Writing the Steamy Stuff

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Love scenes are fun to read, but sometimes hard to write, especially in YA. I’ve been told I tend to be a little steamy in a good way, so I thought I’d give a couple of tips.

  • Don’t spell everything out. That goes for adult too! We don’t need a road map, what we want is the feeling – mostly the anticipation!
  • Speaking of anticipation, it’s that lingering before the lips touch that pulls us in. Don’t rush it. In fact, make ‘em wait for it. The more you torture your characters the better the book, and that goes for love too.
  • Speak in senses and emotions. What type of touch is it that he uses on her arm? How does that make her feel?
  • Don’t skip the good stuff! Get your mind out of the gutter! That’s not what I meant. What do I mean? If you build up a love interest please let us in on the first kiss for example.
  • Don’t skimp on the rest of the book. Don’t rely on the love interest to carry the story. Weave it in with a good plot and you’ll have me hooked.

So what do you think? What are your favorite love scenes? And they don’t have to be sexual either. Some of my favorites are by authors like Cassandra Clare, Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia.

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16 thoughts on “Writing the Steamy Stuff

  1. There’s a scene toward the end of Soulless that I really enjoy, but I’m not sure I should describe it here for fear of spoilers. Suffice it to say that even though it isn’t sexual (since this series is set in Victorian England), there’s a lot of sexual tension between the two characters.

  2. Okay, Lis–remember how we are taking over the world, starting a Lisa Empire and swapping books, and such? Now I really REALLY can’t wait to read yours. You know what author is also great at this anticipation thing I just realized? Marie Liu in Legend and now Prodigy. She kills me.

  3. I love the tips and yes, I write YA fantasy and paranormal and weave in the romance and anticipation of the first touch, first kiss, first everything, but at the same time my mind is totallyand unashamedly in the gutter when I write love scenes for my adult romance series. I don’t write erotica, I write contemporary romance with or without suspense and just like I give my all to writing the suspensful parts, I give it all when I write love scenes. Tasteful, yes, but still sensual.

  4. I have the WORST time writing love scenes. I’m not embarrassed by sex in general, it’s a natural part of life, but writing it…nah. I keep thinking my mom is going to read this or my teenaged daughter. I can’t write that!

    I love your tips and I tend to follow the same ideas.. It’s all about the lead up. That’s what gives me goosebumps and stomach flutters. And then when that first kiss happens…wow. 🙂

  5. Something I like to do while writing these types of little wonderfulnesses, is making up works that sound like the feelings being expressed…depending on what I’m writing of course. But it generally invokes a new sense of “o0o0o0oo0o my” 😉

  6. The last kissing scene I wrote took me two days and I blushed the entire time. It was the embarrassment of having friends and family read something so intimate, I guess, that had me worked up. Any suggestions on how to treat the steamy stuff like the rest of the book?

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