Sunday, August 8, 2010

L-O-V-E (Awkward Writing 3)

Welcome back for the 3rd installment of my Awkward Writing series, where we will be discussing love.

As a reminder, anyone who comments on the series posts (previous or future) will be entered into a giveaway. The giveaway will be announced on the last series post. If you make multiple comments, you receive multiple entries. Max 5 entries via comments. But...

1) If you shout out the series (FB, Twitter, Blog, etc.), you get 1 entry. Please only 1 mention for the entire series. Please also supply the shout out link in your comment.

2) If you create a post linking back to my page, or one of the posts in the series, you receive 2 entries. Please supply the post link in your comment.

That is a total of 7 entries total you can have put in the pot. Don't forget to supply those links to your blogs or social media shout outs. You must supply them to be granted the point(s).

What am I currently doing? Answer: blogging, laundry and debating my next Kindle download.

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Nat King Cole's song, L-O-V-E, remains one of my favorite songs. It's sweet and has soul to it. As he says: "Take my heart and please don't break it/Love was made for me and you."

So let's discuss love in writing. Yes, it's sweet love that makes readers cherish the art of writing. It is raw, emotional love that makes us turn the page and want to know more about character relationships. It is the thing that makes us a bit lightheaded when it all works out for the hero or heroine. Do they find love and have they made amends with what has prevented them finding it in the past?

I don't personally think love is the most awkward topic to write in to your manuscript, but I'm sure we have our moments. Most recently, I wanted to add a sex scene into my manuscript (see Awkward Writing 1), but my faithful beta honestly told me that she did not think my MC and the female character had reached that level. I hadn't invested enough time in the plot arc to show they were in love, and thus, sex would have become a thing of lust in the writing rather than a moment of love. So, I ran with that comment and put something light in to implied the sex. From this, it showed that the characters did have something for each other. Perhaps it wasn't Nat's L-O-V-E, but it was something to keep them together and wanting.

For some, writing love in the proper context of your manuscript or WIP can be difficult. But, if you take the time to build a true character relationship, you can produce an unforgettable moment for your readers.

Question to the Cohorts: Are your characters lustful lovers or an emotional pair? What barriers have you run into when you didn't entirely believe what kind of love you have created?

Peace and Writing Love!



  1. Well, I write a number of different types of stories. I do write some erotica/romance and so sex is a must in those. With one romance, I am going with less sex because well, it'd be hard to believe a sex-crazy angel. Hard enough to say an angel can be gay and it's okay, let alone have him physically intimate with his boyfriend except a rare occasion.

    However, I do use some sexual aspects in my mutant series. The reason for this is because not only does it fit in some of the relationships but it's an interesting aspect. Does the powers from mutations affect their sex life?

    I've found that using awkwardness in the writing can help. The favorite couple of my test readers has been the most awkward ones. The one character is cute when he stumbles and has to figure out what the heck he's doing and my fan loves it.

    Just some thoughts. Good post.

  2. Interesting, Love is a crazy thing between most people, sex, well that for me was way harder to so instead of trying to write it, I went to a public forum, like a sex chatroom, where you IM people and "describe" what you want to do to them, and I learned how to write sex scenes lol, that was almost 8 years ago.

  3. It's an interesting question for those writing YA...because it's both. High hormone count mixed with heady, new emotion. They are, by definition, always awkward. If they weren't, it wouldn't be real.

    If I don't believe it....neither will a teen reader. Having reaers with BS meters set on max means keeping it painfully honest.

  4. Hi,

    Interesting topic Awkward Writing - Love.

    As I write romance on several levels of intensity I go with the flow: even the tenderest of romance at the beginning of a novel can become racy by the end, all depending on the characters' and where love leads them, though love is rarely instant whereas sexual attraction can occur by way of eye contact, a smile, sometimes anger in a person causing something to stir (especially in erotic novels)when caught up in air of dominant versus submissive, which need not be in a sadistic/violent manner.

    Yeah, an interesting topic and if sitting in a room with a lot of other people the confo might go on for an awfully long time.

    The same can be said of lustful sex turning to that of deeply emotional love and commitment.

  5. Did I miss something or is this post about LOVE? Nope, just checked it’s about love. Love has been a thread in almost every book I’ve ever read and there have been many, they span all genres, age groups (minus picture books for tots) and many centuries. The oldest book I’ve read didn’t have chapters, but it had love.

    So why is this in the awkward writing segment of the blog? Hrmm… not really sure, because it doesn’t seem that hard to write. Well, unless you are equating the ‘always in waiting, would do anything to get the object of one’s affection,’ kind of love to sex. And with that I think I’ve got it: love and sex do not mean the same thing. Sex doesn’t always stem from love and love doesn’t always end with sex (well, until you get married, haha). So cut sex out of the equation, love is complicated enough.

