The Orchid

The Orchid

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

How to Write a Love Scene

On this happy Christmas Eve, I thought I'd do a writing post on that tricky area to write, the love scene. To make it clear, not all books need these scenes, not even all romance books. I'm quite partial to a 'sweet,' romance, but the fact is, heat does sell, something I learnt through experience.

I don't write 50 Shades style works or erotica, I write romance with a touch of spice, however sometimes that spice is more scotch bonnet than paprika. People often ask me how I write these scenes, and the truth is, in exactly the same way I write any other! Typed out on the keyboard, with an eye on the clock so I don't miss the school run.

It does take practice though, the first time I wrote one, I put it off for days because I didn't think I could do it. After I started though, I found it wasn't as hard as I thought.

The important things to remember are that these parts of a story are of high emotion, especially if it's the first time between the couple. They're nervous, excited and desperate for each other. The scene has to move the plot and characters forward; what are they learning about each other, and their own feelings?

You also need to ensure you keep to one person's point of view. In other words, describe the scene from either the male or female's (or M/M, F/M depending on what you're writing), view, and check back to ensure you have only put down what that particular person is feeling. Love scenes are usually done from the female POV, but can work very well from the male. In my new manuscript, Bound by a Common Enemy, the first scene between my characters was done from the man's POV, because he had the highest level of emotion due to a tragedy.

If your book has several of these scenes, it's important to make them a bit different. I vary the locations--outside can work well--or the positions. Always remembering the all important emotions. Why are they doing this? It needs to be more than just lust to bring depth to a novel. Be cautious of putting a love scene as the last chapter in the book. The final chapter is for tying up lose ends, the conflict has been resolved, so a spicy scene between your characters doesn't always serve much purpose, and has a tendency to look as though it has been put in because the writer couldn't think of a way to end the book.

When you've finished writing, it's a good idea to put the story away for a few weeks, longer if you can, before re-reading it. You see it with a fresh set of eyes, and can start re-writing. The original work might even be scrapped completely, but rest assured, this is very normal. Writing is a long and time consuming process. When you re-read your work, what do you feel? If it's nothing, then you need to look at the emotions again.

Once you're written a few of these pieces, they do flow much easier, I promise! Now I rattle them off, but I've been writing them for quite a few years now. Good luck and do comment with any queries, but since this is not an 18+ blog, please phrase them nicely!

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