When I wrote the intimate scenes for the novellas in the Once Upon A Princess Trio, I wanted to be sure they were a fit for the stories. What I mean is, I didn’t want to drop them in just to have love scenes. They had to make sense in the context of the stories.
Since each novella features a different couple, I had a different way of presenting those scenes. In Heart of Stone, the hero is a gargoyle shifter who is actually under a magical spell. So, I decided that the scenes could be based more on fantasy than reality. He’s a gargoyle after all! The hero has been in love with the heroine from afar, and he’s desperate to show her his love. Her falling in love with him can be the key to breaking his curse. Their intimacy is tied to his release.
For Beauty and the Faun, I didn’t introduce intimate scenes right away. In fact, the couple are more friends than lovers for most of the story. But once they do become intimate, it’s handled differently. The heroine hasn’t been intimate with anyone before. I wanted to emphasize that she was having her first experience. The hero is playful and a bit of a “bad boy” but he’s patient enough to wait for the heroine to be ready. And once she is, they both find that they’re matched as lovers.
In Land of Dreams, the hero has a more complicated origin story (I won’t say more so that I don’t reveal any spoilers). He’s not expecting to fall in love with the heroine. He plans to help her learn magic, but that’s it. Or so he believes! I didn’t go into as much detail with their intimate scenes, though. In this story he’s a world-weary type who is nursing a broken heart. And since it’s in his POV – the scenes are more sensual and have less “insert tab A into slot B” kinds of descriptions.
Writing intimate scenes can be a big challenge for authors. Should there be a lot of detail? How soon should the intimacy happen? I think it all depends on knowing your characters and understanding the purpose of the scenes. The most important thing is to make the actions (and the emotions) feel natural. When that happens, romantic scenes can enhance the story and not feel out of place.
This post originally appeared on Fabulous and Brunette
Read more about the Once Upon A Princess series.