Writing Emotion in Romantic and Fight Scenes- as seen on Twitter

Yesterday on Twitter, there was a post asking for the spiciest, maddest, most sacrilegious Book Opinion. In one reply, Tess Sharpe (@sharpegirl) replied,

“Reading and writing Romance makes you a better writer in any genre.”

There were quite a few responses to the negative, which was a surprise to me, but I fully agree with Tess. In my reply,

If you, as the writer, cannot convey emotion through your characters, how can your reader connect with them? How can you make them care about what happens to them and keep reading?

This post written by Now Novel makes a parallel between romantic and fight scenes with six core elements: Structure, setting, mood, tension, climax, and aftermath.

In the post, the structure of a scene is the first point: how you build-up to the fight or the romance, the middle part (filled with witty banter hopefully), the end of the conflict, and what happens when it’s over.

Every scene in your novel should have purpose and direction to move the plot forward. A point I made recently with the author I’m beta reading for is, if sex or a fight isn’t in the natural course of the relationship between the characters, it will feel awkward and forced.

Clarity is part of structure – make sure you’re tagging your dialog so we know who’s screwing who, figuratively or literally.

Point two is setting, but it’s not just the where and when; it’s also how and why and tone of the scene. Not only describe the location, but what each character sees, feels, hears, tastes, senses and their emotional state.

Point three: Mood. The emotional atmosphere of the scene creates tension between your characters, and (point four) the tension between them moves the scene toward …

Point five: The climax, which is… ahem… the climax of a romantic scene, but for a fight, it’s the physical conflict. A character can be mortally wounded in the melee, and doesn’t necessarily have to be one of the fighters.

Point six, is the aftermath. For romance and conflict, what comes after is often complicated, just like in real life, which can lead to future entanglements of all kinds in the rest of your story.

As always, thank you for reading!

Please visit Now Novel for the full post, and many others filled with useful tips on writing.

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