Writing romance has had a big learning curve for me. Putting romantic elements in my books has always been innate, but writing a book that's main focus IS the romance is a who different story.
Luckily, I have some great critique partners who've helped me realize some things. And double-lucky for me, I'm able to spend a lot of time reading and analyzing romance novels. I'm taking notes of what's similar, what each author does, and when, and why.
There's been something I've learned about keeping the sexual tension high. This was hard for me until I read enough and talked to other people enough.
Here's what I've come to realize. The romance -- and the sexual tension -- is all about push and pull, come and go, fast and slow, ebb and flow.
It's even a rhyme!
Keeping this in mind helps me push the romance forward, keep the tension high, and keep the stakes on the page as often as possible.
The hero and heroine come together, and then back off. Things move quickly, probably too quickly for one of the characters, and then they slow down. Everything seems to be working out wonderfully, and then they get sticky.
It seems obvious, but it was revolutionary to me. What have you learned that's helped you keep the tension high in a romance?