Thursday, December 13, 2012

Make Your Characters Do the Dance

by Flame Arden

Is it possible to write a good erotic novel and not have the couple jump between the sheets by page three?

Yes. My favorite erotic novels all have plots and have found a home on my keeper shelf. That's because the author took the time to let the reader start pulling for the hero and heroine before those characters hopped into bed.

It's just as ill advised to go to bed with a stranger in fiction as it is in real life. IMUO, letting the characters jumping into bed too soon in unrealistic. 

So why don't more erotic novels have a plot? Authors mistakenly think this is what readers want.

Hey! I'm a reader, and that definitely is not what I want.

I want to cheer for the hero and heroine when they finally turn back the covers and make love. The will-she, won't he dance a couple does -- the anticipation of them finally coming together in a heated embrace -- is as much a part of the story as their first love scene and every step of that dance needs to be on the page.

If you don't believe me, read the first few chapters of Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James. I love the preliminary dance they do on those early pages. He's immediately attracted to her, but knows better than to jump her bones. She's an innocent and all the more desirable to him because she is. Whenever I need inspiration, I reread those first few chapters. 

Think about this: Even the best hitters in major league baseball seldom make it to third base without first striking at a high, fast ball and maybe even fouling a few. Neither should your characters. Why not add to the reader's pleasure by stringing the couple and the reader along?

Instant attraction? Yes! 

Instant gratification? No! Make the hero wait. Make the heroine squirm. Your readers will, too, just as you did while writing their story.

In Christmas Eve Eve Adohr asks to use a stranger's phone, then is attracted to the handsome homeowner. Wouldn't be wise to act on her attraction, she knows, but her lonely heart sends another message, one she finds hard to ignore. It's not until after drinks, dinner, quiet music and a romantic slow dance that she acts on her attraction, thinking No one will ever know about her one-night stand.

Unbelievably, her one night stand continues for three days, and Eve learns she's capable of giving at least as much sensual pleasure as she gains. 

Here's a blurb:

In a blinding snowstorm on Christmas Eve, the jaded owner of a posh Las Vegas casino mistakes the stranded real estate agent at his door for the classy call girl he's expecting to heat up his holiday. 

Passions ignite. Eve has learned men believe bedding her the most direct route to her wealth. Nick's female companions always want the keys to his Ferrari and to his safe deposit box, never to his heart, so he distrusts the entire lot and expects to simply walk away unscathed when his brief time with Eve ends.

Neither expects to give marriage a try, but hearts have a way of going where cautious souls refuse, and after screwing their heads off for six days and nights Nick and Eve discover without love their former lives were little more than empty shells.

And an excerpt:

Finally. Nick St. Clair took one last look around. Everything seemed in order. Don't let your irritation at your hired date's tardiness show. She might have a reasonable excuse for being late. 

Straightening the lapels of his hip-length robe, he crossed to the door. Beneath the robe, black silk pajama pants provided minimal warmth but kept him decent.

"I'm sorry to disturb you," the statuesque woman on his porch said with a bright smile, "but I've done something really stupid and wondered if you—"

"Don't just stand there." Nick opened the door wider, anxious to see what his credit card had purchased this time. "Come in."

"Thanks." After a slight hesitation, the woman stepped gracefully inside. Ice crystals clung to the fine wool scarf wrapped loosely around her neck, and to her stylish boots. She was all bundled up in a long coat, but Nick's mind's eye had no difficulty sketching what he hoped was hidden underneath. 

The lady wore far too many clothes.

"I'm afraid my boots are wet." She glanced first at him. His welcoming smile seemed to stun her. She stared at her boots. "Where would you like me to stand?"

"By the fire." Nick indicated the hearth. "You look frozen." Although in need of a woman, he had no desire to bed an icicle. He wasn't that desperate. Yet.

She crossed the room at a slow pace, her fluid movements an aphrodisiac to him, although each tentative step left behind a patch of melting ice. Sex-deprived man that he was, his living room suddenly felt too warm. Things were looking up.

"I've been busy on the computer," he said, surprised by the sudden gruffness of his usually smooth voice. He joined her before the fire. "I hadn't noticed it had begun to snow."

A soft-looking, hooded leather coat covered her to her ankles. What lay beneath all those layers?

To his surprise, the unknown whetted his appetite. "Here, let me help you out of that coat." 


No? Her response drew Nick up short.

"That won't be necessary," she said, her sexy eyes wide. "I'll just keep it on, since I'm hoping we'll be going right back out."

Out? Was this some sort of sex game played to excite him?

"Problem is..." She paused, smiling up at him, even daring to bat her eyes. 

Unusual eyes, those. Emeralds, flecked with gold, and about all Nick could see of his date at the moment. He found the situation so damned erotic he began to sweat. 

"... my car slid in the ditch next door," she added, drawing his thoughts from what treasures her long coat might hide. "I wouldn't bother you, but this mountain seems to be out of my cell phone's service area and I wondered if I might use your phone to call for a tow."

The dimple nestled in the satiny cheek nearest Nick flirted with him as she spoke. Intriguing. Might as well play along. "Sure."

About Flame Arden:

Flame Arden sounds like a well-bred Southern lady. Nothing could be further from the truth. She claims to write sex scenes with 'squirm factor'. You be the judge as she opens the boudoir door to one-man, one-woman erotic relationships and gives you a glimpse inside. A happy and lasting marriage has prepared Flame to write sizzling love scenes, and she doesn't disappoint.

She hangs out here:

December 14th you can download Christmas Eve here: 

Or from your favorite eBook store