Top Seven Techniques for Writing Love (and Sex) Scenes
- Use Exaggerated Awareness or Hyper Awareness to set it up well in advance. When the love couple touches, even accidentally, the reader can see sparks. When they look at each other, a profound feeling comes over them. The emotional impact or physical attraction (or both) needs to be clear in every encounter or awareness of each other. This should happen from the very beginning.
- Let your characters be authentic. Characters lead in emotional or sexual reality, not the plot. Do your deep character work and let the characters tell you who they like or are attracted to. When writers ignore their characters this is described as being “evil puppet masters” in the book Writing with Cold Feet and it never comes off right.
- It’s all in the details for a love/sex scene. What gesture, character flaw, personality trait, or body part do they notice in the other? How can you artfully present that? You may think of your own attractions or get some friends talking about theirs.
- Go back to the five senses: What are they seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, smelling, and the sixth sense, feeling or intuiting?
- If you find you are turning to clichés (especially for sex scenes) see if you can rewrite them later to make them your own, adding similes and metaphors when it works. “Her heaving bosom” becomes “her rapid breathing made the neckline of her dress dance a salty jig.”
- Conflict, conflict, conflict. It’s not really hot unless there is more than a bit of conflict. Conflict such as: this is not who they are supposed to want or love. This is not at all an appropriate place to do “it.” Also, is there another emotion conflicting? Anger is a good one. Where can you add a bit of sexy conflict spice in their dialogue? Are they saying something opposite to what is happening? We don’t want politeness in a love/sex scene.
- Once written, say it out loud. For love scene dialogue and descriptions, saying it out loud is the best way to have a sense of whether it is hokey, inauthentic, clumsy, or working!
If you use these seven top techniques you should have a hot, memorable love scene that has your readers fanning themselves and wanting more from this couple.