were not good scene transitions and simply resumed with "such and such a time later".

Either way, I think there are better ways to offer a strong relationship theme than to show or overtly imply matrimonial intimacy.

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 Post subject: Re: Romance and Love Scenes
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2015 11:31 pm 
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Lady Kitra Skene wrote:
That would depend on what you mean by a love scene. Having a couple sit together, snuggle up on the sofa, take naps on each other, hold each other, or even share a kiss is not a problem to me, though I do like to see it written for a greater purpose than simply pointing out that this is something that these characters do.

Personally, I don't like more intimate love scenes. Romance is often deeper and more wholesome when that sort of thing is avoided, especially since those scenes tend to be exactly the ones that are there for their own sakes rather than giving us much more about the characters (unless the point is that one of them is unfaithful).

I also don't really like it when a book goes out of the way to remind you that such a scene takes place, but jumps to the time after which it has happened. It still puts the thoughts in your head, but then gets away with saying they didn't actually go to far because they didn't give you the scene at all. Perhaps that is because they were not good scene transitions and simply resumed with "such and such a time later".

Either way, I think there are better ways to offer a strong relationship theme than to show or overtly imply matrimonial intimacy.


I agree entirely, word for word practically. Describing matrimonial intimacy is not the most effective or artistic way of expressing a strong relationship.


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 Post subject: Re: Romance and Love Scenes
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 4:12 pm 
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This is something I have to face often when I'm writing, as I am quite fond of writing stories focused on a man and woman falling in love. (What can I say? I'm a sucker for a good love story).

First and foremost, I stay away from love scenes in terms of sex. I don't think it's necessary to write graphic content like that, to get the point across that two people love one another deeply. Plus, I struggled with lust for quite some time and I just want to avoid it.

As for things like kissing, holding hands, or snuggling on the sofa, I think those things are fine. God created us with a desire for intimacy like that, and I don't see anything wrong with talking about it. For me, I can swoon much more over a well written first hand holding experience than over a "love scene" (I use the term love scene as what the world would consider a love scene - aka. sex.). And there is also something so sweet and beautiful about seeing two people slowly open up to one another, taking those baby steps toward deciding they want to be together in marriage.

Honestly, I think it's all a matter of conviction (to a point). Some people may be completely fine with writing a simple kissing scene, while another person would feel like they were violating their conscience. I would say, if you ever get to a scene in your writing that is romantic in nature (ex. kissing or snuggling), and you aren't sure if it's alright, ask Jesus. He'd be more than happy to point you in the direction that would honor him and keep you walking the path that is best for you.

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"...so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." ~ Ephesians 3:17-19


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 Post subject: Re: Romance and Love Scenes
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 1:54 am 
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Hear hear. :D Very well put.

_________________
You can't spell grin without ̶gRIN
Words are my ̶bread and ̶butter.
http://unshakablegirl.com/
http://www.ravelry.com/designers/kitra-skene

Haud Retene Haud Reverte

All resemblance to persons, people, friends, relatives, quotes, cultures, artificial intelligences, inside jokes, pets, unclaimed personalities, sentient objects, extra-terrestrials, inter-terrestrials, and draperies living, dead, undead, or comatose in any of my work are purely coincidental, incidental, circumstantial, inadvertent, unplanned, unforeseen, and unintentional. There's seriously no way I was referring to you. Honest.

The story so far:
Birthright: Eleventh chapter pending. 28280 words.
Heritage: First chapter drafted.
Legacy: Character and plot development stage.
Get a feel for the land. Visit Lor-Amar today!

Other novels on the brain:
Quicksilver
Shen'oh Story
Crusoe's Star
War Blazer
Seven Arts Story
The Queen's Knave
Polarians
Exile Realms
All Librarians Are Secret Agents


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 Post subject: Re: Romance and Love Scenes
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:54 am 
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One of the members of the forum has asked that I post this for them. Because of the personal nature of the content, this person has chosen to remain anonymous.

Anonymous wrote:
I was introduced to sex very young, from molestation. Because of how the situation was dealt with by the adults who knew about it, I have had a fear of sex, romance and marriage for my whole life.

Recently I have become less afraid, because of fiction. Certain Christian books (and some non-Christian) dealt with sex and romance in a wholesome though fairly explicit manner, and it has given my mind a way to adjust to the realities of the way sex fits into life, rather than having no alternative to my fear.

I think some authors avoid sexual topics and scenes because they have heard of people who are bothered by it, and it is safe to avoid it, but sometimes being safe isn't the better option automatically. It has made a difference for me when authors are bolder. I don't advocate for novels that describe sex. But I appreciate mindful inclusion of it into the subject matter.

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 Post subject: Re: Romance and Love Scenes
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2015 10:53 pm 
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That is a very good point. We as Christians tend to want to solve problems by avoiding them like the plague, but when people can approach what we consider to be tricky subjects with maturity and openness, we grow a lot more than when we attempt to shun things entirely. In the same way that fairy tales are important because they tell us that dragons can be killed, fiction is also important because it tells us that not every creature is a dragon.

_________________
You can't spell grin without ̶gRIN
Words are my ̶bread and ̶butter.
http://unshakablegirl.com/
http://www.ravelry.com/designers/kitra-skene

Haud Retene Haud Reverte

All resemblance to persons, people, friends, relatives, quotes, cultures, artificial intelligences, inside jokes, pets, unclaimed personalities, sentient objects, extra-terrestrials, inter-terrestrials, and draperies living, dead, undead, or comatose in any of my work are purely coincidental, incidental, circumstantial, inadvertent, unplanned, unforeseen, and unintentional. There's seriously no way I was referring to you. Honest.

The story so far:
Birthright: Eleventh chapter pending. 28280 words.
Heritage: First chapter drafted.
Legacy: Character and plot development stage.
Get a feel for the land. Visit Lor-Amar today!

Other novels on the brain:
Quicksilver
Shen'oh Story
Crusoe's Star
War Blazer
Seven Arts Story
The Queen's Knave
Polarians
Exile Realms
All Librarians Are Secret Agents


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 Post subject: Re: Romance and Love Scenes
PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2015 6:50 am 
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That was actually very thought provoking, I never thought about it from that angle, and is definitely an important point worth considering when including romance into one's novel. Thank you for sharing, Anonymous, that was very gracious and brave of you. :)

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