Writers Wisdom 101: Writing Swoony Scenes

Happy Friday! And happy belated Valentine’s! I hope you had a LOVELY day no matter what you did! 

This week, we’re continuing the LOVE theme and talking about something I am actually terrible at: the love scene. Luckily, my friend K.M. Robinson, is the master and she has graciously decided to share her writer’s wisdom with us! So read along and find out her tips on how to change your love scenes from cringe worthy to swoon worthy– I know I will! 

Writing Swoony Scenes

Author K.M. Robinson - The Golden Trilogy, The Siren Wars

My favorite part of any book is the romance. No matter how long it takes for characters to fall for each other, I can’t get over a good kissing scene…unless it isn’t a good kissing scene. 

So, what makes for an engaging and captivating swoony scene? Let me give you my best three tips for writing those epic, never-forgotten-and-always-talked-about swoony scenes.

 

Write an extra page. 

No matter how long your fans have waited for your characters to finally kiss, they have been anxiously waiting for it to happen. You need to reward their patience by giving them a scene worthy of the wait.

Once you’ve written your scene, go back and add at least another page-worth of content. Then, maybe it will be long enough.

But what do you do to fill that space? 

Think about your favorite kissing scene. What made it so engaging? It’s because it made you feel like you were experiencing it. It didn’t glance over or rush through parts of it. Reading a scene that basically says, “they tipped their heads, kissed, and then pulled away, noses brushing against each other,” is boring because it was fast and it came off as overlooked.

No one wants a side-note-kiss.

When writing a swoony scene, think about what each character is doing. Are his hands in her hair? What does that feel like for her as her hair moves? What does it feel like against his fingers?

Focusing on the senses will give you things to write about. What does the other person’s shampoo smell like? Is their breathing steady or is it quick? Is their kissing partner wearing flavored chapstick? What does that taste like? Is someone being pushed against a wall? How does that feel? How does it move their hair behind them? Does it pin the back of their shirt in place so that when they reach up to wrap an arm around the person’s neck, it restricts their arm movement? Tell us what is happening and don’t be afraid to spell it out in detail.

Readers have been waiting for this moment and you need to deliver and make them feel like they are part of the experience the same way you want them to feel like they’re in the middle of your epic fight scene.

Does that mean you have to spend time focusing on a scene that might make you a little uncomfortable to write? Yes. 

Trust me when I say I get embarrassed over the things I write. I almost always read it back and audibly ask myself what I was thinking as my eyes grow wide and I can feel my cheeks blush.

But my fans love my swoony scenes with a passion…and I don’t even write above a PG, maybe PG 13 level. My swoony scenes are tame, even compared to the young adult world, but because I make my swoony scenes immersive, because I spell things out for readers, and because I’m very detailed about what is happening and how everyone is feeling and reacting, my swoony scenes are talked about more than some of the popular YA books who take their swoon to an adult level. It comes down to giving fans that involved, immersive experience with kissing scenes.

Do I get embarrassed? Yes. My parents could read that. My one-day child could read that. Do I write it anyway? Yes, because my fans crave it, and frankly, I want my characters to live their best lives here, and those kissing scenes are my gifts to them…because we all know in my books, I’m going to rip them apart in a few chapters, so they only get a few nice scenes to begin with. I want them to be happy, even if it’s only for a scene or two. 

No matter what you’re planning for your swoony scenes, keep in mind: it’s never enough, you need to get super detailed, and embarrassing for you means epic for the readers.

Swoony scenes can be hard to write, but I promise you they’re the ones the majority of your fans will remember about your book the most, so don’t do a disservice to your readers by glancing over them. Invest some time and discomfort into writing them and the reap the fan love benefits once the book is out in the world.

Happy kissing…I mean writing, friends! 

What do you think? Do you love writing swoony scenes, or are they a struggle for you? Either way, give these tips a try and see what you think! 

Of course, if you have advice for writing your own swoony scene, please share! The world needs more love in it!

Until next time lovelies, 

Happy writing!

About our Guest

K.M. Robinson is a young adult author, photographer and designer, and professional social media marketing strategist for authors and photographers. She’s been interviewed by Facebook for her innovative work in the field of messenger chatbots and represented the USA in a widely watched live broadcast for World Social Media Day. She is the author of The Golden Trilogy, The Jaded Duology, The Siren Wars Saga, The Legends Chronicles, Virtually Sleeping Beauty and more. 

JM Sullivan

Teacher by day, award-winning author by night, J.M. Sullivan is a fairy tale fanatic who loves taking classic stories and turning them on their head. She has a passion for the writing community and loves empowering and encouraging other authors on social media with #AuthorConfession. When she’s not buried in her laptop, you can find her watching scary movies with her husband, playing with her kids, or serving homage to her cats. Although known to dabble in adulting, J.M. is a big kid at heart who still believes in true love, magic, and most of all, the power of coffee. If you would like to connect with J.M., you can find her on her website www.jmsullivanbooks.com, on social media at @jmsullivanbooks, or by joining the fun at #AuthorConfession--she’d love to hear from you.

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