Thursday, September 29, 2016

What Makes a Romance Sizzle?

My next release comes out this Saturday, October 1st, and early reviews frequently mention The Captive Heart has some "sizzling" romance in it. Yikes. What pops into your cartoon bubble with that word? I'm seeing a buxom gal named Destiny pole dancing like there's no tomorrow. Definitely a negative connotation.

But does it have to be?

Sizzling romance is way more than writing about inserting part A into slot B (sorry for the visual). It goes beyond mere physical attraction. Here are some key items to incorporate if you want to ramp up the romance in your story . . .

Everyone wants their name to be defended. Everyone also wants to be protected from the big, bad ugly world. When someone sticks up for you, it's endearing. Same goes for your characters.

Little things connect with a reader's heart in a big way. Think chivalrous on the part of your hero, like throwing down his coat across a mud puddle so the heroine can cross without getting her feet dirty. Or in her case letting the fella sleep in the middle of the night while she takes care of the baby. Granted, neither of those make your heart pitter patter, but when the characters notice each other dying to self for their benefit, it attracts them even more.

Think of your characters' relationship as a dance. Sometimes they're in step together, sometimes not. It's that tension, the wondering when they'll get together for good, that holds the interest of the reader.

Sizzling romance doesn't have to be about sex. Creating a deeper connection at an emotional level is almost a novelty nowadays, which will make your story stand out. . . leastwise in the inspirational market. If you're pitching to erotica publishers, you'll have to throw in some skin, but make sure to add in these other 3 qualities for a well-rounded romance.


Robin Mason said...

SQUEEEEEW!!! How did I miss your release date is this Saturday??? (oh I know, my brain is fried with my release—on Friday!! we book-baby twins! hahah) when I read sizzling romance, I think of the dance between the two lovers, as a tango, building steam with each [dance]step. The glances at a dinner party, a casual touch in the hallway or elevator full of people, building to that first tentative kiss.....

chappydebbie said...

The Captive Heart is one of the best books I have read to date! You captivated my heart, Michelle...literally. I hate that I finished it, I really did not want it to end.

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