Hebby Roman | Writing Emotions into Love Scenes
December 8, 2013
Have you ever read a love/sex scene that seemed to be a catalog of moving body
parts? I have, and to be brutally honest, I've written scenes like that. Not to
say that a spirited recounting of the poetry of making love won't steam up your
bifocals or contact lenses or whatever ... LOL
When I was a beginning writer, I made certain that every kiss and caress was
recounted explicitly and with as many sensory cues as possible. But beyond body
parts and sensory cues, what is the richer subtext of a love scene? Short
answer: it's what is going on in the minds and hearts of the heroine/hero. Think
of love scenes in your favorite books that were particularly satisfying. In
those scenes, you knew exactly how the characters were affected from the initial
meeting of their lips, through each caress, and to the ultimate joining of their
To give a clearer picture of their feelings, I often change point of view
within a love scene and tell one part from the hero's perspective and then end
with the heroine's feelings. While point of view is a powerful tool that gives
the reader an intimate thermometer of what the h/h are thinking and feeling,
it's just another layer leading to the final and most important component, the
emotional content that rises from the main conflict between the characters.
Let me give you some examples of what I mean.
In my contemporary romance,
THE BEST BET, the heroine has a hard time trusting
herself to love and commit to a serious relationship. She's attracted to the
hero and wants to be intimate with him, but he wants more. The hero is wise
enough to recognize her fears and when they come together physically, he never
says a word about love or marriage. Why? Because he doesn't want to scare her
In one of my historical romances, TEMPT FORTUNE, one side of the hero's face
has been disfigured and despite a marriage of convenience, he avoids physical
consummation with the heroine, believing she despises his disfigurement. When
they finally come together, the pivotal point of their love scene is when she
strokes his disfigured face and tells him that her love for him has blinded her
to his scars. With her declaration of unconditional love, the hero's fears and
doubts melt away.
From my recently published medieval, THE PRINCESS AND THE
TEMPLAR, the hero is
a Templar monk sworn to celibacy and bastard born. Based on his medieval code,
he's far beneath the Irish princess in his care, and he shouldn't desire her.
When their mutual attraction ignites, he restrains himself and gives the
Princess pleasure while keeping her virginity intact.
All of these examples illustrate the emotional conflict that is at the heart of
the story and by weaving those same emotions into the love scenes the story will
be richer and more satisfying.
Please see Hebby Roman's latest contemporary release, THE BEST GAME.
The Best Game
San Antonio's most eligible bachelor, Damian Escobedo, isn't exactly thrilled
when his mother arranges a date with his childhood neighbor, the gawky girl he
remembers from next door, Liana De Leon. What Damian doesn't realize is Liana
has spent the last eight years in New York as a super model.
When Damian sees how the ugly duckling has turned into a beautiful swan, he's
hooked. And the game is on when Damian comes to know and care for Liana, and
he's more than willing to exchange his free-wheeling ways for a wedding ring ...
that is if Liana is serious about remaining in Texas and giving up her glamorous
Hebby Roman is the
author of eight print published romances, four historical
romances and four contemporary romances. She is a member of the Romance Writers
of America and the past president of her local chapter, North Texas Romance
Writers. She was selected for the Romantic Times "Texas Author" award. She lives
in Arlington, TX with her husband, Luis, and Maltipoo, Max. Please visit her
at: www.hebbyroman.com or
54 comments posted.
Re: Hebby Roman | Writing Emotions into Love Scenes
this sounds really good cant wait to read thanks for the
(Denise Smith 6:26am December 8, 2013)
I think emotion is very important in a love scene, without it, it's just a cold,
clinical description of sex; with emotion comes passion and heat.
(QuenKne M 6:27am December 8, 2013)
agreed with you wholeheartedly!
(Felicia Ciaudelli 8:40am December 8, 2013)
I love your books and can't wait to read this one!!!!! Thank you!!!
(Bonnie Capuano 9:29am December 8, 2013)
Denise, I'm so happy you want to read my book. I really hope you enjoy it!
