This weekend, I had the house to myself and finally finished the first love scene. Those can be difficult to write at times and I'll probably do a post on the subject later, but now I'm on to my next challenge. The afterglow and new tier of emotional conflict. As much as one would like for the hero and heroine to declare their love and get their HEA after they finally get it on, if the writer did that, there'd be no story. Also, I don't think sex has ever made an instant HEA in real life. Lust does not equal love and respect.
With that in mind, I have to work to express the new anxieties the characters face. How close are each to realizing their love for the other? What insecurities do they have about the new level of their relationship? How do they behave around the other? How is their environment and other characters affecting their actions and emotions? All this must be accomplished without too much navel-gazing and lack of action.
Often I handle this challenge by skipping ahead and writing the next BIG EVENT. This helps me analyze how far I have to go to reach it. How much needs to happen to the hero and heroine to face that event? So far it's working pretty well. I went back and wrote the first two "after math" chapters and have 1 1/2 more to go before the event occurs.
Fellow romance writers: How do you handle those chapters? Fellow romance readers: What are your favorite ...and most loathed aspects of those scenes?