SCENE 27: Love Scenes


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3 Tips on Writing Love Scenes

Love scenes are integral to the stories we tell whether it’s a boy/girl relationship, or parent/child, or even a kid loves a horse. (Or a whole host of other loving relationships that humans are capable of.) We know these are emotional scenes, sometimes an epiphany, and need careful handling. Here are some ideas.

  • Sentimentality. You must walk a fine line between being sappy and being austere. The reader needs to feel the emotions, but not be overwhelmed with them. Make sure actions evoke reactions, which lead to an emotional response. If you get these out of order, the story is likely to veer off into unbelievable territory.
  • Balancing Too Many Details and Too Few. We rarely need the mechanical details of sex in order to feel the emotions of a love scene. Instead, a need in a character’s life is met by that special someone. Think internal arcs, but make sure that the scene has the physical beats to back it up.
  • Objects Carry Emotion. Put something in Aunt Effie’s hand, say, an iron skillet. That skillet has served meals to her family for the last 37 years. At her funeral, an argument erupts over who gets to inherit that skillet, and when Uncle Joe gives the skillet to his great, great granddaughter, it’s a tender moment of love. Because it’s not just an iron skillet, but a symbol of a 37-year marriage, of life lived to its fullest, of love that has overflowed to the generations.

OK, for those who want more, read The Joy of Writing Sex.

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