I have one scene in my novel that readers would consider a love scene, though there are variations of intimacy sprinkled into the book. Some writers say these moments are the hardest to write, and how they are written can set a different mood each time.
Sex doesn’t always have passion, and passion doesn’t always mean sex. When people physically express their feelings, they can be pure and they can be dishonest, sometimes a blending of the two. How they touch each other and what they say to each other can belie their hidden thoughts.
When writing the scene, what details you choose to concentrate on will guide the reader on what to feel. Two young teens may feel an incredible excitement with the possibility of touching hands:
Thomas put the vanilla Coke in the cup holder between their theatre seats. Even over the fresh popcorn he could smell her perfume. She blurted out answers to the trivia and asked him to open her Sour Patch Kids. He was nervous, imagining that he would open the bag too quick, the tiny sour people flying out like candied confetti. He could see her watching him and his cheeks turned red and warm. He hoped she didn’t notice.
The bag luckily opened with ease. He handed her the bag and she kept it held out to him in offering. He hated Sour Patch Kids but he couldn’t resist her green eyes. He reached into her bag and took one. She followed soon after and they chewed in sync. When they reached for the drink, her hand went over his. Thomas’ heart sped and his breathing stopped. He felt like he was drowning in her touch. He wanted to pull away and wanted to stay forever and, after what seemed like minutes, he realized her hand was still over his. She hadn’t moved either.
If we can’t get inside the characters’ heads, then that guidance is even more important. Here are two paragraphs from the love scene in Father’s Creed:
She pulled loose the ribbon that cinched the high waist of the gown and it slid to the floor with a gentle tug. Her golden tan skin was visibly soft, her lean muscles tensing with the cold. She pounced into the bed and secured herself deep under the covers, wrapping her arm around Nathaniel’s chest. He put his arm behind her neck until she rested her head in a soft place just below his collar bone. Both her legs curled around his one like a constrictor and they sank into the bed together with deep exhales.
Nathaniel ran his thumb across her eyebrow and back over her cheekbone. He traced the side of her slender nose down to her pouted lips and then her rounded chin. Her fingers drifted down his stomach and out to his hip bone, then over his thigh. She slowed for a moment and then delicately put him in her hand. She could feel him responding to her touch. Then he grabbed her wrist.
There is less awkwardness and youthful excitement, but there is still a playfulness. In the way they move and touch each other, I am showing that the experience is different for each person. Because of my third person limited narrative I don’t get in their heads, but I hope, combined with dialogue I’ve left out, that the reader will feel what I intend. I regret in some way that it doesn’t get any steamier than this. It might be fun to know if I can make anyone’s heart speed with my words.
Perhaps I’ll switch to romance novels after this. Now to think up a good pseudonym to write under.
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