Monday, February 13, 2012

Romance Week Guest Post: Holly Schindler

A great big thank you to author Holly Schindler for agreeing to be a part of Romance Week for the second year in a row. Welcome back Holly!
On Love Scenes

Do I find writing romantic scenes hard?  My first instinct is to say a scene is a scene.  You want to include the same ingredients in each and every scene you write: drama, character-building interaction, a revelation that’s integral to the book.  (If a scene isn’t integral in some way, why is it there?) 
But really, though, that’s not entirely true—not all scenes are created equal.  The scenes that comprise a turning point in the book are more loaded than others, meaning they’re more important and carry more weight.  As an author, it’s essential to get those dramatic passages just right.  So it’s not unusual to find yourself writing and rewriting those integral scenes many, many, many times (and then a few more times after that).  In a romance, the physical scenes or the love scenes are some of the most important.  (If the interactions between the characters aren’t filled with sparks, aren’t titillating, how are you supposed to convince your readers that love is in bloom?) 
When PLAYING HURT was in development, I worked quite a bit on the love scenes—even after the book had been through the global rewrites with my editor at Flux, and even after the ARCs had been printed.  I wanted to find that perfect balance between depicting the feelings associated with first love and remaining tasteful.  It was a balancing act—and I continued to tweak small passages even while the book was being copyedited.
But the payoff is that two of the more romantic moments in PLAYING HURT turned out to be my favorites in the entire book: the first kiss and the waterfall.  But I’m not the only one—once the book released, I was absolutely delighted when readers repeatedly referenced those passages on Twitter, Facebook, or in blog reviews, even going so far as to indicate those were their favorite passages, too. 
I suppose I’d have to say, then, that love scenes aren’t any harder to get down on the page, but because they’re so important and carry so much weight, they do require more attention.  They require more revision.  And in the end, once you get them right, you’ll wind up loving them all the more.
Star basketball player Chelsea “Nitro” Keyes had the promise of a full ride to college—and everyone’s admiration in her hometown.  But everything changed senior year, when she took a horrible fall during a game.  Now a metal plate holds her together and she feels like a stranger in her own family.
As a graduation present, Chelsea’s dad springs for a three-week summer “boot camp” program at a northern Minnesota lake resort.  There, she’s immediately drawn to her trainer, Clint, a nineteen-year-old ex-hockey player who’s haunted by his own traumatic past.  As they grow close, Chelsea is torn between her feelings for Clint and her loyalty to her devoted boyfriend back home.  Will an unexpected romance just end up causing Chelsea and Clint more pain—or finally heal their heartbreak?


Playing Hurt: More Than A Summer Love Story

Holly can be found at Website | Blog | Twitter | Google+ | Facebook
She also runs two group author blogs: YA Outside the Lines and Smack Dab in the Middle

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