Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Infusing feeling into romance
Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…
Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.
Those who know me might be surprised about today’s topic because, quite frankly, I suck at love scenes. They are not my favorite part of a story to write, or read. However, I can still recognize when they are well-done, when they evoke emotion and make me truly believe the depth of the characters’ feelings. Now, since I can’t write those kinds of scenes myself, I am using examples from someone else’s book. I don’t know exactly how to advise you in creating romantic, compelling, emotional love scenes, but I believe it has something to do with getting inside a character’s heart and ‘showing’ the feelings they have for the other person, the effect the moment has on them, and actually playing out what is in their mind, their soul, their sensations, rather than just listing the actions.
This is a brief love scene, and to me, is dry, with no emotion:
He moved to kiss the corner of her mouth. She opened her beautiful green eyes and stared straight into his. He lost it. Coming apart, he ground his mouth to hers. Her lips seemed to be made for his. Heat soared between them as their tongues mingled in a dance as old as time. He skated his hands down her sides as his mouth continued to devour hers. Fully erect, his hardness pressed against her center. She lifted her hips closer to him. If they didn’t stop soon, they wouldn’t be able to. He almost couldn’t bring himself to break off the kiss. When he did, he immediately missed the contact with her soft body.
This, however, is a love scene that is played out more, showing the action, the emotion, the sensations:
He trailed his lips to the corner of her mouth, his tongue darting out to take the barest of tastes. He heard a resounding gasp of surprise from her, and he kept going, blazing kisses along the line of her jaw as if sipping from her, drawing in the very essence of her desire. Finally, he reached that spot behind her ear, the cool, pale skin beckoning his kiss. But he backed away, and he watched her eyelids flutter in confusion. But before she could fully open them, he pressed his lips to that spot, felt the shudder course through her body, and he reveled in her reaction to him.
Derek moved slightly then, drawing her closer, pivoting so that he leaned into her. Her head slid along the back of the sofa until it fell loose, her neck exposed to him. Pausing again, he just looked at her. The graceful lines of her throat, the careful angles of her face. In the dim light of the lamp, she looked almost ethereal, as if she were not quite of this earth. And in that moment, he almost believed it.
For his good luck had never brought him a woman quite like Jessica. Had never brought him anything that may bring him pleasure the way she did. But it was something more than just fleeting pleasure that he found in her arms. It ran deeper than that, hotter than that, and he feared that it may never go away. Looking at her then in the flickering light, he asked himself if he had ever truly imagined taking a wife. And then on that thought came another. Could he live without her? Could he live without Jessica?
Without answering himself, he leaned forward, licking his way down the long, white column of her throat. She exhaled, and he felt the rush of her arousal as it shimmered into him. Her hands gripped his upper arms, and he knew she hung onto him, clinging as if she might fall if she let go.
Reaching the delicate curve of neck melting into shoulder, he scooped her onto his lap, tilting her all the way back into the crook of his bent elbow. She rested there, safe within his grasp, and he felt her response almost immediately. Her body went loose about him, her hands coming free of his arms to slide inward, trailing along his chest until they pressed into his core. He felt the heat of her skin through his shirt. He thanked whatever deity it was that made him garden in only a lawn shirt for he did not think he could take the disappointment of so many layers of clothes between them.
See, as far as the steps taken, not much more happened in the second example than the first, but I bet you ‘felt’ a lot more with the second one, am I correct?
Now, for me, I am not interested in page after page of detailed, explicit sex scenes. But, if I am reading–or writing–a romance, I definitely want to be ‘shown’ that these two people have a deep, emotional connection, even before they’ve completely recognized, or declared, their love. What about you? Do you agree? Are there any tips or secrets you use for ‘showing’ and evoking feelings of passion and love between your characters?
Until next time…Happy Writing!
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7 responses to “Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Writing the Emotional Love Scene”
Great advice as usual Alicia!
Good luck and God’s blessings
Thanks for stopping by!
Examples show the difference in styles. But I worried about ‘her head fell loose’. My tip would be to strive for individual details like hero knows she’s self-conscious about a birthmark or scar but he kisses it anyway.
Good tips, Linda. Yes, it could use some tweaks, and I would probably get rid of some of the usages of ‘felt,’ but overall, I feel the emotion in the scene is there. Thanks for stopping by!
I, too, cringe while writing sex scenes (which is why I avoid them as often as possible). Thanks for sharing, although YOUR scene here is hot!
Great post as always Alicia, thank you. I agree writing any scene is all about the showing and not telling. Thanks for sharing.
I love reading emotion-filled love scenes, something more than the specifics we learned in 8th grade (or whenever). My favorites show each lovers’ insecurities, why he shouldn’t and her encouragement or vice versa. Always love your tips, Alicia.