Romance Writing - Sex Sells

Romance Writing – Sex Sells

If you’re going to write for profit and fame, you need to understand one things about romance writing – sex sells.

Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl… 

Sex sells. Musicians know this. Movie producers and directors know this. The lawyers who draft the payment terms for the actors and actresses know this.

And yes people, publishers know this too and, well, it makes sense.

Characters, at least well-developed characters, have lives filled with conflicts and relationships. They will have spouses, boy or girlfriends, someone at the office they exchange risqué comments with, a waiter at coffee shop they can’t keep their eyes off.  

The flirting leads to the kiss…

These are all situations that lead to sex, because we do all have sex. The risqué commenting couple will end up on the photocopy machine eventually. The waiter and the coffee drinking patron will most likely share more than one cup of coffee before working through the caffeine rush together. And if not, please let there be a reason.

I have not been to a club in about 200 years, but I am pretty sure you don’t walk into a club, order a drink and turn to the person on your left and say “How about it? Wanna polish the stool?” It certainly does not happen at the grocery store and I am pretty sure the neighbour you met that morning is not going invite you over for more than a cup of tea the same afternoon.

Of course it depends on your story. As the author who has plotted and thought and planned, you will know exactly why you are putting your character in bed with someone. Sex in a book is never just for sex sake.

That leads to the almost moment…

A great technique for developing sensual tension in your romance is one called the Almost Moment. It is a technique most romance writers use. It prolongs the suspense, it milks the moment, it teases, seduces, entices. The sensual tension is drawn out like a taut wire.

It’s all those moments in a really good book when the hero and heroine almost say something, almost  touch, almost kiss, almost walk towards each other, almost make love. But somehow – tantalisingly, frustratingly – they don’t. The tension sizzles and makes you turn the page.  

That leads to the bedroom door… 

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Posted on: 21st July 2011