Raise your other hand if you’ve secretly considered it a compliment.
Crap, I can’t type with both hands in the air.
The art of the tease is something romance authors work long and hard (snicker) to perfect. Your characters might want to jump each other’s bones on page one, but you’ve got 350 pages to fill. Odds are good you’ll run out of sex positions by then, and sad as it is to say, even I’d be bored by 350 pages of playing spear the donut.
I heard an editor once say she prefers to have the couple in a romance novel swap their first kiss by page 50 and first sex by page 100. It’s a rule I’ve never followed, and so far, no one’s yelled at me for it. I far prefer the long, drawn-out tease. I want the couple to come close to burping the worm once, twice, maybe three times, building the tension and leaving the reader squirming in her chair.
There’s an art to the squirming, though. Interrupt too many hookups with a ringing telephone or some other clichéd contrivance and you’ll have your reader rolling her eyes instead of
I've heard people say the romance novels are all about how to get two people together, but I disagree. Getting them together is the easy part. Creating a long, slow, tease that keeps them from consummating their relationship for much of the book is the tough part.
With all this talk about teasing, I feel obligated to say I'm not quite done doing that with my new book deal for Coliloquy. I shared some of the details on Monday and Tuesday, but I can't give it all up just yet. Stay tuned here for more info, or sign up with Coliloquy to be first to hear about release information.
In the meantime, how do you feel about the fine art of the tease? Can you think of examples of authors or significant others who've done a particularly good job with it? Please share!
It's time for me to put my hands down and quit typing with my toes.