What Is Sexual Tension and How Do You Write It?

Here is a little excerpt from my workshop, Turn Up the Heat, which I'll be teaching in November.

Sexual tension is the “want it but can’t have it” factor. The intense attraction and awareness of another person. The excitement, the anticipation. Chemistry. When two people feel a mutual, unfulfilled desire. In most cases, the longer they wait to fulfill that desire, the more the sexual tension increases… until it is almost unbearable.

Sexual tension is a sort of magical ingredient in romance novels, just as it is in real life. Think back to a time when you’ve felt sexual tension between yourself and someone else. Maybe someone you just met and WHAM! attraction hits you when your eyes meet. You don’t know why, it just IS. Chemistry, magnetism. It is so subtle on the outside, no one else may notice it, but inside your heart rate increases, you feel flushed and giddy. You garble your words or knock over something. And you wonder what’s going on?? This person has taken away your equilibrium momentarily and you may want to get away ASAP, especially if you are already in a relationship or have reason to steer clear of this person. Same with your characters. Sexual tension isn’t cerebral or rational. You can’t THINK about it too much. It’s more something you FEEL with your emotions and viscerally, in your heart (pounding), stomach (knotting), gut (wrenching), lungs (shortness of breath), etc...

Workshop: Turn up the Heat! Heightening Sexual Tension and Sensuality in Your Manuscript

Presenter: Nicole North

Date: November 1 - 30, 2008

Description: Editors want to buy spicy-hot romance stories now more than ever before. How do you do it? In this class we will discuss all aspects of sexual tension and sensuality and how they relate to the developing romance in your story. You'll learn tips for successfully building sexual tension over the course of the hero and heroine's relationship from first glance, through climax, to happily ever after. Several examples will be used to illustrate different nuances of hot romantic chemistry and how to employ them in your own story. Learn how to avoid clichés and use sexiness in fresh new ways. Strengthening sexual tension will take your story from ho-hum to so hot and delicious your reader can't put it down. We'll do exercises for hands-on learning. (Please be aware this course contains explicit and frank discussions of sexuality.)

**Topics covered**
Using the five senses more effectively
Sexy talk
Word choice
First kiss
First love scene
How to rebuild sexual tension after sex
Why point of view is important
Hot characters
Combining physical attraction and emotion
Body language
Differences between romance and erotic romance
Revising to make a sensual romance manuscript spicy or erotic

Fun Extras
Visual inspiration
Multimedia examples and exercises

About the presenter: Nicole North writes sensual and erotic romance novels and novellas. She is the author of paranormal erotic romance novellas Devil in a Kilt, Red Sage Secrets Volume 27, July 2009, and Beast in a Kilt, Red Sage Secrets Volume 29. She has finaled in over a dozen writing competitions and won several awards. She admits sexual tension and delicious love scenes are her favorite elements of romance and sprinkles them liberally through her stories. What others have said about her works: "This author handles sexual tension very well. Her characters are completely drawn to each other..." and "Wow! Talk about sexual chemistry. This story has it in spades. You're a natural in the romantic chemistry department." She has a BA degree in psychology. Please visit her website to learn more and read past student testimonials: http://www.nicolenorth.com/

Cost: $20 non-members / $10 IRWA members

To register please visit: http://www.indianarwa.com/workshop_112008.htm

Thank you!


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