07-20 – Small Town Romance Author – Kathy Coatney

Friday, September 1, 2017

What is the Importance of love scenes?

Judith is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual practices that nourish the soul and celebrates the journey from relationship to romance.
I’m not sure why, but in 2016 when Sarah Raplee and I were putting together our 2017 themes and topics, the song with the words “It’s the time of the season for loving” was running through my mind which is where this month’s Genre-ista theme came from.
As an author who writes romance with a variety of heat levels (sweet to steamy depending on the characters and their story) I used to struggle with that reality. Still when I think about the original series, I see no other way to write the ‘loving’ part than what I originally did.
For example: Ashley:Dragonflies and Dreams is the fourth book in the series. She learns she had breast cancer—and not for the first time. This is recurrent breast cancer and is detected when she is so very close to that five year mark when the probability of the cancer coming back is significantly small.
Daniel, the hero, has loved Ashley for some time. His loving comes in the form of taking care of her and her children. He becomes very inventive and while I’m tempted to share details (my first draft included many of the things he did), in my edits I deleted them. However, I’ve left these next two sentences:
He is a kind, gentle, loving man who loves Ashley and only wants what’s best for her. Spoiler alert: He definitely hopes (well, a bit more than just hope) she loves him, too.
I will acknowledge that Elizabeth:The Lady and The Sacred Grove which is the second book in the series is the opposite. It is, I think, the steamiest of the seven books. If a higher ‘heat level’ is usually not your thing, I believe Elizabeth has many positives. You can “visit” Ireland (or revisit if you’ve been there before) and learn more about the unconditional support that is an integral part of sacred women’s circles.
My promise to you is this: I do not write gratuitous sex scenes. There is a purpose behind each of the love scenes in each story and that is why in the case of Ashley and Hunter: The Dancer and The Drum there are no physical love scenes although they both have ‘loving’ scenes.
Please share your thoughts on the importance of love scenes to a story, to the development of relationships and the core romance. I truly do want to know.

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Sarah Raplee said...

I've read some of your books, Judith, and you don't write gratuitous sex scenes.

Every scene, no matter the 'type' of scene, must move the story forward in multiple areas. As Jenny Crusie says, "There are many roads to Oz - and many ways to write a story." Each author is unique. The type of scene we use to tell part of the story is a choice we make. The caveats here are to choose what's right for your voice and your characters, not to follow a formula (which you obviously don't do!)

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks for chiming in, Sarah. I totally agree with the "choose what's right for your voice and your characters." As a reader, I can skip past a love scene that is more explicit than I prefer if the story intrigues. That's very different than putting the book down because the scene doesn't fit the characters or the story. Thankfully the days of "bodice ripper romance" is behind us.

Diana McCollum said...

I believe some stories call for a love/bedroom scene. I like stories with and without the scenes. There are so many "other" ways to show love between two people. If the scene is too, too explicit, if I like the story I skip over that part. Thanks for an interesting blog post.

Judith Ashley said...

I do agree about the explicit scenes. I can read more explicit love scene better than explicit violent scenes. Explicit love scenes that are pages long are not my favorite and I'll skim until I see dialogue, a scene or new chapter. I also read stories with and without love scenes. In the end it is the story that counts.