Thursday, 8 December 2011

Love, Hate, Fear and Violence: Writing Intense Scenes

I remember in college when we talked about writing sex scenes in my romance writing class, not many people were able to do it. I was never really sure why, but I know when I try to write them, like when I'm trying to be funny, it just doesn't seem to work. I've been easing myself into the love scenes, and it seems that once you're enthralled with the characters, writing intense scenes is not as hard as it sounds. As an in class assignment it would make sense why it was nearly impossible because the writer doesn't have that same emotional attachment that they do to a full story.

The entrance of a very important character. Especially when you're dealing with someone who was a real person, and who is very important and who people will be waiting to read the interpretation. Not only is it a lot of pressure, but its something that you really want to get right. So I've had the piece of editing with that scene in it a little longer than I would normally keep it because I have to get this right.  But, I know that if I hold onto it for too long I'll end up screwing it over royally.

For me personally, as a writer an intense scene has more payout in terms of the emotional rewards on my end. Yes, there needs to be a connection for the writer in the moment but also when the moment is done, and you look back on it and think 'that's exactly what I wanted to say!', you know that you've hit that right note. I hope when I get to my sex scenes that I'll be comfortable with it, and that initial awkwardness goes by quickly. Because it's there, and every time you write a love scene it's like that first time awkwardness that we've all experienced.
I remember when I wrote my first fight scene, it played out in my head as an absolute bloodbath but when I read it back on paper it was lacking. That's the beauty of a thesaurus and a dictionary, and reading. That's another thing about intense scenes, you can learn A LOT from others. That's why I love Laurell K Hamilton so much!
So, to anyone who is struggling with any kind of intense scene, my best advice is to relax. Once you're comfortable with your characters, it'll come easily. But, for those who have class assignments, you may have to build a background for your characters for the one simple scene to make it memorable.

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