(Hebby Roman 10:41am December 8, 2013)
I found your posting very refreshing. There's a way of writing a sex scene without knowing the size of the male, and exactly what the heroine had to do to get them to the point of intercourse, for example. An Author can write a tasteful scene, such as you described, to have the same effect on the reader, and make it a much more pleasing story. Another thing to consider is if someone slightly underage got a hold of the book by accident, and saw any passages that were written "in poor taste," it could create problems. I've also tended to lean toward the old-fashioned love stories myself, so it's refreshing to find an Author who writes in that vein. I'll have to be sure to look for your books!! I love the cover to your latest book!! Have a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year!!
(Peggy Roberson 10:42am December 8, 2013)
QuenKne M and Felicia, I'm with both of you. I learned in romance that the characters' emotions are more important than anything and for a sex scene to be a true love scene, you must show how their feeling. Thanks for posting!
(Hebby Roman 10:44am December 8, 2013)
Bonnie, I'm blushing, I'm so happy you like my books. I enjoyed writing The Best Game, it's a fun read, hope you enjoy it, too.
(Hebby Roman 10:45am December 8, 2013)
Peggy, well said about writing love scenes in good taste. I strive for quality scenes throughout my books, but it's especially important in love scenes. I like the cover of The Best Game, too, and it's my husband's favorite. It's so understated but shows the hero and heroine. Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, too!
(Hebby Roman 10:48am December 8, 2013)
yummy like a cookie
(Jeannie Murphy 11:19am December 8, 2013)
Emotion is key in good books. Thank you for the opportunity.
(Melanie Backus 11:50am December 8, 2013)
Cookies, cookies? Did someone say cookies? LOL I love Christmas cookies and chocolate chip ones that are gooey in the middle.
(Hebby Roman 11:53am December 8, 2013)
Glad you dropped by, Melanie.
(Hebby Roman 11:54am December 8, 2013)
I love when mothers try to matchmake! I think the book sounds like fun. And tasteful writing is something I always look for in a book.
(Vennie Martinisi 12:12pm December 8, 2013)
I enjoy a book that grabs hold of my emotions... you are a new to me author... it was great to learn about you and your books!
(Colleen Conklin 12:39pm December 8, 2013)
You are a 'new' author for me. The Best Game sounds wonderful. Is
The Best Bet somehow related to The Best Game?
(Peni Anne 12:52pm December 8, 2013)
You always describe it perfectly, Heb .....
(Phil Johnson 1:01pm December 8, 2013)
Vennie, yes, matchmaking mothers are too funny. As I mentioned, it was a fun book to write.
(Hebby Roman 1:44pm December 8, 2013)
Colleen, thank you for your kind words, and I'm always happy to have a new reader discover my books!
(Hebby Roman 1:46pm December 8, 2013)
Peni Anne, yes, The Best Bet is about Damian's identical twin brother who finds love in Vegas while he's masquerading as Damian, the high roller! The scene where Rafael, the other twin tries to look like he knows how to play craps in The Best Bet is a hoot!
(Hebby Roman 1:48pm December 8, 2013)
I think that is a really cool way to describe a scene, I have read many takes on those scenes and look forward to reading and thinking about things from a different perspective.
(Darci Paice 3:20pm December 8, 2013)
Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Darci. That's what I wanted the blog to do, give a fresh perspective.
(Hebby Roman 3:37pm December 8, 2013)
Sounds like a good book. I can't wait to read it.
(Kelly Powell 4:55pm December 8, 2013)
I believe that everyone of us carry emotional scars from out past. It takes a different kind of hero to help us get over it. After reading your interviews, I'm interested in reading your books. Thanks.
(Kai Wong 4:56pm December 8, 2013)
Wow, Congrats on your new book: THE BEST GAME. I love the
book cover too! Your romance books sound fascinating and I
would love to win and read them this Christmas. Happy
Holidays and Thank You very much. Cecilia CECE
(Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez 5:01pm December 8, 2013)
Thank you, Kelly. I hope you like it.
(Hebby Roman 5:23pm December 8, 2013)
Kai, a very insightful comment. I agree with you and that's why I begin writing my books by learning who my characters are and what makes them tick. I spend a lot of time on the backstory of my characters, learning their vulnerabilities, their strengths, and what motivates them.
(Hebby Roman 5:25pm December 8, 2013)
Happy Holidays to you, too, Cecilia. I hope that you'll have a chance to read THE BEST GAME.
(Hebby Roman 5:27pm December 8, 2013)
Your books sound good. I enjoy romance books and am unfamiliar with yours until today. I'm anxious to read them, and am still finding time for all my reading between cooking, baking and Christmas shopping (and did I mention, shoveling snow)?
