Writing Love Scenes in BooksAny emotionally charged novel will have their characters interact in a loving or sexual way at some point. Unless the writer is a prude! Some writers may even have been told by their publisher or agent that a love scene must be included. Readers of the Fifty Shades of Grey generation have come to expect some love scenes. As a writer, my challenge is to portray these paragraphs across to readers in the same way as each character acts throughout my novels.
So, do I figuratively write about each sex act, eulogising at great length so that I don't have to mention sexual organs, grunting and gasping? Or do I portray metaphors and go to great length to avoid what is going on? Or do I just get on with describing the love scene as it unfolds in the narrative? I did the latter in The Grey Lady Ghost of the Cambridge Military Hospital and so far I have avoided the Bad Sex in Fiction Award! But I have had several nods and winks from readers and friends!
There is always the fear or ridicule when writing love scenes in books. There is the worry that people will think that the author also enjoys the kinky perversion of a character, or that the acts of fore-play or sex are not usual amongst couples.
Another worry is being caught writing the dialogue and action by a spouse or child as they enter the study. I like to read aloud and question my work as I go along. I've even been known to act out a passage in my glassed study, which can be seen easily by my neighbours. So, what happens when my wife walks in with a cup of tea! And what if she reads my book and thinks, 'oh, aye, where did he learn about that!'
I favour all the above and make my love-making scenes as descriptive as possible, just like I do with the rest of the novel, otherwise it just wouldn't read well. I keep my characters true to themselves least readers detect a sudden shift in them, unless that is my intention.
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