Saturday, March 19, 2011
Blog Chain - Love Stinks...Sometimes
Okay, so I'm being a bit caustic with my choice of videos (compared to everyone else), but it actually is appropriate...sometimes.
The topic our own illustrious Kat has chosen is the following:
How do you feel about love scenes? As a reader, are you put off by the gratuitous? As a writer, do you shy away from spelling out the down-and-dirty? Or do you write until your computer lights a cigarette?
To say I run screaming from love scenes is probably an understatement. As a reader, unless I'm turning the pages on the latest Penthouse Letters mag (which I've never read btw. That was just a rumor started by somebody that really hated me in high school. I swear!), I really am not interested in who does what to whom and how they do it. Even from a romance perspective, I'd rather get the idea that two characters are in love by what they say and do outside the bedroom instead of in the bed itself. I have definitely been known to skim past love scenes with a dismissive eye roll and a sigh of exasperation.
As a writer, I am scared to death of them. For one thing, I'm a (almost) forty year old white male. That makes me a borderline pervert in too many states, by too many uptight societies. It's a fire I'd rather not play with if I can avoid it. And to write a decent love scene where I'm making sure it's about love and not sex is something I'm not sure I could do. It becomes way too easy to be cliche, too easy to be gratuitous, or too easy to be a non-event.
To take this even further however, there are very few times I can think of where a love scene helped move the story along. Sure, it's great for characterization and depicting the relationship between two characters. But is it always necessary? I doubt it.
Don't get me wrong on this. I'm not an uptight guy by means. Outright sex doesn't bother me (at the right moment, for the right reason). And although I could probably be a bit more romantic in my marriage from time to time, I'm probably as romantic as the next guy. Wait, that doesn't really help my case, does it? Anyway, my point is that I don't look for romance much in the books I read or the books I write. I will probably have to work harder on the latter though.
Since I've now probably left you all shaking your head (or laughing in wonder at me), I'll turn the mike over to the awesome Michelle McLean. She ought to have something cool posted tomorrow for your reading pleasure. If you didn't get to read the ever-talented Michelle Hickman's answer though, get on over there. She actually introduces us to a snippet of her work (sorry Michelle, I didn't really have anything to toss up here or I would have followed your example).
And how do you all feel about love scenes in writing? Good or bad? And should they be tame or explicit?