Laura Haley-McNeil

1/19/20, Sexual Tension

Sexual Tension

As a writer of clean romance, I don’t write sex scenes, but the sexual tension the hero and the heroine has to be there. I’m writing about a man and a woman whose desires burn strong beneath the relationship conflict. The conflict has to be strong and believable. Fiction is all about suspension of belief. If the writer can’t suspend the reader’s belief level, the reader probably won’t finish the book.

Sexual Tension

So how does sexual tension work in a clean romance? With two people attracted to each other, they may not realize their attraction to each other because the conflict interferes with what they want at the beginning of the story. They soon find the added burden of focusing on their goals and fighting their mutual attraction.

Conflict

For a romance writer, this is tricky. She is convincing the reader that the character’s goal is the ultimate achievement, which needs to be clear at the beginning of the story. The character’s love interest is interfering with her reason for beginning this journey. Add the additional conflict of achieving the goal and battling desires to want to succumb to a relationship that will rob the character of her ultimate goal, and you have internal conflict, external conflict and romantic conflict.

Character Goals

This is what keeps the reader turning the pages. How will the characters resolve the conflicts? And for a clean romance, how will the characters keep their desires in check? The desires have to be there and they have to be strong and they have to threaten what the character hopes to achieve.

Character’s Desires

In my book, When Love Whispers,  Book 2 of the Beaumont Brides Series, military cadet Preston Lowe has known since childhood he wants to be a soldier. When he loses his boyhood friends to war, he’s more determined to serve so his friends didn’t sacrifice in vain. He’s focused on his studies, maintains his top rank and channels his energy into his career. His friends who plan to marry when they graduate puzzle him. What’s the point of enduring the rigorous military school curriculum, if the  goal isn’t a military career?

When Preston meets Willow Dockery, that question becomes personal, and the choice he has to make is an internal struggle he battles. Willow is beautiful, and the deprivation he’s endured during military school creates urges in him he’d been able to squelch … until now. That Willow comes with her  internal struggle heightens the conflict between these two characters that threatens their desires to attain their goals and decide what is really important.

I hope your start to the new year is wonderful and exciting. God bless you and you’re loved ones!

Love,

Laura

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