Hey, Lola here. Barbie is up to her eyeliner in plotting and polishing so I'm taking over today's post. Pull up a seat, grab your favorite beverage (depending on your timezone...or not) and let's get down and dirty.
Let's talk sexual tension.
Oh yeah, you know what I'm talking about. I don't care how old fashioned you are, EVERYONE loves a little spark, a little touch, a little... hey, do I have to keep this PG?? Anyway, you get my drift. Let's face it, sexual tension can either make or break your novel (not to mention their relationship). There is nothing better than losing yourself in a story, falling in love with the characters to the point where you feel you know them so well, you WANT them to be happy - and happiness can only be with each other.
So each glance, each innocent touch (or not so innocent) just pulls us closer and closer. The author sucks us in to their relationship and we can't put the book down until we find out if they make it. Do they ultimately end up together?? How many times have you read a book where you just don't want to stop reading because in doing so you would be stopping their progress to happiness and it's sooo imperative they get together. I swear, it's as climactic for the reader as it is for the characters!!
The great thing is, you don't have to write romance to write great sexual tension!Some of my favorite stories are the mysteries and thrillers that don't warrant a love scene or love interest, but yet the authors throws in this subtle sexual tension between characters that makes the book "human" or more "believable" if you will. These super-cops/agents, etc... are human. They have lives and needs and desires. And we are totally in as readers. The romance doesn't have to carry through the entire book, either. Just a touch, done right, will make us want more. We'll want to see if something more happens in the next book, and the next, and the next!
So how do you go about writing it? Barbie Jo does okay in the sexual tension department (when she's not in Middle Grade land - cuz that's a big fat No-No!), but...she has issues with the whole Alpha Male thing. I think she has A.M. Syndrome, and she refuses to seek help for that. Although one wild weekend in Italy with Marco the Italian stud-muffin could totally fix that problem. (Cassy, you got any contacts? Barbie Jo needs research, and I think the rest of the M&M crew should tag along for "moral support") Just sayin'.
But seriously, I think sexual tension helps to hook the reader no matter what their sizzle factor is. If the author keeps the flame contained....I think even a shy, mellow reader could find herself suddenly sizzling. There's no need to get graphic, although there are authors who do, and readers who insist. I think there's something incredibly sexy when an author builds us up to the brink of insanity and then closes the door. And by the dialogue and description of the morning after, we know exactly how good it was! Not to say that a little sneak peak wouldn't be a bad thing either, but then I want inside their heads. I want to know the passion for each other besides the physical, ya know? Show me the Love!!!
So do you put sexual tension in your stories? is it intentional or do the characters make it happen on their own? And how "far" do you go? Do you close the door, or give the show?
And as a reader, what do you like? do you want to lose yourself in the fantasy or would you rather leave it up to your own imagination?
Spill it, Lola is in the house!!!