(Linda Luinstra 5:27pm December 8, 2013)
Thank you for the post. Without emotions love scenes are just mechanical movements. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of the book.
(Marcy Shuler 6:22pm December 8, 2013)
Linda, shoveling snow doesn't sound like too much fun. We've been prisoners in our homes in DFW because of the frozen sleet on all the roads and especially the overpasses. Can't wait for it to warm up. But the cooking and baking sounds fun. Christmas shopping can be a real pain, though. LOL I hope you find time to read my books this holiday season! Happy Holidays to you and your family.
(Hebby Roman 7:00pm December 8, 2013)
Marcelyn, thanks for your comment and dropping by. Happy Holidays to you and your family.
(Hebby Roman 7:01pm December 8, 2013)
I like what someone on here said, without emotions love scenes are just mechanical. They are very right!! Happy Holidays.
(Felicia Plastini 7:20pm December 8, 2013)
Good background on how you write scenes. Sounds like you figured out how to get more depth to your writing.
(Laura Gullickson 7:22pm December 8, 2013)
Happy Holidays to you and yours, Felicia! Thanks for commenting.
(Hebby Roman 7:32pm December 8, 2013)
Thank you for that comment, Laura. I try. :)
(Hebby Roman 7:33pm December 8, 2013)
I love the way you described writing love scenes. Some are just too graphic. Thanks for the chance to win your book.
(Carol Woodruff 8:08pm December 8, 2013)
It is the emotion that makes the love scenes memorable.
(Maureen Emmons 8:16pm December 8, 2013)
Carol, thank you for the nice comment. And you're welcome about the contest and good luck!
(Hebby Roman 8:43pm December 8, 2013)
Glad you dropped by, Maureen. I definitely agree with you. :)
(Hebby Roman 8:44pm December 8, 2013)
I so love this site, it introduces me to Authors I haven't previously read before. This book sounds fantastic and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy!
(Sandie White 8:59pm December 8, 2013)
Sandie, so glad you came by and left such a nice comment. Thank you!
(Hebby Roman 9:18pm December 8, 2013)
So much can be said with an appropriate gesture or look, but some people have trouble writing that without it becoming a description of hands and eyes. Thanks so much for sharing.
(Michelle Willms 9:44pm December 8, 2013)
What a thoughtful comment, Michelle, and you're so right.
(Hebby Roman 10:01pm December 8, 2013)
I'm going to close out the blog. I really enjoyed everyone's comments and want to thank all of you for coming today and for reading my blog.
I also want to thank the staff of Fresh Fiction for giving me this opportunity to share my blog with romance readers!
Good luck to everyone!
(Hebby Roman 10:04pm December 8, 2013)
Are there any plans to release your historicals as ebooks?
I would love to read Tempt Fortune again!
(Mary C 10:39pm December 8, 2013)
Mary, yes I'm planning on re-releasing my historicals again as e-books. Not certain if I'll be doing it on my own or through my publisher yet, but I will be freshening them up and re-releasing them. I'm so glad you enjoyed TEMPT FORTUNE, it was one of my favorite books to write.
(Hebby Roman 1:10pm December 9, 2013)
Happy Holidays to you, too, Elaine. So glad you like the cover. As I said before, it's my hubby's favorite and my cover artist who designs them, Kim Van Meter, is awesome!
(Hebby Roman 1:11pm December 9, 2013)
Sounds really good!
(Annetta Sweetko 2:41pm December 9, 2013)
Happy Holidays, Annetta, and thanks for stopping by.
(Hebby Roman 6:45pm December 9, 2013)
Feelings & emotion has to come in to play - so to speak.
(Mary Preston 7:51pm December 9, 2013)
Play on words, Mary, play on words. LOL
(Hebby Roman 8:55pm December 9, 2013)
I hear ya, Heb: The characters are the story ... but even
further, in the case of romance the emotions are the story ...
without them, there is no romance. Only in the emotions do we
find the romance -- a simple yet quite brilliant and
fundamental concept. And it works.
(Phil Johnson 8:14am December 10, 2013)
It is so nice that you are in touch with the characters when you write the scenes it makes them feel more real and alive. I love your books!
(Denise Austin 9:15pm December 10, 2013)
Registered users may leave comments.
Log in or register now!