Tips for Writing Love Scenes

So today I thought we could focus on writing love scenes. Love and sex scenes are some of the hardest scenes to write. We need to portray hard to capture emotions and desires. So let’s take a look at some tips for writing these scenes today. Also note, these tips are more for romantic scenes in any genre besides erotica.

  • Make it about more than just sex. These scenes should always advance the plot, not be gratuitous.
  • Create the mood. You do this by your word choice. Don’t use awkward or cliché words or phrases. You do not want your reader to laugh or cringe when they read this important scene.
  • You don’t have to be graphic or too specific. Don’t want to name body parts? Feel free not to. You can even just fade to black before things get too hot and heavy. It’s perfectly fine to focus on the characters’ emotions and the overall sensations rather than a laundry list of naughty actions.
  • Avoid euphemisms. They’re cheesy and/or cliché. Remember when we said we didn’t want our reader to laugh?
  • Build up the tension. This includes building up their relationship and, in sex scenes, building up with foreplay before we get to the main action.
  • Use it to complicate their relationship. After sex, things are different. Use this for tension and much needed conflict in your story.
  • Keep things believable. Sometimes things are a little awkward, like a first kiss. No relationship is perfect, so don’t make things perfect between your characters. Perfect equals boring.
  • Make your characters dynamic. They should change because of their relationship with each other from who they are at the beginning of the book to who they are at the end. Otherwise, what’s the point?
  • Know the difference between groan and moan.
  • Don’t rush. Remember how we said to build up the scene? Don’t disappoint your readers with three seconds of action.
  • Consider the genre. You’re going to write a love or sex scene differently if you write YA than if you write erotica. Know your genre expectations and how to meet them.
  • Start small and work your way up. What are your characters’ hands doing when they kiss? What kind of kiss is it? Light and airy or bruising with intensity?
  • Use all five senses in your descriptions. What does the MC smell like? What do her lips taste like?
  • Write about both characters. Even if we only have one POV character, don’t neglect to write about what the other character is doing or saying.
  • Don’t drown your scene with too much dialogue. This is not the time for drawn out talk.
  • Show, don’t tell. This is important even in love scenes. Show the emotions instead of telling them. Show how they care for each other or pay attention to each other. Show the sensations the characters are feeling rather than just stating them. Show, show, show.

Those are some tips for writing love scenes. Remember to build up the scene and to show. What are your best tips for writing love scenes? Share below and happy writing!

Julia

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