Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Guest Post: Alexa Piper

How To Write A Love Scene
By Alexandra Seidel

Before we get into that, let’s be clear about what a love scene is, at least in the context of this post. A love scene is intense. It is the point in a story when two characters (and one of them is the protagonist) get to know each other better, when one enters the orbit of the other. Such scenes can contain sex, but you can just as well build heat or give the story momentum without having anyone take their clothes off.

1. Do you need this scene?
This is one of the reasons why I like to make a distinction between love scene and sex scene. In romance, there is a lot of, well, steamy romance going on. This is absolutely fine, it’s like the laser guns in an sf tale, and readers shouldn’t be ashamed of what they like to read.

But the love scene? The love scene is a different beast. In it, characters discover how they really feel for one another, they learn something about themselves and the other person that they didn’t know before.

So yes, you do need a love scene (in romance writing), but before you have two people declare their undying love for one another, make sure the story demands it. Make sure it adds to the tension and doesn't slacken it.

2. Did anyone say tension?
Yes, yes I did. And please, a lot of it. Tension is what keeps the readers interested in our plot. If there is no tension, all that remains is boring, sappy. So let there be obstacles, a jilted lover lurking in the shadows, a quest that's waiting, our protag's desires and wants that conflict with their relationship to the love interest.

This tension is also ultimately what builds the plot of the story, and it is what keeps the protagonist on their toes. Therefore, the tension needs to be real, a real threat or something the protagonist does really need to do, or else.

3. Hold on a minute, what just happened?
The purpose of a love scene is change. Something in the protagonist will change: they realize a truth about themselves that they were not aware before. Something in the love interest will change: they will reveal to themselves and the reader why they care about the protagonist. Taken together, these insights will change the chemistry between the protagonist and the love interest, ideally in a way that allows the plot to move forward with the tangible motivation of a survivalist running from a horde of zombies.

So best be clear in how these changes are articulated. Seeing as there are at least two people involved in a love scene, dialogue is a good way to go, but it never hurts to make change seen and felt. Seen in how the characters now act, and are able to act, differently, felt in the new ways they now interpret what they see around them.

With these three points in mind, any love scene should turn out just fine. And it can be just about as steamy as the author wants it to be, too, because why not?

About Luminous Dreams:
Relax, close your eyes... and dream. Eight tales, eight sensual dreams of enchantment, wanderlust and lovers’ longings, of searching and finding; these dreams tell of birds of fire, curses that lie like bridges between night and day, and hunger for sweet seduction.

Luminous Dreams is available in trade paperback and ebook via Amazon.com, All Romance eBooks, WorldWeaverPress.com, and other online retailers, and for wholesale through and Ingram. You can also find Luminous Dreams on Goodreads.

About Alexa:
Alexa Piper enjoys writing, romance, and the paranormal. This said, becoming a paranormal romance writer seemed perfectly reasonable, but for Alexa, it is more than that; it's fun. Alexa’s work has appeared in the Red Moon Romance anthology Demons, Imps, and Incubi and The Naughty List. Luminous Dreams is Alexa's first collection, and she hopes her readers will have as much fun reading it as she had writing it. Check out Alexa’s online home (alexapiper.com) for all things related to her writing and be sure to follow her on Twitter @prowlingpiper. 

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