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re: Help! Unromantic Me Can’t Write Romantic Scenes

in Characterization/General fiction/Romance Novels/Teen/Middle Grade Fiction by

Dear Editor…

I’m trying to write a romantic scene for a YA novel that I’m writing but I’m the most unromantic person I’ve ever met. Do you have any advice as to how I can get over my unromanticness and write good romance scenes?

Sincerely,
Taylor

Dear Taylor…

Freeze! Put the flowers down. Back away from that box of chocolates. This isn’t about you, it’s about the characters. A great romantic scene grows out of the characters’ emotional connection with each other across all preceding scenes. Ask yourself what each character needs emotionally, then find ways for the other character to satisfy the need. Work this into each shared scene until, finally, a situation arises that brings that need to a climax. That’s when the romance rolls out. A girl who feels epically misunderstood will go weak in the knees when a boy shows that he knows her. Maybe he reads to her from her favorite book when she’s sad. The sound of his voice as it embodies her beloved characters is a turn-on. The way he holds the book in his hands—those gentle yet firm hands she so wants to hold her—is a turn-on. The way he trips over words yet plods onward shows his vulnerability … and is a turn-on. She can’t help it, she reaches out and makes the physical connection. Build up from emotional to physical and your characters (and readers!) will be putty in your hands.

Happy writing!
The Editor

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