On writing a “romantic” scene

OK so writing “romantic” scenes doesn’t come naturally to me, the whole thing makes me blush. In fact, I feel awkward just writing this post. While writing the one romantic scene in my book, I snorted and laughed with every word and key stroke and couldn’t stop thinking about what my family would think of me.

I was so embarrassed writing that one scene that I couldn’t even finish it.  I have ignored the unresolved encounter until the very last moment, and now that I’m editing, I can avoid it no longer.

I’m not even sure if it’s the best thing for my book. I surely can’t market it for young adults any more, which means I might have to ramp up the steaminess to attract a slightly more mature audience.

It’s not only the words I’m finding difficult, it’s making sure that the right amount of reality and heat is radiating out of every word and sentence.

To help you understand why I’m finding it really hard to write this particular scene, you need to know that I was brought up in a very sheltered family. I wish I could be as bohemianly cool and knowledgeable to the ways of the world as some of my friends. Alas, I never will be, which is why I’ll be asking my beta reader to help me with my romantic scenes.

All I can offer in advice is to read a ton, like an actual ton of romance stories in the particular genre you’re writing in. While I don’t write historical fiction, I’ve been stocking up on my favourite historical quill romance novels as I prefer the slightly more traditional and romantic overtones evident in all their scenes.

If you’re looking for some actual advice on how to write a sexy scene, check out these links that can offer far more wisdom on the topic than I:

Romance Australia explains the romantic genres very well on their website (in case you’re not sure exactly what it is you’re writing): Romantic Genres

Writing World has a fantastic article that I’ve read more than once: Twenty Steps to writing great love scenes 

And there are heaps more, just search in that little google box and hope no one looks at your search history!!

As for me I’ve decided to keep my scenes nice and sweet so that I can market for all age groups, no use trying to be someone you’re not 🙂

20 thoughts

  1. Interesting post, Millie. Glad your mom was supportive. Sometimes, even at my age, I’m mortified that my parents will read the violence that I write. My only suggestion to you with regard to a sex scene is to make sure it’s necessary to the book in some way (plot or character) and be very careful about cliches. Nothing worse than the “flaming tower of desire.” Ha ha ha. Have fun!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. oh my god, flaming tower of desire! hahaha. I would laugh myself silly if I wrote that! I was very surprised/happy that my mum was supportive, even if I don’t end up writing anything too risqué. I’m trying very hard to avoid cliches and make it ‘sweet’ as I’d like my novel to be available to teenagers too. So I’ve decided I’m going to keep it clean (stop at the bedroom door kind of thing). I wasn’t sure what to do originally, but everyone on wordpress has helped me make the best decision (for me) and my novel 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good for you, Millie. It’s best to go with your instincts. The Perfect Gift is western historical, a Christmas spinoff from my Texas Devlins series. Here are the links to my novella and to the anthology it’s in. TIP: You can get 10 novellas for the price of one if you buy the anthology. All of the stories are by bestselling and/or award-winning authors.

    The Perfect Gift: http://tinyurl.com/hyvmx59
    Silver Belles and Stetsons: http://amzn.to/1Ocb8QP

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Millie, I had the same misgivings when I first began writing romance. I was afraid to let anyone except my husband know what I was doing. With time I overcame my fears and came to realize there is nothing wrong in creating a beautiful, emotional love scene. Not that it’s easy, and I hope it never is. When writing a convincing love scene you need to get inside your character’s head and feel what she (or he) is feeling.

    One thing you should know, “sweet” romance is very popular in some quarters these days. If you find it impossible to finish that love scene you’re struggling with, try closing the bedroom door and going the sweet route. I wrote a sort of sweet scene in my Christmas novella “The Perfect Gift” if you want an example. You can find it on Amazon. It’s also includd in the bestselling anthology Silver Belles and Stetsons.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for your wonderful reply! I think I’m going to stick with ‘sweet’ romance, especially as I think my novel is leaning towards a more young adult audience (completely unintentional). No use trying to make myself something I’m not. I’ll have a look at ‘The Perfect Gift’! What audience is it for?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. As a writer of romance, I can relate. But the beauty of writing romance is the way passion flows from your heart to the page, even in the sexy scenes. 🙂 Remember that you don’t have to write it like other authors do. You should make that scene in the style you choose, with as much sexy or sweet as you allow. Have a go, Millie. You can do it.

    Liked by 2 people

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