The other day my friend/writer and current pre-reader Chris Janzen and I had an email conversation about romance. Well, romance writing anyway and, more specifically, how much is too much. You may recall that I posted my faux pas in becoming so excited that I sent my pre-readers another chunk of the A Marriage of Necessity story without a pivotal paragraph. That paragraph just so happened to be a kissing scene that took them from playful flirtation to fumbling over her buttons. Now keep in mind that I am trying REALLY hard to make this a book that any woman would be comfortable reading yet still satisfy my need for romance and love.
That brings me to my question of today: How much really is too much? What are you comfortable with? Do you want to have the author gloss over the details while giving you enough that you know what is happening or would you prefer it spelled it?
In this particular section with Mark and Terry from A Marriage of Necessity I rather glossed over the details (not to say that is necessarily how it will end up when all is said and done):
She screamed again and dissolved into laughter as he growled and snapped then playfully bit her neck. She stared at him wide-eyed, her smile replaced with expectation. “Kiss me, Mark,” she whispered as he lowered his lips to hers.
Hunger was the only word to describe what passed between them; that all out need to satisfy needs and to be needed. Mark hastily led his new bride to his room where they fumbled and stumbled like love struck teenagers.
Now compare that to the kiss between David and Elizabeth from another story that will be forthcoming eventually. The working title of this book is Everything Old Is New Again:
“I can’t do this,” she whispered. He stood behind her. She could feel his body pressing ever closer to hers. His hands, those same hands that had pulled her close, helped to warm her on the bus with the broken window, now caressed her upper arms. Only now they were not the hands of a young schoolboy. They were hands of experience, hands that knew…
His fingers tracked across her back, enticing as they moved up to pull the hair away from her neck. She closed her eyes as he kissed her bare shoulder, cursing herself for having chosen this dress for the night’s event. It had been chosen for a purpose, this purpose. His lips, so warm, traced a sensual line up to her slender neck where his tongue drew tantalizing circles along her jaw line.
“Oh please, David.” Her voice was breathless, testifying to the war that raged within. His other hand slipped down, curving around her waist to quickly turn her to face him.
“Yes you can,” he said as their eyes locked. She blinked slowly; intoxicated by the moment. Had she truly thought that if she fanned the embers of those long-suppressed flames, they would not, in fact, engulf her? She moistened her lips, her eyes trailed down to his; full, sensual lips slightly smiling, waiting, knowing. She smiled as she looked back at his eyes that danced with a mixture of mischief and desire. How many years she had waited for this moment; wondered, dreamed.
“You want to. It’s why you came,” he said as his head began to lower toward hers.
As if on cue, her cell phone rang. She looked toward it. The photo of her smiling children stared back from the phone’s face. She laughed, moving away from him.
Which do you like better? The situations are pretty much the same; there’s a neck kiss and then lips lowering to lips. Yet 2 paragraphs with little detail are used in the first compared to 6 in the later. Do they conjure up differing emotions? Are you comfortable with one over the other? I want to hear from you. Just think, your opinion MAY result in the way I proceed with the A Marriage of Necessity book. Will I give you co-author status? Undoubtedly, NO! :)