Jun 4, 2012

Writing Romance

My WIP has a couple romantic subplots - one dealing with a couple who have been in love for a long time and a few others who are trying to decide if now is the time for romance for them.

Do you know how hard it is to write people falling in love?  I have been trying to figure out how to write some scenes for one of the would be couples, and just couldn't wrap my brain around how the heck to make it happen.

Part of the problem was when I first wrote the scene I'm rewriting, I didn't take the time to figure out who the characters were to the depth that they had to be.  And now that I know these characters better, I know some of the issues. But as I was in my prime thinking mode today (blowing my hair dry), it hit me what the problem was.

I was trying to write a scene instead of writing the experience of two characters.

This may not be revolutionary to those of you who have written these kinds of scenes before, but it really struck me and the ideas have been flowing ever since.

I mean, think about it - if you have been in a relationship or observed people in a relationship, they don't just gaze adoringly into each other's eyes - there is a depth of character, personality traits that either compliment or balance each other, etc.

And they don't always agree.  My husband and I had our first fight as a married couple over how to store a head of lettuce in the fridge (cut and in a bowl or as a whole head using as needed).  These are the things that I wasn't thinking about when I first wrote the scene, these are the things missing that made the scene just flat.

Have you written a romantic scene?  Any revelations in a boy/girl relationship that made your writing stronger?  

15 comments :

Angeline Trevena said...

I also struggle to write the romance elements of my novels, and this is an interesting point. I've just hit this potential point in my Camp NaNo novel, so let's see if I can change the angle of my approach a little.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

For me, when the characters have clicked with me, the romantic scenes write themselves. Of course, so far I've written YA historical, and so romantic scenes tend to revolve around flirtatious and clever conversation -- not a lot of actual, you know. :)

S.P. Bowers said...

Hubby and my first argument was about how to sort the laundry. It's funny isn't it, how it's the mundane things, the things we don't realize how attached we are until it's challenged, that really get us. Falling in love scenes are hard. All basically romantic scenes are. I always worry about being too mushy, but then I overcompensate and it's stiff and unemotional. That perfect balance is elusive.

Jessica L. Foster said...

That is a great way to think about that. What helps me, my writer's group always asks, "Why does he love her?" That always makes me think about my characters relationships. Thanks for sharing.

Jessica L. Foster said...

That is a great way to think about that. What helps me, my writer's group always asks, "Why does he love her?" That always makes me think about my characters relationships. Thanks for sharing.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I love writing the romance scenes, but that's because romance is always a subplot, so I don't have to worry about them for the majority of the book. I agree with Dianne. When the characters click, the romance scenes write themselves.

Emily R. King said...

LOL! A head of lettuce. Ah, romance. Yes, I find romance is in the details. It's in the little things we do for each other. And you're right; those little things should show up in your scenes. :)

Cassie Mae said...

Me and the hubs had that same argument! No kidding, lol!

And I write YA romance, and what I have to remember is it's not always fireworks. Real romance creeps up on you, and you can deny it or fight it or whatever, but in the end, it gets to you. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I didn't tackle that kind of a relationship until my second book because it is difficult. If the characters are strong, then it's easier to let the scene flow in a natural direction than forcing things to happen. I knew what was supposed to happen, but the dialogue and interaction all came from the characters' personalities. I just let them do their thing.

Precy Larkins said...

Great post! I write YA so the romantic scenes are a little bit different--more insecure, perhaps? And with dashes of angst, of course. But I agree with you--little details make it work. Have you also noticed how when a couple is in love, they're hyper aware of each other's actions/words/looks? I remember being a teen and over-analyzing the smallest turn of the head of the boy I liked. Or when I was dating my hubby, overanalyzing every word he said. LOL! :)

Lynn Proctor said...

i haven't tried--i think for me it would probably be hard---i like reading about love--but i am a little uncomfortable writing it

Joshua said...

I don't write romantic scenes. For lack of a better term, I pull out before fruition.

Was that too much?

Nicole said...

I think the best "falling in love" scenes (which are totally different than romance scenes in my mind) are written with subtlety. Which is really hard to do!

Lynda R Young said...

I totally agree you need to know your characters well to be able to write that kind of scene. In the past I've tried to avoid that kind of interaction, but it keeps cropping up because it's in my characters' personalities.

Donna K. Weaver said...

That's a good distinction, Tasha. I love stories that just show me the characters interacting and I can feel it with them. With any romantic element the reader needs to fall in love, too.