The beauty about any art form is that there is diversity. Every writer is different. Different types of scenes written in a book are dependent on the type of book. This post is simply one persons opinion and in NO way is criticizing how any writer creates any scene in their books. There are no paid advertisers on my website. I have no one's approval I need to satisfy. nor do I get to write my blogs. My blog posts are created because I enjoy it, and believe we all must give something back. I'm providing a guide or starting point for this particular topic to offer a different perspective on how to look at the topic. I've received many emails over the past three weeks asking about what type of love scene to write in a book, or how to write one because frankly, these can be quite sensitive. As an contributing writer on many forums, I thought I would share my approach and why.
Most books have a love scene written into it. The type of scene is dependent on the genre of the book. However, I do have guidelines that I follow based on my own opinions. As I stated, each writer will write their scene as they choose. This is a simple matter of choice. For me, I believe when I write a book that has a love scene it in, I don't like to use inappropriate words or slang's. I will explain why later in this post. I also do not want to present any gender in a demeaning or offensive manner. Therefore, I call my style "A Classy Love Scene." That leaves us to this question. Can a love scene be written in such a way and still have the same effect, yet be classy? Here are five tips to achieve that goal. I use a mnemonic I created called L.O.V.E. Don't google it because you won't find it. To the best of my knowledge it is not taught in any writing class that I am aware of. It's my own creation, and It goes like this. These are the first four tips.
L - Look at your story and what it is you are trying to achieve. The message or impression you want your reader to get from your love scene.
O - Offensive. Ask yourself, is what, or more so, how your writing it going to offend someone? We live in a diversified world of multi-cultures, races and creeds. All with varying beliefs. They are all readers. The last thing any writer wants to do is offend any reader. The way a person is portrayed in a scene and the words used to describe the moment, can easily offend some people for may reasons. Culture, demographics, religion, age, gender or color. Just to name a few. What type of review do you think that individual would give your book?
V - Visualize. The writers job to to place the image they have in their mind into the mind of the reader. Does everything have to be so descriptive to achieve this, or can your choice of written words paint the same picture. One that also leaves something to the imagination of the reader? We all know that people perceive things differently. Allow them to perceive your scene the way you visualize it within the realm of their own imagination.
E - Expression. How you plan to express your thoughts, the words you choose, setting the stage in the mind of your reader, leading them up to the scene which will make it much easier to get the true meaning of the scene across.
Tip number five is quite important. REVIEW AND RE-EVALUATE. Read the scene many times. Trust me, you will re-write in a few times before you have exactly what you want. When you think you do, let someone you trust read it. See if they get what you are trying to portray. If you are going to follow this concept, your goal is to place your image of the scene in the readers mind while allowing their own imagination to co-exist in the same space within the scene. A good rule of thumb I follow applies to not only what we see, but also what we read. It's not always what we see or read that entices us the most. Often times it's what we don't see or read that sparks our interest even more. Just ponder that thought for a moment.
There you have it. How you write it is totally the writers choice. There is no right or wrong. Now let me tell you why I use this approach, and write a love scene the way I do. As a writer, I believe I have a certain responsibility. Many people who read books might leave them around the house, or their work space. Do I want a young person who might pick up my book and read something so descriptive that they may not be mature enough to understand it? Maybe a co-worker of that reader may read it and cause them to be offended? That could cause someone to judge not only the character of the person reading my book because they bought it, but it also can affect how myself as the writer is judged. I've seen this happen many times. I have been asked at book signing, "Is there anything dirty in this book? People are very conscious about what they read. If you';re writing an erotic book, then I would think someone who enjoys that genre would expect that style of writing. If I were to use certain abusive, offensive, or highly descriptive words or slang, I view that as a large concern within the genres I write. Remember, there is no right or wrong. Just choice.
One of the editing services I use sent my final manuscript back for a book due for release in July. The first in a continuing murder mystery saga titled "Life Through A Mirror." That book has a love scene written in it. The comment I received was, "That was one of the classiest love scenes I have ever edited." I took that as a compliment and was very excited because it validated that I achieved exactly what I was looking to do. To answer the earlier question; can a love scene be classy yet effective? I believe the answer to that question is YES. There are times that certain words or language may be required when citing data or statistics. This is a completely different issue. When you cite something someone has published, you can't edit it. You are citing it for a specific reason since it may pertain to the particular topic your writing about. It validates your research. Be sure not to confuse the two. I hope you enjoyed my thoughts. Feel free to leave any comments below. There is no right or wrong when it comes to opinions. Everyone has the right to own theirs.
Thank you - CJR.