Love Scenes: Do You ‘Bring the Heat’ or ‘Keep it Sweet’?
In honor of Valentine’s Day, us Janes thought it would be fun to tackle the topic of Do’s and Don’ts for Writing a Love Scene. Since we are as diverse as a Whitman’s Sampler, I’m curious to read everyone’s answers.
As for me, this question is particularly tricky – since I write for two, distinctly different audiences. For my adult futuristic stories, I write medium to high heat love scenes. My goal is to make sure the sex is meaningful and helps to drive the story forward. Since I visualize scenes while I am writing, I try NOT to get too mechanical or flowery in my descriptions. Graphic descriptions and excessively embellished language won’t fly with my target adult audience. How do I know my target audience’s tastes? Well, in truth, I write what I like to read. I am a member of my audience.
My young adult books, to date, are light on the ‘carnal knowledge’ level of intimacy. The most the main characters do is kiss with a sprinkling of caressing – nothing more. Don’t get me wrong, there are young adult stories that include love / sex scenes. Again, I am focused on my target audience and what makes sense for my characters at this point in their story, emotional, and romance arcs. One thing I do know, is that if they do ‘go there’, there will be more sweet than heat.
In summary, my contribution to the Do’s and Don’ts list are:
1. Know your audience
2. Don’t get too mechanical or flowery