I used to struggle writing love scenes. Not because I was shy about describing what was going on, but because of the very reason Jessa mentioned in her post yesterday—as a reader, I often skipped them. I felt they were necessary to show the developing depth of the relationship, but weren’t really critical to the plot.
Oh dear. I write love stories. How can a love scene not be critical to the plot of a love story?
So, I took a step back, thinking. I discovered I plotted love scenes as events that HAD to happen, instead of just letting the relationship run its own course. I orchestrated them, instead of letting the characters do whatever felt right. And by thinking that way, I had turned a very special and potentially defining moment into WORK.
So, I relaxed. I stopped planning the love scenes. Strangely, even when I consciously gave myself permission to write a story with no love scene at all, love scenes popped up. Why? Because they were the natural evolution of the relationship. I find the love scenes I pen now are both easier to write and more in tune with the characters’ personalities. They’re now tightly connected to the characters’ story arc and, therefore, an integral part of the plot.
I know there are more people than just Jessa and I who skip love scenes. Question: As a reader, do you find that there are more great love scenes written today than, say, ten years ago? Do today’s romance novels speak more to the true power of love, or less?