Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Hot Hot Days of Romance

I don't know about you, but this summer has been hot. Really...scorching hot. Like sixteen straight days of 100+ degrees. I really don't care for that kind of heat. Let me be honest. I hate hot days. Hot is draining. Hot is tiring. Hot is sapping.

But in a romance novel...well, hot is a MUST! Now, I am not talking about hot and heavy S*X. (gasp) I am talking about the hot, heart-thumping, blood-pounding romantic tension. You betcha!

Romance is all about the relationship between a man and a woman. The dance of awareness, like, questioning, doubt, attraction, and love. It is a give and take, where attraction is a forceful wave crashing against the shore, only to be pulled back by the grasp of a strong tide.

Here's an example of romantic tension from my WIP, a medieval romance.

“Will you be at supper, my lord?” Jocelyn bit her lip, hating to sound as if she begged for his attention. He had not taken supper in the hall the past few days, and she wanted him to know she had noticed the slight.
Lifting her down from the horse, he paused, holding her close, not releasing his grip on her waist. “Do you want me there?”
She glanced away from his questioning gaze, distracted by the warmth of his hands. “You need not come if you find it tedious.”
Malcolm caught her face with his hand and turned it toward his own. Her breath caught as he leaned down, his lips hovering over hers. Heart hammering in her chest, Jocelyn struggled for breath, waiting for the warmth of his lips upon hers. His roughened cheek brushed hers as those lips, which should have claimed her own, whispered in her ear instead. “You, my lady, are anything but tedious.”
Jocelyn swallowed hard, disappointment filling her when he dropped his hands, stepped back, and gave her a small bow.
“I thank you for a most enjoyable ride,” he said, leaving her in the hands of his capable guardsman.
Jocelyn took a deep breath and watched Malcolm’s tall, broad form walk purposefully down the bailey. My, but he muddled her head into confusion. Just days ago she had fought against his kiss and yet today, well, today she was of a mind to be kissed senseless.

You were wanting them to kiss, weren't you? Now you are wanting to read on, to see if they get close to capturing a kiss in the next scene, aren't you? That is the purpose of romantic tension. To keep the reader investing in the characters, watching their relationship grow, and cheering them on to a happy ending.

What favorite author of yours utilizes romantic tension? What favorite book or movie is loaded with romantic tension? Or what is a good way of sneaking in romantic tension?


Debra E. Marvin said...

well. yessirree. Romantic tension! And I loved how you brought that in just those paragraphs even though we know nothing up to that point and it's early in the morning for me. :)

I like a book where I can occasionally shout 'just kiss her and get it over with', knowing all along the moment will come later on!

great post. And oh I wish for a let up in the heat for so many of us.

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Debra, you ARE up early this morning, girl! I'm still bleary eyed, trying to force my coffee down and get ready for work! I absolutely LOVE books that make me wait for the kiss. You know it's gonna happen and you can't wait to get there!

Linda said...

Any current book by Julie Lessmann!!!

Movie: Sound of Music.

Krista Phillips said...

LOVE this Sherrinda! You did a FABULOUS job!!!!

There are a TON of authors I love that do a great job at this... D.Gist is one that comes to mind, Tamara Leigh, And actually, Lori wick, though she hasn't written in a while, could have a pretty good romantic tension scene too!!

Krista Phillips said...

LOVE this Sherrinda! You did a FABULOUS job!!!!

There are a TON of authors I love that do a great job at this... D.Gist is one that comes to mind, Tamara Leigh, And actually, Lori wick, though she hasn't written in a while, could have a pretty good romantic tension scene too!!

Casey said...

Well Krista is excited wouldn't you say?? ;-) Don't forget Julie Lessman!! And that was a great scene Sherrinda. I love good romantic tension!

Mary Vee Storyteller said...

I think of "The Notebook". He tried to help her remember--he almost had the kiss--and then the ending. sigh.
Great post Sherrinda. Your example is fabulous.

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Hi ladies! I'm on my lunch break, after a nice, busy morning.

Linda, YES!!!! Julie Lessman is the Master of romantic tension. I'm sure Pepper will chime in, raving about Miss Passion later on. ;)

Well, Krista, thank you for the double comment! lol And you are right, D. Gist is good and also, Marylou Tyndall. Mmmm, I'm reading a galley copy of her Surrender The Dawn. Veryyyyy nice romantic tension there. Mmmm!

Casey, YES! Of course, Julie Lessman. She is paving the way for passionatly pure romance in the CBA.

Mary, sigh...The Notebook! Lovely book, lovely movie. Very sigh-worthy, indeed!

Julia M. Reffner said...

Ooohhh...great scene, Sherrinda. I love the medieval era!!

Pepper said...

LOVE IT, Sherrinda.
Love it!

Move over Julie Lessman ;-)

Sarah Forgrave said...

Ohhh, such a tease you are, Sherrinda! The almost-kiss gets me every time. I just wrote one of them in my own wip...makes it all the more fun to write the real thing later, doesn't it? :)

Julie Lessman said...

SHERRINDA!!! Oh, girlfriend, I cannot WAIT till you get published, because that was SUCH a tease and SO worthy of a high-voltage fan!!

I want to thank Linda, Casey, you and Pep for equating my name with passionate romance ... I love when that happens!! :)

And, Sherrinda, loved your quote, "Julie Lessman ... is paving the way for passionately pure romance in the CBA," SO much, that I posted it on the first page of my website, with your name and the name/link of your blog. I hope that's okay.

Thanks for pumping me up with your scene so I can go write some of my own ... :)


Unknown said...

Good stuff, Sherrinda. Of course, the fact that your book is set in the Middle Ages means it gets extra brownie points from me. ;) But you make an excellent point and example of how to give necessary romantic tension that sizzle.

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Julia, medieval is my favorite era. It battles with Regency, but I think it wins most of the time. ;)

Pepper, I do believe you will give Julie a run for her money in the passion department. ;)

Sarah, yes! I think that the almost kiss is my favorite kind of scene to write! Mmmmm....

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Julie!!!! You know we can't write about romantic tension without bringing your name up in the conversation! You really are paving the way, and I am sooo glad!

And yes, you can certainly quote me on that! (thank you for the link to The Writer's Alley!)

Thanks for stopping by! We love you!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

KM, thank you! I know why you love the medieval era! It is such a romantic and adventurous time, isn't it? Rather rough around the edges, but the chivalry...sigh...it makes my day!