Welcome to my blog, SCRIBBLING TO (IN)SANITY! First time here? I'm a romance writer who wants to believe most problems can be solved over coffee, a mixed drink or by anything covered in chocolate. I'm a believer in second chances and that it's always the right time to fall in love. As the saying goes, you're a guest in my house only once...then you're family. So I invite you to join the fun! I love comments but it's okay to lurk too - just know I'm glad you've found me and I hope you visit me again soon!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Emotional Writing - The Second Four Stages of Intimacy

Sexual tension and physical intimacy are two things that heat up the pages of a good romance novel. The trick is knowing how to do it, and it's not as easy as a few kisses and then putting your characters in bed!

Last month we got your characters started with the first four stages. They noticed each other with eye to body, moved on to eye to eye, then voice to voice and finally we had contact with hand to hand!

Now it's time to get them closer!

Of course, the length of your story, the heat level you're writing and your characters will all dictate how fast or slow any of the stages last - the idea here is to know them and use them wisely to get the biggest emotional impact.

Arm to Shoulder - Remember being a teenager on a date at the movies and the arm sliding around your shoulders in one suave and casual move? Remember the tingle of excitement at the intimacy, or the boldness, of that move? This is the moment one character has taken the opportunity to move closer...we're invading personal space. Oh la la!

Arm to Waist - For me, this is NOT one to skimp on. This is a big moment. When the hero guides the heroine from a room, into a restaurant, through a crowd and possessively places his hand on the small of her back - yup, this is a MOMENT for me as the reader. This is all about what this implies, this is a physical move and one we can probably all go "aw" to when we see it. We all recognize this as an intimate act. Arm around the waist drawing him/her closer. Now we're turning up the heat!

Mouth to Mouth - Whether tentative or bold, daring and passionate, your characters are about to connect on a new level! Everything about the kiss is sensual. It's all about exploring, about claiming, about FEELING. This is a stage that we continually revisit, in fact, the kiss itself can go through stages of its own...from the simple peck to adding tongue to the moment your character is consumed by soul stirring emotions. THIS is the reason we spend so much time here, why there isn't just one kiss scene. Bring it!

Hand to Head - Usually found with Mouth to Mouth, this is the hand behind the head move. The fingers running down the hero's jawline, the hero brushing the hair from her face to gaze deeply into her eyes before he kisses her again, I think you get it!

All these things together add a layer of physical intimacy for your characters and their story. Now it's up to you to put them together in a way that works. Linger on one stage, rush through another...it's all a part of building the intimate connection between two people. Make the reader feel the connection and the tingle of heat and you're on your way.

If you want to read my post on the first four stages, you can find it here.

Do you have a favorite scene using any of these four stages? I'd love to know.


  1. I love arm to waist too!! For a sweet rom author like me that is HUGE. LOL

  2. When the hero cups the heroine's face with his hands as he leans down to kiss her for the first time is is a big one for me. Thanks for the steps, Debbie.


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