Sunday, September 2, 2012
CAN A GUY WRITE A LOVE SCENE? SEPTEMBER 2, 2012
How a guy writes a love scene.
If he’s talented, he’ll write it just like everybody else. If he’s super talented (or working on it), he’ll build a cogent theory that fits his style and purpose and . . .
At the Romance Writers of America national convention, held this year (2012) in Anaheim, an agent asked me how a guy (me) writes romance. I swept my hand around the room and said, “everybody here has to wear different hats, they just have to make sure they fit properly.”
Writing romance is a little different from writing a love scene. Right? Conventional wisdom would say yes. I sometimes find it funny when I read love scenes where the prose seems to be written by a stunt substitute writer while doing a backflip and is entirely different than the prose in the rest of the novel. I still enjoy it, especially the gymnastics. I get what the author is doing. I mean sometimes the mind thinks differently during lovemaking. Sometimes poetic writing fits the character. A love scene is almost a timeout to write an ode to love at its finest moment. But couldn’t the finest moment be an uncommon act of kindness? That moment you realize you’ve fallen for her or she loves you.
My theory on writing love scenes is a work in progress, but I currently believe the story, scene, and character arcs should be addressed in a love scene. Time doesn’t really stop (although it may feel like it). Even if very little changed, it’s still part of the story. The purpose of a romance is the happily ever after. Lovemaking is just one of many acts of love between a man and a woman.
Here's two famous scenes (total four minutes) from SOME LIKE IT HOT that doesn't forget the story, scene, or charcater arcs and it's just plain fun.