I finished the first draft of the partial for Soul Deep last night. I am happy. Now I leave it sitting for a while until I finish up with Bound by Magic. Sometimes it helps to let things sit for a bit, so when I pick them up again it’s fresh and I can see it more clearly.
It’s interesting writing different heat levels. I don’t approach sex any differently between a “sensual” romance and an “erotic” romance actually. Sex is important either way – it should make a difference in the story, move the story in some sense. But the difference lies in description and the presence of sex in the story. Sex in an erotic romance/erotic novel is a bigger presence on the page. It’s there in a bolder fashion. I don’t have rules about when a sex scene has to appear or for how many scenes there’ll be in a book. I just write the story. I’ve had erotic romances with less sex scenes overall than sensual romances and erotics where the sex doesn’t occur until halfway through the book. I let the characters decide that stuff.
In Bound By Magic, sex is a huge part of the story. It’s not only who the characters are, it’s a big part of their connection to each other. This is different than in Soul Deep where the sex is, at this point, a way of reconnecting. It’s important but in a totally different way.
I’m actually, gasp, outlining. I’m a pantser, big time! But since I’ve started selling on partials and proposals, I outline far more often and while it’s not as detailed as it is for some authors and I generally don’t outline until I’ve finished the first three chapters, I find this new, hybrid way of writing to be helpful.