Sunday, September 4, 2011

More on Writing Difficult Scenes

Another scene that seems to give writers pause is the love scene. Obviously, some books do not need them, while some include them for no reason, yet still others are richer for them. And, some writers really have no clue how to handle such a scene.

Since I write historical mysteries, my love scenes have to be faithful to the time period, so words become quite important, as do descriptions. Words that could be used in contemporary fiction would seem vulgar and out of place in a historical setting. The emphasis therefore is on the interaction between the characters and the deep feelings they have for one another.

A further note, a love scene does not require page after page of detail. Belabouring the point is not necessary; if the scene is handled properly, it may only cover one or two pages. Since my main character is married, it is only appropriate that he is portrayed at home, with his wife. And, in ancient Egypt, the nobles had a great deal of leisure time, so it is natural that such scenes will play out on paper.

These are scenes I don't have to outline, as opposed to a fight scene or chasing after a fleeing suspect. A love scene should flow onto the page, while a fight scene needs to have structure and stay within the confines of realism.

As writers, it is important to write what we know, but it is just as important to write what may be difficult for us. In exploring emotions which are strong, we grow as writers, testing the boundaries of our comfort zone, and, sometimes, even amazing ourselves.

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