    Give your characters ways to say I Love You without using dialogue. Make them uncomfortable and awkward, give them the chance to sacrifice something that means a lot to them for the one they love, let them show the readers they love the other character and you’ll sell the emotion. Most people think love is in the heart, well, sorry to break it to you, but it’s all in your head, chemically that is.

    Lustful lovers: somehow I’m feeling as if this question was for those of us who write “sex-crazed vampire” stories. And yes, that’s me. I have to admit. And yes, my characters are lustful lovers, well, heavy on the lust and way light on the love part of that equation, but nonetheless lovers. I do have the MC who is in love with one of my lustful lovers and he is the ‘always in waiting, blah, blah, blah” kind of lover.

    Barriers : didn’t have any. I always knew my male MC would be in love with my female MC and would never have her that way. Their siblings and neither one knows it. Wicked vampires keeping secrets like that, how could they?

  6. I have not written too many love scenes, and only about two stories where the protagonists are in love, so all tips are useful for me.

    I don't find it awkward to write about love, just find it hard to avoid cliches and over-writing.

  7. Love is a deep subject in my opinion. It involves more than the words or sentiments "I love you", and is different for every set of characters.

    I write about different levels of love: family, friends, romantic or sexual love. Its just not cut and dried into romance or sex for my characters. Even abusive or purely sexual relationships involve an element of love - albeit not the commonly accepted types.

    The awkward part is in creating a "love scene" that is defined by the MC in the scene. Because the writer not only needs to be true to the character(s) involved, but it has to resonate with the reader as an emotionally touching moment.


  8. Ahh! The awkwardness of love. What could be more awkward--writing love scenes. I can easily write about the love between a mother/child; brother/sister; best friends, or the love for a grandparent, but when it come to love scenes, I stumble. Yes, they are awkward. Why? Because the love between a man & a woman always (well 99.9% of time)begins with or at a minimum, goes through an awkward stage.
    In the early stages of a relationship, the lust part that we far too often confuse with love; everything is awkward. That new feeling, the newness, awkward, thrilling,uncomfortable rollar coaster feeling is what makes us flutter and what makes our heart jump into our throat. It's during the early awkward time we experience the euphoria of a thousand mixed emotions. The chemistry, lust,tenderness, flirting,& intimate secret moments are the memories we cherish and stive to recapture.
    In healthy adult relationships we often trade security and stability for the overwhelming rush of risk. To me, love equals taking risk and taking risk creates a high & feels awkward.
    In my NIP, I couldn't find the perfect way to express the initial awkwardness. Interestingly, I finally caputed it by witnessing the awkwardness my tween & teen daughters exhibited the first time a boy held their hand (for my teenager, it was listening to her describe her very first kiss to me just moments after it happened.) The excitement that poured out mixed with intense, real,raw emotions combined with moments of joy, fear, elation, anticipation, thrill, trepidation & the way her voice trembled while her eyes sparkled, helped me turn her young girl feeling (because that is as real & pure as it gets, before we are old enough to jade our expression out of shame or need to please, exagerate or minimize etc.)into my grown up scenes for novel.
    After several revisions, I decided not to write an actual sex scene. I let the intimacy & love build throughout my story and after overcoming conflict, numerous obstacles etc. they finally give into to forbidden temptation & kiss. I have no doubt that the readers imagination allows them to follow the couple to a place my writing did not go. To me it was just as or more effective than a detailed account of their intimate time. I don't write erotica & I finally concluded that for a thriller ; the build up was intense enough.

  9. I just finsihed my post answering your questions from L-O-V-E awkward writing 3. You can find it @

    where I do link back to your post.
    Thanks for the fun

  10. With me, I think have to really FEEL the chemistry between my two characters before I can write about their relationship properly. If they love/hate/lust after each other has to be clear in the plot arc. Have written a couple of sex scenes *blush* but not for anything marketable. My favourite creation was a near sex scene, because sometimes less is more! ;)

    Anyway, I'm intrigued by your giveaway! Have linked you to my blog:

  11. I write both lustful emotions and real LOVE emotions; it's fun. However, with my first book, I deal more with the absence of love.

    By the way, you've got an award waitin' for you at my blog! :]

  12. mentioned you in this post (the whole series)
    AND gave one link (the 2nd installment) in the comment of this post
    dunno how many points this make, but I thought I'd let you know! ;-)


"Little by Little, One Goes Far." -- J.R.R Tolkien.

I believe this as a philosophy, from a man who saw war and setback, and conquered all to bring us the greatest fantasy series that has ever been published. Leave your little comment and I'll get back to you.