Sexual Tension After the Fact

I recently started watching Gilmore Girls - you know why. I started with the season of Rory's senior year, and I'm up till half way through her freshman year at Yale. I live for Lorelei/Luke scenes.

But.

On Valentine's Day, they showed an episode out of sequence, where Luke and Lorelei are talking about their wedding.

The magic was GONE! Everything that I thought made the couple magical was now a neon arrow pointing to thm and blinking "WRONG FOR EACH OTHER!"

What happened in the intervening seasons? Why is it so hard to keep up the sexual tension once the couple gets together?

Trish and I love Bones, but we know the writers will have to do some fancy footwork to keep our interest if Tempe and Booth get together. I don't think it would be the same with The Office if Jim and Pam get together, because I think they would be more in awe of the love they find in each other, do you know what I mean?

For example, in the In Death books by JD Robb, you have Eve Dallas and Roarke. They're married but they still sizzle (or did during the last book I read, about ten books ago!) We see Roarke look at Eve with admiration and love and we feel he understands how lucky he is to have her. And we still feel her awe at his love for her.

I haven't really explored long term relationships, after the HEA, but I'm about to, in my next ms. Showing them happily married and expecting a baby won't cut it for these characters, so I'm thinking I'll show them in different situations than they had in their own book, and show their admiration for how the other handles each situation. I think that, combined with a few instances of familiarity that will just make my heroine think, wow, he feels this way about me, will help keep up the tension.

How do you work it out, especially in a series? Where do you find the sizzle?



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7 comments:

Michele said...

I've read every In Death book and Nora has managed the keep the Eve/Roarke relationship alive by showing how much it's grown, yet how hot they still are for each other. And that reminds me, the new one is out today.

Kelly said...

I've never read the In Death books, but now I think I'd like to. I never thought of taking the relationship beyond the HEA either, or to even start it from there. Interesting...now my brain is churning.

Marianne Arkins said...

I think the Eve/Roarke thing works because they aren't all soft and squishy in love... they're both totally disfunctional when it comes to relationships, and even though they're secure that they love each other, they're still working out all the kinks.

And, yeah, it is one of the few ongoing romantic relationships that manages to do that. It's hot and steamy and secure.

And... wait... Michelle?? A new one??? How did I miss that? Sheesh...

MaryF said...

Marianne, yep, you're right about them being dysfunctional - but my characters are, too, so maybe I'm on the right path ;)

Toni Anderson said...

I just reread the first two In Death books to remind myself how it all started. She made them so completely different and yet morally and physically compatable.

I love the tension there.

Natalie Damschroder said...

Yes on Eve and Roarke, but even more than the dysfunctional/growth stuff, there are a couple of other things that make it work:

--The series is over a very short time frame. I think out of 25 or something books, less than two years have passed.

--There are new obstacles, new experiences, new events for them to face all the time. Like Roarke rediscovering his family (which put them on less even ground as individuals) and Eve facing the facts of her past (details she'd never known before) and new things as a couple (like anniversaries).

--Not all of those things are theirs. Like, her best friend just had a baby in the last book. So Eve faced her fear of being a parent by proxy, not by being pregnant herself. Stuff like that.

I love those books. I want the new one immediately! :)

MaryF said...

Good Lord, Mavis must hold the record for being pregnant! She was pregnant in the last book I read!!! I knew the time frame was squooshed, but WOW!

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