Romance – It’s Not Sex
A fallacy exists in the romance genre lately. Far too many authors feel that sex is the way to sell their books. “It’s the twenty-first century,” they argue when this is brought up to them. “People expect graphic sex in romance novels.”
Actually, people don’t expect sex in romance novels. They especially don’t expect A-Z graphic sex in those novels. Once you’ve devoted most of your book to the characters diving into an Olympic romp, with a description of every act, you’ve moved from romance to erotica. There is no arguing this fact. Despite these being modern times, people want to escape into a story where the imagination takes over, not the author’s description of every movement to the point where the reader feels the need to take a cold shower.
What makes up a romance novel?
According to RWA (Romance Writers of America), you need a central plot that revolves around the characters falling in love. Notice those last three words, “falling in love.” They don’t imply bedroom (or any room) antics. They don’t imply your characters should be tearing off their clothes and dropping into bed at the drop of a hat, or any other object.
Romance is just what the word implies. A couple is attracted to each other. In order to make the plot a bit more enticing, they could be at odds with each other and fighting this attraction, but the fascination with each other must be strong enough to overcome all odds.
There should be sub-plots, sometimes utilizing other genres such as suspense or thrillers, to add that missing bit of spice. The couple needs to have interests other than their attraction. Adding the spice of a suspense or thriller sub plot keeps the reader intrigued, while you’re also giving them an unfolding romance with twists and turns at every point.
The skillful author can insert the romantic tension at the perfect moment where the couple will be interrupted before they reach the shed clothing and romp moment. Remember, the next time you decide sex is necessary in your romance novel that you might have missed an important sub-plot point and need to redirect the tension.
About the K.C. Sprayberry
Born and raised in Southern California’s Los Angeles basin, K.C. Sprayberry spent years traveling the United States and Europe while in the Air Force before settling in northwest Georgia. A new empty nester with her husband of more than twenty years, she spends her days figuring out new ways to torment her characters and coming up with innovative tales from the South and beyond.
She’s a multi-genre author who comes up with ideas from the strangest sources. Those who know her best will tell you that nothing is safe or sacred when she is observing real life. In fact, she considers any situation she witnesses as fair game when plotting a new story.
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