Sunday, March 20, 2011

Blog Chain - Literary Love

Today is my turn on the Blog Chain - this round's topic is brought to us by our wonderful Kat, who wants to know:

How do you feel about love scenes? As a reader, are you put off by the gratuitous? 
As a writer, do you shy away from spelling out the down-and-dirty? 
Or do you write until your computer lights a cigarette?

Ha! I love this question. And if you know me at all or have read any of my stuff, you'll know why :D I LOVE love. Love romance. Love love scenes. Love love love :)

Having said that, I want to point out that while I enjoy a good love scene, and definitely love a good love story, I don't like books that are nothing but love scenes. Frankly, one bodice-ripping scene is much like another and if that is all that a book contains, it gets boring pretty quickly. In fact, I tend to skim over the actual love scenes in books.

What I really love is the actual love, the romance, the eyes-meeting-across-a-crowded-room-and-their-hearts-stop type thing. The rush of butterflies in her gut when she sees him type thing. The miss-the-basketball-shot-because-he's-staring-at her type thing. The I-love-you-so-much-I'll-kill-that-mean-vampire-who's-after-you type thing. :)

In other words, I want to read about the love, not so much the sex.

I've sort of briefly (as in for a few seconds) toyed with writing a book that doesn't contain any romance, but tossed the idea immediately. I want the romance. All of my books thus far have centered around a romance. There is a lot of other stuff going on. I prefer the romantic suspenses where there is a lot of action and mystery and danger going on along with the romance as opposed to just the straight romance. But yeah, definitely love the romance.

Now, do I shy away from spelling out the down-and-dirty? Yes.

Why?

Because someday I know my mother and grandmother will be reading it :D

Seriously, I try very hard not to think about anyone reading while I'm writing because if I do, I start editing myself. I've written a few cigarette-inducing love scenes before, just to see if I could. And yep....I can :D But...I don't really want to. I want to write books that a large audience can read. I'm focused on YA right now, so of course I want to keep my books appropriate for that age level - something the teens will enjoy reading but that their mothers will also.

So, I keep it at the blood-pumping but sweet level, focusing more on the romance, the actual "love" part of the whole thing, rather than the "Mom, cover your eyes" thing :)

How about you? How do you feel about love scenes? Do you write them? Enjoy reading them? Or shy away from anything with the word "love" in it? :D

Don't forget to see what the ever awesome Eric had to say on the topic, and stay tuned on Tuesday to see how Margie feels about the whole Love scene :)

18 comments:

Laura Pauling said...

I do love some romance in my YA but it doesn't have to be the focus. Those get a little to boring and sweet for me. But like you, I enjoy the building up, the flirting, and how the relationship develops. And the almost kisses.

Carole Anne Carr said...

As I write for children, I never have a chance to write this sort of stuff, but the book after next.... then maybe I can answer your questions!

Melissa Bradley said...

I've written erotica and erotic romance so I do like to write the down and dirty. Sex is honest, healthy and beautiful and a very important part of a loving relationship. I enjoy conveying that in my writing.

That being said, I do love the longing looks, those moments of awkwardness because your mind is on the object of your affections. The journey to intimacy is wonderful and I love capturing that.

As a reader and a writer, I enjoy love in all its myriad forms. Great post. :)

Lori M. Lee said...

I'm not turned off by love scenes. I've read and written some... pretty insane things lol. But it also really depends on the genre. If it's a YA book, then gratuitous sex will turn me off, yes. It has to serve a purpose or fit with the world/characters.

Marianne said...

Can you recommend some good romance that has more eyes fleetingly meeting instead of bodice ripping?

Michelle McLean said...

Marianne - the best non-bodice ripper romances I've ever read are Victoria Holt's. Also the books under her pen names Jean Plaidy and Philippa Carr. They are historical romances, but really, she was an expert at creating the love and romance without being in any way gratuitous. :)

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

I used to read Plaidy/Holt/Carr when I was a teenager, and I really enjoyed her books. I think I read them more for the history than the romance, though.

Eric said...

Great answer, Michelle. While I'm evidently on the other end of the spectrum, I can definitely appreciate your passion for the subject. Give me a book involving motorcycles or Spec Ops characters (or both) and I'd probably just as giddy LOL.

Shari said...

I could just say amen and call it good. I feel the same way you do. I want it to be appropriate, but I enjoy the romance integrated with other parts of the story.

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

Yeah, I totally can't write a book without some romance in it either - what fun would that be anyway?

writerchick6 said...

I like romance and buildup but good make out too. It's all good. :-)

Christine Fonseca said...

Yep, YOU do love your romance! ;)

Kat Harris said...

I've sort of briefly (as in for a few seconds) toyed with writing a book that doesn't contain any romance, but tossed the idea immediately. I want the romance.

A....Men.

Kelly M. Olsen said...

I love to read, as well as write, a strong story that may have an element of gratuitous r-rated scenes, but it has to be a component of the story...not the story. I like stories that reflect real life, although sometimes exaggerated for dramatic effect, but I've never been one for romance novels.

Shaun Hutchinson said...

Yes, the idea that my mother will be reading what I write is a HUGE factor.

lbdiamond said...

I like how you point out the difference between "love" and "sex."

Michelle H. said...

Like Kat commented. AMEN! I think books do need something containing romance, even just mentions of it, or the story just doesn't seem believable when we have two characters with such close interactions in other ways.

Cole Gibsen said...

THIS.