Wednesday, February 8, 2012


It’s February – the month of love. RWANYC is celebrating with a month-long promotion on How to Write a Love Scene – writing tips from our authors of contemporaries, historicals, sci-fi, erotica, YA, confessions and everything in between. And on Fridays, we’ll post list of our members’ Favorite Declarations of Love, Love Songs, Lovers and Kisses. Join us in our Celebration of Romance.

By Kate McMurray

The best love scenes are never just gratuitous. They should be hot, yes, but they should mean something, too. Love scenes are not a place to take a break from storytelling, they should contribute to the storytelling. They should move the plot forward in some way or show us something important about these characters. They should be just as crucial to your story as any other part of the novel, the sort of thing the reader can't just skip.

The way to make a scene hot is to really get into the characters' heads. What are they thinking? What do they feel, both physically and emotionally? Be specific. Things don't just feel good or pleasurable, because those words are vague. Specific adjectives can really make a scene a visceral experience for the reader. It's hot and sweaty. Backs arch, skin tingles. There's pain or softness or or warmth depending on the circumstances.

In a romance novel, these scenes aren't just "Wham, bam, thank you, ma'am." Sex can be gratuitous, but it's also an expression of how these two characters feel for each other, so it can be deep and emotional at the same time that it's down and dirty.

And, above all, sex is messy and fun. There aren't always fireworks and waves crashing—sometimes there's laughter. Sometimes there are tears. Sometimes it's great and sometimes it's a disaster. But life's that way, too. And that's the way sex should be in a novel—it should show the lives of these characters just as surely as their actions outside of the bedroom do.♥

Learn more about Kate McMurray and her books at

AND COME BACK FRIDAY, February 10, for RWANYC’s Favorite Love Songs.

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