My special guest today is fellow Carina Press author, Christine Price. Here’s Christine’s official bio – Christine Price lives in Edmonton, AB, with her husband, two cats and a slightly idiotic Anatolian shepherd. Though she probably wouldn’t consider herself a “girly girl,” Christine is in love with cooking and baking, and she has recently tried her hand at cake decorating. As a public service, she’d like to warn people about the potential threat posed by twenty pounds of rolled fondant and a slightly inebriated best friend. In her free time, Christine enjoys wine, good movies and even better books. Her first work, Soul Bond, was released in April 2010.
Today, Christine is talking about her adventures in writing…
In Darkness Bound is my first novel-length publication. And I learned a lot from writing it. For example, the importance of fully developing a climax and the “Great Ah-hah Moment.” Actually, the first draft of IDB was at least 20,000 words shorter than the finished manuscript and missed a lot in the way of character development. Overall, the novel is waaaaay better for the revisions. But I also learned something that never would have struck me before now. Instead of going into the lengthy summation of the discovery, or doing an interpretive dance (which would be a little difficult without the use of a webcam and YouTube) allow me to provide a brief script:
Beta Reader: Okay, I liked x, y and z. But I don’t get what’s going on with w.
Me: Well, here’s the plot point.
Beta Reader: Huh… you should probably put that in somewhere.
Me: I did. It was on page 120.
Beta Reader: OH! … … But that’s the sex scene.
Beta Reader: You may want to rethink that.
What my Beta Reader didn’t come right out and say was that a major plot point in a sex scene isn’t always a great idea. This was a realization I had to come to myself.
So why is it? Well…when people read romance, they want to lose themselves in the romance. The erotic passages are especially important. They establish the intimacy between the characters and heightening the sensuality in the relationship. Readers—myself included—use their imaginations during these scenes. There are also readers who prefer to read for the plot, and tend to skim the sex scenes entirely.
See where I’m going with this? No matter what the motivation for reading, I think that there’s a chance that if you include important plot points in a sex scene they’re going to be missed. This by no means goes for everyone who’s ever read a romance novel. But I’ll admit I’ve done it. In my favourite romance book of all times, I skimmed through each sex scene because I wanted to get on with the plot. When I went back and read it over (for the second, third, fourth, fifth and twentieth times) then I appreciated the sex scenes. If there’d been any important developments during those flitting pages of eroticism, however, I totally would have missed them.
I guess there’s not really a moral to my story. (Well, not to anyone other than me anyway). My novel helped me with several key points in the development of my writing. One of them just happened to be this one. As I continue writing, it’s one that will stick with me.
Contest: What are your thoughts? Plot in a sex scene – yes or no? Are you a skimmer? A “lose yourself in”-er? Or neither? Post an answer to Christine’s questions in the comments section and go into a draw to win a download of In Darkness Bound
Here’s the blurb for In Darkness Bound:
Data Collection by Dalhousie, Dr. Donna L.
New, confused. His powers unknown.
No longer viable in the test pool, he remains in isolation.
Reclassified to staff status. Useful, malleable.
Confined in a sterile research facility and treated like a lab rat, Chris is alone and terrified. His special powers are his only escape, allowing him to psychically connect with other patients.
Alone in his cell for longer than he can remember, Vance is hungry. When newcomer Chris makes a mental connection, Vance is intrigued and soon wants more than just conversation.
Chris and Vance seek comfort with each other, and with Simon—the only staff member who’s shown them a hint of compassion. Their relationships develop during stolen moments, and they turn their thoughts to escape. But as Dr. Dalhousie’s madness spirals, more than cell walls threaten to keep them apart…