This week I finally wrote the love scene for The Illustrious Client that I’ve been dancing around for a couple of weeks. I’m thinking I will open the book with this scene, but if another opener occurs to me later on, this scene will still appear in the manuscript. This is only the first version, of course, and my usual motto is “write anything, just get it down.” But it wouldn’t leave my fingertips. I sat in front of the computer for hours, days, thinking, instead of not-thinking. As a writer, I sincerely believe it is my job to be a vessel for the creative source, to get the heck out of the way and just write. As a stubborn human being, I sat in judgment over every word that tried to make its way onto the screen. Until I didn’t. Until I was finally able to sit back and let the words flow.
I didn’t know what would come out. I had arranged a setting and an ending. I knew the characters and the approximate date. Other than that, I hadn’t enforced anything else. That was enough. And I’ve learned (finally!) to label my writing with v1, v2, etc. I used to always just type over the first version, save over and over and over. Until one time when I really wanted to go back to an earlier version, and of course it wasn’t there.
Now I can delete all those early versions AFTER publication. I might change my mind at any point up until then, right?
While I was waiting for myself to lighten up enough to actually let go and write, I read about other writers’ struggles with writing love scenes. I also read “rules” for writing love scenes. All this was just a way to spend my time while waiting, because I already know how. The how is: get out of your own way. Include plenty of sensory detail. Take your time, just as you would in a real life love scene in which you were in control. That is what will engage your readers, just as you yourself would be engaged.
But I am open to advice! If you write love scenes, and want to share some how-to’s, or a PG-rated scene, or what you do while waiting for the creative source, please leave a comment.