Thursday, August 4, 2011

Love Scenes

Writing love scenes isn't as fun as well, making love. Getting the right words on the page and trying to convey emotion as well as sexual tension is often difficult. I don't write erotica or erotic romance, but I do write full-exposure love scenes. And sometimes, it's hard for me to write those scenes without blushing. My mother and daughters read my books!

 In a non-erotic romance, there should be more to a love scene than just inserting tab A into slot B. A love scene should serve a function besides expanding on the romance. It should somehow move the plot forward or reveal something about the hero and/or heroine. A love scene should be written in such a way that the story line would suffer if it were removed from the book. Which isn't to say that it shouldn't fulfill the readers' expectations. A love scene should have sex. Hot, wild, or romantic sex. But it needs to be peppered with internal or external dialogue that allows the reader a closer glimpse into the characters' hearts and minds.

And while there needs to be a physical description of the act, there are certain words I never use in my romance novels. Maybe it's my age, Baptist up-bringing, or a combination of both, but I can't use any of the "C" words. The "D" word also makes me cringe. And, I don't particularly like the "F" word either--unless it's used as a profanity. And Lord help me, I've used it myself in that manner. But, I just don't feel that a heroic hero would ever refer to making love in anyway that utilizes the "F" word.

But, maybe that's just me. What do you like or dislike about love scenes?


  1. Same as you it took me a long time to type the "D" word. I use the male "C" word sparingly, but I've let my mom read some of my works, not all though. :) I haven't (nor do I think I will) progress to the extremely raunchy/raw stuff. I do like a strong love scene, perhaps one that even makes my head spin because it's different and something unexpected happens. I blushed a lot in the Laurell K. Hamilton books, but she pretty much warmed me up to things I might have to write one day. I don't like pop up sex for the fun of it in a book, or every scene long and drawn out. I'm like you it needs to keep the story moving. One or two full scenes and a glossed over third is usually good for me. By the third I'm a bit exhausted myself. Erotica that I read soon gets skimmed through just for the story. :/

  2. Inserting tab A into slot B. OMG Lilly, you made me laugh so much! I also have trouble before writing a love scene, but I condition myself by reading a few from different books and putting myself in the mood, and then the scene flows.

  3. Great post, Lilly! You are so right about love scenes being difficult to get "just right" without either going over the edge or gagging the reader with purple prose. My husband has experienced an amusing side effect from the love scenes I write. Everyone asks him if I used him for research. The old rascal just smiles and says he's not one to kiss and tell!

  4. "By the third I'm a bit exhausted myself." LOL! Chacelyn. Thanks for the morning smile. And I never noticed, but think I do the one, two gloss thing without thinking about it. Mona, I've read love scenes from other books to put myself in the mood too, but sadly, I always feel I come up lacking. The sex part in a romance is not my strong suite. Maeve, your husband is a true gentleman. ROFL!

  5. Tab A into Slot B--love it! I love a tasteful scene--my current favorites tend to be Eloisa James' (very hot but extremely romantic and often fun); always loved Woodiwiss' scenes, too. Too many though, in any work, becomes overkill.

    Took me a while to write my first one but I'm more comfortable with the idea now. And you're right, Lilly: if it doesn't advance the story in any way, yank the darn thing.

    Joanna Aislinn
    Dream. Believe. Strive. Achieve!
    The Wild Rose Press

  6. Love Kathleen Woodwiss. She was the first romance author--aside from Margaret Mitchell-- I ever read--way back in 1976 or 77.