Writing Love Scenes

I’ve been working on my first love scene in the sequel to Coldfire, and have needed to consider a few things such as what is appropriate for a Young Adult novel and what is not. Many YA novels I’ve read have used the “fade to black” technique where, while it is clear the characters have sex, none of it is shown and time generally skips forward to the next morning. I tried this at first, but it didn’t work for me. Instead I’ve adopted a non-explicit approach that focuses more on the emotions than the physical act itself. So far, I’ve been happy with the result. Here’s a quick snippet from the first draft:

The world had reshaped itself again, as it often did around Valora, to encompass the two lovers and their bed, the covers kicked to the edge where Darian’s toes could barely reach. Valora’s skin was smooth  and strangely powerful under Darian’s hands, her Amazonian form barely illuminated by the single streak of light escaping through the curtains.

She was beautiful and otherworldly in this moment. Darian told her he loved her over and over again, using air he didn’t have to spare, until she gently shushed him, brushing a finger against his lips.

“I know, baby,” she whispered, caressing his cheek, his throat, his chest. “I love you too.”

I wrote this last night, so it’s very new, and I’ll probably end up rewriting as I always do. However, for now, I am satisfied with what I’ve written.

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4 thoughts on “Writing Love Scenes

    • I think this kind of thing is a good compromise, since it saves us from writing overly graphic scenes we’re not comfortable with. Originally I planned to try a fade-to-black, but it just wasn’t working for me here. I might have any other scenes like this just fade to black, but considering it was these two characters’ first time together, the moment needed to be done justice. Besides, I feel that outside erotic fiction, the emotions around the act are more important than the mechanics of the act itself.

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  1. I definitely agree with that. And the more I force myself to “experiment” (haha) the more I find that I can come up with a decent scene that’s much better than just skipping ahead right through it.

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  2. Pingback: What’s Acceptable in YA? « Ann Elise Monte – Coldfire Writer

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