WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING? Writing the Sexy Scene: Flame to Spark Part One.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

By Susan Arden
Getting two characters on stage and creating sexual tension IMMEDIATELY is tricky. In Tempted by Trouble it requires some jockeying.

Juggling dialogue, character arc, tension, and the storyline.

WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING came into play. The first scene featuring Carolina and Matt had this some killer story line played out.

Part One: How to Craft The Sexy Scene. Spark to Flame
In Tempted by Trouble, I knew this was going to be a hot ride. I wanted the sexual tension to be tight and immediate. With a romance, especially erotic romance,  there’s a necessary set up that launches the love story yet the hero and heroine must be properly positioned, so to speak.
In Tempted the name says it all. The parking lot scene(s) provide Carolina and Matt the necessary tools to spark their interest heating each other’s desire. Tempting yet are they held apart.
What happened and why?
Carolina arrives at the church delivering her cousin, Cynthia “Sam” Cainwright to her wedding. They’ve been out all night and Carolina needs a few moments alone. I wanted to introduce the “villain” so I had him appear, briefly setting the heroine on pins and needles. This interlude is the has a domino effect in making Carolina question her own sexuality which is part of her arc. With this conflict in play, a vacuum occurs, or character “want/need.”
In the opening scene, I had to place Matt in “charged” proximity but not so close he’d be available to the heroine. Actually I had to do something tricky so to keep Carolina and Matt apart. A compromising position that would be both off-putting and alluring. Difficult. As the writer, I needed to let Carolina see Matt within a context that served as his own interview. Sexually provocative. But that moment could get away from me if Carolina decided to drive off and never get a glimpse of Matt.
I had to employ another conflict: voila, the fender bender. This becomes their first moment on stage. Highly important so I have them engaged with a sassy exchange.  We have the hero and heroine meet in less than stellar circumstance. The hero remains cool, collected, and a bit arrogant after being caught red-handed. Carolina likes what she sees, yet knows this type of bad boy spells trouble. Oh, but the type of trouble she likes…but can’t have. Who amongst us hasn’t wanted something we know might be sensation but is unsuitable. For Carolina, it’s Bad Boy Man Candy or sex-in-suit.
So, here they are standing toe-to-toe on the wrong foot, but they don’t know really who the other is…or at least haven’t connected the dots yet (employer-employee). All the hero and heroine know is they’re highly attracted to each other. The spark to the flame.

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