I love a good love scene in a book. When you've followed two characters for so long, and they finally, finally get their happily ever after..it's bliss. Mind you, I don't need a very graphic or detailed love scene, however, when it's emotionally charged and on some occasions, capable of bringing tears to my eyes, then I know it's a good one. So how do we, as writers, write love scenes that are eloquent and classy? Read on for my top five tips.
-Avoid The Cliché: I think a common mistake a lot of writers make is having their characters play out the exact same situations we've all already seen before. STOP! Put your characters in situations that are unique and original. Another great tip is to avoid flowery descriptions. Too much fluff can kill the tone you're trying to set for your readers, or worse yet, cause them to laugh or scoff. Bring your own dose of originality into the scene.
-Spend Time on Character Development: If readers don't care about your characters as individuals, then they won't care about your characters together. How do you get your readers to care? Develop your character's personality. What are their wants? Goals? Desires? Do these things change before the relationship? During the relationship? Or, after the relationship? Does your character have a prior romantic history? Are they inexperienced? Shy? Cautious? Take some time to think about these questions and sprinkle them in throughout your story. Then your readers will become attached to your characters and more invested in your love scene.
-Nix The Instalove And Embrace The Slow Burn: Make your love story realistic. In real life, couples don't usually get together so quickly. Build tension and have your characters, and your readers, wait for each step in your couples' relationship. Delay the kiss. Build their romantic journey from strangers to acquaintances to friends to lovers. Also, take some time to really explain why the two characters love each other. Go beyond the surface and list more than just physical reasons. Is the other person quirky? Confident? Respectful?
-Get Emotional: Oftentimes, our actions are more powerful than our words. It's the same with love scenes. Use descriptions and feelings to convey what is happening. Are your characters feeling shy, scared, or vulnerable? Show the reader that. Both in real life, and in the written word, emotional attraction can be more powerful, and more important, than physical attraction. If you find this hard to write, try pretending no one will see what you're writing and focus on getting out of your head and just letting the words flow.
-Research Is Your Friend: Do some research. Analyze your favorite books or movies. What did you like, or dislike, about those love scenes? Struggling with a particular love scene? Not sure if it's good enough? Reach out to your critique partner and see if they can read what you've written and make suggestions. Also, remember that everyone perceives love differently. Try reaching out to friends, or family members that you trust. Ask them what things they look for in a partner or what gets them hot and bothered. You may be surprised! Finally, remember that all the first draft has to do is exist. If it doesn't feel or sound right to you, then you can always rewrite it until it does!
I hope this blog post was helpful in helping you write love scenes. If you have any other questions, or additional tips, please leave them in the comments down below!