July 20, 2011 | By: Tracy

Near Misses are HOT!

Let's face it, we all enjoy reading about a good snogging every now and again...maybe even like it when things get steamier. That's what romance in any good story is about right? The hugs, touches, kisses, intimacy.

But, in fiction, none of that is as much fun if the "near misses" aren't there. You know, those scenes where the hero and heroine are just about to break and give in to the attraction one--if not both of them--has been trying to deny. 

In that moment, they want it to happen. We want it to happen. Everyone wants it to happen.

But...it doesn't happen.

Something stops them before they're able to be fully swept away. Whether it's a pair of teenagers interrupted mid-makeout by a parent, or an adult couple sidetracked by some other force of life, they aren't allowed to cross the finish line.

It's this dissruption--this sense of "Damn it! What would have happened if the phone hadn't rang just then?!?"--that drives us insane as readers and makes us root for the couple to get together even more. 

So while all the hand holding and stares of longing are great, and most of us don't mind reading about some good nookie once the couple gets together, it's the near misses that truly set the scene.

The better the near misses and frustration we feel as a result, the better the satisfaction when our heroes finally break through all their barriers. Make sure you don't skimp on this part while you're writing your story...the potential payoff is too great.
July 13, 2011 | By: Tracy

Forever is Sexy

Here's another one I really wanted to repost, mostly because I love anything paranormal...and okay, I have a major weakness for pretty men!


For curiosity's sake, I decided to take a quick gander as to WHY the paranormal market is so booming. From young adult to adult. Dystopian to romance. Paranormal characters are taking the literary world by storm and have been for quite a while.  

But why?

I think the answer is pretty simple. Because the larger majority of readers are female. And though we all have different tastes there are some common themes most of us have a hard time denying.

1) We're greedy with the idea of romance. We want to be loved like we're the most important thing in his world. To win a man's heart & devotion for one lifetime is a wonderful thing, but to win it for eternity . . . PRICELESS! (Where is Mastercard with a commercial when I need one?)

Legolas - Lord of the Rings

2)  We love men with depth! The more delicious layers we can peel from a man to get to the center of who he truly is, the more we fall in love with him along the way. We melt over the notion of all the late night, post-coital, secret-sharing talks it'll take to begin skimming the surface of the man who's been through so much. 

Louis - Interview with the Vampire

3)  We're more superficial than we'd like to admit. Yes, we want a man who stirs our heart first and foremost, but that doesn't mean we wouldn't also appreciate it if he had a face & body we could stare at for hours! Immortal men provide the best of both worlds: They possess the wisdom of age & the beauty of youth.

Damon Salvatore - The Vampire Diaries

I think this is just the very tip of the iceberg when it comes to tapping into why, as a reading community, we just can't seem to get enough of the sexy creatures of the paranormal variety.

Any personal faves?
July 5, 2011 | By: Tracy

There's Nothing Quite Like Your First Time

Ever wonder why so many of us (non-young adults) can't seem to get enough of reading stories about teenage love? Not that some YA can't get pretty steamy, but there are far smokier scenes in adult romance novels. So why do we still love our regular doses of young love?

Some of my guesses?

We Miss Being the Center of Attention

Bella & Edward - Twilight
There is nothing like that rush of realizing -- for the first time -- that his sun (pardon the pun, Edward) rises and sets for you. Adult men have just as many responsibilities as we do. A teenage guy can make the girl of his dreams the center of his world.

Their Complicated Isn't Really So Complicated
Elena & Stefan  - Vampire Diaries
It may not feel that way, but our lives are fairly unfettered during our teenage years. Emotionally challenging, you bet, but most are spared the worrying about bills, mortgage payments, shuttling the kids to soccer practice. A teenage girl can enjoy falling in love without a mile long To-Do list waiting for her when she gets home.

You Can Only Experience Your First Time Once
Joey & Pacey - Dawson's Creek

First kiss. First love. First sexual experience. First heartbreak. Those things only come along once, and because we don't have any experience with them all our senses are running full tilt. We're constantly caught in a state between terrified and exhilarated.

We Still Believe Fairy Tale Endings Are Possible
Sam & Austin  - A Cinderella Story

Not that we all turn into jaded shrews as we age. . . but after we suffer a broken heart or two, we often  guard our emotions a little more carefully. After we lose our first love, we tend look at new romantic partners with the hope that he'll turn out to be our Prince Charming. Whereas the first time we fell in love we were sure it was going to last forever.

Those are just some of the reasons why I think I tend to get swept up so easily in a good YA romance. How about you?