Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sense & Sensuality

I experienced a revelation recently - an “ah-ha” moment so powerful it changed my whole perception on writing romance. My epiphany? The fact that putting emphasis on sense and sensuality, when well blended into the context of a love story, is just as fulfilling and evocative as open door love making.

Those who know me well realize what a deep impact Stephenie Meyer's writing has had on me as an author. I consider her Twilight saga a masterstroke – not just because of its romantic elements – but because it opened my eyes to the beauty of a love story that engages the senses, and tender, expressive sensuality, without, shall we say, opening the door.

In other words, I'm learning the practice, not just the theory, of putting yourself in the world, not just on it. There's beauty in the ache, and wanting – in the anticipation – and, yes, even in saying no. Explore. Capture. When you write it, actually feel it: The texture and glide of satin on skin, the sweet kiss of a caressing breeze, the scent and warmth of the neck that you nuzzle, the lips that you kiss... how about the spice of an orange slice bursting on your tongue, fed to you by the one you love...?

The possibilities are endless. It's all right there. And it's powerful.

I've written fully explored love making – and in fact I have enjoyed exploring ways to express the most intimate, rich connection we can share. But in some ways I'm changing, and hopefully evolving, as a writer. I'm developing several Christian themed romances – which is something I've always wanted to do – but I needed an idea (or two, or three, or...) to pull me by the heart strongly enough to be deemed worthy.

The ideas finally came, and the love stories are rich with conflict, romance, and, yes, they explore the world of the senses versus strictly the physical. The process has opened up all new doors for me.

But I'm curious. What do you think? What's your take on the topic? I'd love to know and hear your input!

The other step in my evolution has been writing first person. That's the subject of next week's blog...and I'd absolutely love to hear what you think about first person story telling. Do you like it? Hate it? Indifferent to it? Let me know, and let's discuss!


  1. Very well stated, Marianne! I agree, building the sexual tension without falling back on--sex, requires thought and talent. (Although I personally wouldn't choose Twilight as an example for numerous reasons. But that's a whole 'nother story)

    First person. I've written it twice (one newly pubbed 'Cozumel Karma'=)One under the bed--probably forever. I wouldn't say I like it or hate it off the cuff, but I will say it only works when it works. lol

  2. The biggest part of the sexual experience is the experiences leading up to it. The fun, the flowers, the talks, the sharing beauty that is all around us, all take a front seat to the act itself.
    First person in a love story, seems to leave a lot out, especially since the emotion is all one sided. But that's just my opinion. It works for a lot of people.

  3. That's one thing that impressed me with Jennifer Crusie's "Bet Me" - all of that build-up for so many pages. She's a master.

    And I love first person - it's my favorite - but I've run into criticism for writing in first person because it seems you either love it or hate it.

  4. Thanks for the great comments, ladies! Appreciate your thoughts and observations!

    Lainey, you're so right about first person writing - it will either 'work in the context of your story or it won't...depends on the story, the characters, and the author's frame of mind!

    Mary - the build up is the best, isn't it?? Great perspective on 1st person, too - great food for thought on one sidedness...

    Kathy - Isn't Jennifer Crusie awesome? I agree 100% on her skills with sensuality!

  5. I've written hot and I've written sweet--I don't know which I like better. But you're right--it's the build-up that's the best part--that's also the hardest part to write, in my opinion, because all that emotion has to be there.

    thanks for the thought-provoking post.