Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wicked Wednesday - sexual tension

One of the key elements to a good paranormal romance is creating sexual tension. This doesn't mean the act of "making love" itself. In fact, sexual tension may never lead up to that point. This is about feeling a spark of something, that irrational pull to someone, the sizzling energy that makes your stomach flip. Sometimes it feels there are no words to describe this. Yet as writers, we have to find those words.

Tip #1: Use the senses. Make it subtle. A faint whiff of spicy cologne or the twitch of a dimple in his left cheek. Her voice might sound a little hoarse when she's aroused or her lips might taste like cherry lip gloss with that first brief kiss. Sometimes a brush of her hand against his can create a great jolt of sensation. In paranormal romances, you have the possibility of using other senses as well. A flaming up of his aura or reading his mind to know he thinks she's sexy in that dress.

Tip #2: Strong internal conflict. Use a lot of emotions here. She recently lost someone she loves and can't open her heart again for fear of getting hurt, but she can't deny her powerful attraction to him. He loves his job reaping souls and has seen too many people in love torn apart, but he can't stop thinking about her.

Tip #3: The internal conflict is made worse with the external conflict. Someone is trying to hunt her down and kill her. They're on different sides of the apocalyptic battle.

Tip #4: Put the characters in situations that require them to spend a lot of time together and a lot of time close together. Fighting, spying, exploring the ducts of an evil corporation's headquarters. These situations will fire up the internal conflicts and give you ample opportunity to torment, I mean, let your characters flirt with their hidden desires.

Tip#5: Delay gratification. Okay, yes, here you're tormenting them!

Do you have any tricks you use in creating sexual tension?

12 comments:

  1. Great tips to create tension. I think delay gratification is one of the best ones, even delaying a kiss when they've been so close can heighten the tension.

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    1. That's very true. I need to put my own tips to work with WFR. Magena already hates me! *LOL*

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  2. Very good tips! I find myself using pretty much everything you said in my latest revision (although it's not paranormal romance). Another good one is to find ways to keep the characters apart when they start to come close. That drives them insane. :)

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    1. Thanks. Oh yes, that's a good tip too. Oh the ways we torment out characters! BWUHAHAHAHA!

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  3. Couldn't agree more... great post. Always good to remind ourselves of the tips when writing sexual tension.

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    1. I know about creating tension, but sometimes I have to remind myself to delay gratification! I can get as eager as my characters. *LOL*

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  4. I definitely like *teaser* romance than full on eroticism. Great pointers!

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    1. Thanks! Teasers most certainly keep us coming back for more and that sells more books!

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  5. Savor each and every moment. That's my best tip for just about every kind of writing.

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