Monday, 5 November 2012

YES! By Jove I GET it (the love scene, that is)

It's NaNoWriMo.  And I'm a NaNo-Rebel.  That means I'm using NaNoWriMo as an excuse not to start a brand new book entirely from scratch but to re-start a book from scratch using characters I've already developed.  

The plot is new. 

The backstory is new.

The characters have been redeveloped. 

The writing is new, in the main. I've been able to use bits and bobs of some scenes I've written before, but because everything else is different, no scene has been dropped right in.  It just wouldn't work.  

What's most different about it? 

The first love scene.

By Taylorpad212

My travails with writing love scenes have oft been documented throughout this blog.  How to be precise without being icky. How to be emotional without being vague. How to make the love scene character driven.  How to make it move the plot along.

Writing a love scene is complicated. 

But by Jove, in this NaNoWriMo I've got it.  My heroine Tara is starting from a more challenging past than before. She has battled with various psychotic episodes, lived on the streets and been in abusive situations.  She has never experienced physical affection and she is scared of it.

When she ends up spending the night in Devlin O'Connor's flat, Tara is tempted and terrifying by an attraction to Devlin. It's been an unusual night.  Nothing is as it usually is.  What will she do?

When I first wrote this scene, Tara didn't have the backstory she has now.  She knew she was a banshee and she was battling to control her banshee powers.  She had a terrible fear of letting go.  Devlin on the other hand was self conscious about his scars and had a great dislike of liars.  The latter seemed a bit thin, as far as conflict goes.

My first attempt at writing a love scene for Tara and Devlin was a classic carried-away-against-their-better-judgement steam fest.  It never felt quite right.  Would Tara really be that confident?

No.  She wouldn't.

Re-writing Banshee for NaNoWriMo has allowed me to reinvent the how and why Devlin and Tara come together. In the new story, Devlin recognises that Tara is terrified and refuses to touch her.  She is able to touch him, tentatively, and that is a massive breakthrough for her.

That's it.  Yet it's more powerful than all the steam in the earlier version put together.

  • Character Driven
  • Appeals to all the Senses. 
  • Moves the Plot along. 

My check list for all love scenes from henceforth.

Get it?

Got it. 

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