Tuesday, February 28, 2012


By Jennifer McAndrews

There’s a writer’s trick to keep you coming back to the page day after day: never end the day at the end of a scene. Leave a scene in the middle, and you’ll be eager to get back to writing.

This is why I left my hero and heroine in the lobby of a New York City hotel. They’ve spent the day together, and the hero has charmed the heroine. Initially not keen on him, he has won her over. Now, for the moment of truth. When he tries to kiss her, will she allow it? Or will she turn and run? Will she kiss him back? Or kick him in the knees?

After spending a full day at the office and stopping at the grocery for dinner fixings, I’ve got an hour to squeeze in some words before dinner. hero. heroine. Lobby. Longing looks. He reaches a hand toward her. The brush of his fingertips on her elbow urges her closer, urges her -

My daughter, genetically klutzy, crashes into the kitchen where I’ve set up my laptop. “Mama, when you went to the supermarket did you get me tuna fish?”

I assure her I did then reread my sentence to catch the flow again.

The brush of his fingertips on her elbow ur -

“Did you get the kind I like?”

I look up. “I got the kind that was on sale.”

Maybe it’s my glare, because she purses her lips and wanders over to stare inside the refrigerator in search of a miracle.

The brush of his fingertips on her el-

The kitchen door crashes open. Dogs rush into the room, leaping (little dogs) and wailing (German Shepherd. You have to hear the wail to believe it). Inside the door is college daughter.

“Why are you here?” her sister looks away from the fridge long enough to ask.

“Be nice,” I put in. “What brings you home?”

College daughter fights off slobbering dogs and says, “My Friday class was cancelled so I thought I’d come home early. Did I miss dinner?”

I turn away from the laptop so I have both girls in sight. “Dinner’s in half an hour - give or take. Can you close the refrigerator please and think about what you saw then decide if there’s something you like? And you, would you please go into the living room and take the dogs with you. I want to get this scene done, ok?”

“Okay, but Mom -“

“Tell me later.”

With a huff, I swing my attention to the computer screen, looking for where I left off.

The brush of his fingertips on her elbow urges her closer, urges her lioo48987hig 8348-ehhuag[pi6666666666666664983qhgmb iru89999999999999999999999999999999uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu99999999999999999999998888888888888888888888888888888888888888887

Yup. My daughter tried to tell me the cat was standing on the keyboard, but did I want to listen? noooo.

In short, my tip for how to write a love scene -- whether it’s a first kiss or a first night together -- find a quiet place to write in, preferably a place where no one can find you. Especially the cat.♥

Jennifer McAndrews is a Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® finalist and a two-time Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence finalist. She's taught writing workshops both online and at conference and looks forward to presenting at RWA National in Anaheim. Her humorous mystery DEADLY FARCE is available February 2012 from Avalon Books.

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