Romance Scenes and Secondhand Embarrassment

Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1

    Romance Scenes and Secondhand Embarrassment

    I've dabbled in lots of genres but, always seem to have some sort of romantic sub-plot present in my stories. The issue is, writing those small tender moments or a phyiscially intimate scene have me blushing and bumbling through. I feel as if I am exposing myself and my characters.
    These scenes feel very awkward for me to write and much less have someone else read them.
    So, I guess my question is: How do I write any romantic scene without being overcome by secondhand embarrassment?
    I am grateful for any and all advice.
    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    It's good that it has you blushing and bumbling through. Shows the romance scene is emotive and evocative.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Crismila View Post
    I've dabbled in lots of genres but, always seem to have some sort of romantic sub-plot present in my stories. The issue is, writing those small tender moments or a phyiscially intimate scene have me blushing and bumbling through. I feel as if I am exposing myself and my characters.
    These scenes feel very awkward for me to write and much less have someone else read them.
    So, I guess my question is: How do I write any romantic scene without being overcome by secondhand embarrassment?
    I am grateful for any and all advice.
    Thank you in advance.
    You probably need to show us something. A moment you find embarrassing? It's hard to guess what you are talking about.

    You can skip over things, and that's common. In my WIP, the sex scene starts with the conversation afterwards. You can also be conceptual.

    I have had moments where the physicality was important. (How did they have sex without making any noise?) But as a writer, you usually have other issues, like character, which means less physical description.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by EmmaSohan View Post
    You probably need to show us something. A moment you find embarrassing? It's hard to guess what you are talking about.

    You can skip over things, and that's common. In my WIP, the sex scene starts with the conversation afterwards. You can also be conceptual.

    I have had moments where the physicality was important. (How did they have sex without making any noise?) But as a writer, you usually have other issues, like character, which means less physical description.
    It isn't really sex scenes because I usually let the night fade out with evidence of the deed subtlety appearing the next day. What I am referring to are things as simple as a kissing scene.
    Where the two characters care about each other so much that their hands slightly shake as they hold each other for fear of furthering their relationship and ruining the connection they already have. That kind of sincere, bitter sweet, selfish moment is almost impossible for me to write. Yet, the moments leading up to it are easier than the act itself. It's the small intimate moments the are difficult.
    A silent confession, holding hands, kissing, a loving glance, and cuddling. Those kind of scenes.
    Just thinking about it make my face flush.
    I alway attributed it to my shyness but when I took creative writing classes in college, many of my classmates didn't bat an eyelash at reading their erotica aloud in class.
    It's not that I am a prude. I can read anything without being affected or maybe blushing a bit at more explicit scenes.
    This has to do with my own writing an how to overcome this discomfort.

  5. #5
    Perhaps the embarrassment comes from the voyeur aspect of being a writer telling what others (the characters) are doing. Try writing the story as if it were you with someone you care about. What would you do or say in the situations. What would you want the other person to do or say. For this brief moment make it you in the story instead of the characters. This might make it easier to write without having to cover your eyes.
    K.S. Crooks- Dreamer and Author

  6. #6
    To be really ruthless here, the point is to write well. If your discomfort interfered with that, that would be a problem. But you aren't reporting that. Acually, I like what you have described and would look forward to reading one of your kiss scenes.

    For all I know, your discomfort is a sign you wrote the scene well. Or that you were somehow being honest with the reader.

    So, can you call it a strength? That will make it easier to live with. I am now going to try to write a kiss scene that makes me embarrassed, it's a really intriguing idea.

    And again, if it actually interferes with your writing, that's a problem. Does it?

  7. #7
    "They kissed, made love, went to bed."

  8. #8
    I don't know if I am hitting the mark with this, but we'll see.

    I have noticed lately that I get so immersed in my characters and the moments they experience, that I feel I become them and their experiences become very personal. There have been some passages in books or stories I have written, that when I re-read them after months and even years, I can still come to tears, feeling that same emotion. It took a while for me to figure that out, but once I did I saw it as an asset, rather than something to try to avoid.

    I think you feel embarrassed or flushed because you FEEL whatever the moment is for your character, and I would guess that your character probably responds they way you would to such stimulation. The reason, I think, that you can read similar things in books others have written and not have that reaction is just that - you didn't write them, you have no emotional investment; you are not "living" that moment with those characters that someone else created. I think you can hit the mark emotionally much better than someone who is just chronicling events or following story lines. Does this make any sense?

    I think I have been like this my whole life, and one of the reasons I feel things so intently when I write. I often cry and am sometimes disappointed when someone reads my story and doesn't feel that impact at all.

    Crismila, this is a gift I think.
    When the night has come
    And the land is dark
    And the moon is the only light we'll see
    No, I won't be afraid, no I won't be afraid
    Just as long as you stand by me.


  9. #9
    When I was trying to become an author (I'm now working on screenplays), I gave myself a rule due to similar shyness: if it's hot sex I'm writing, give it a paragraph description and go about 75%-85% details. But if it's lovemaking (intimate, two spouses, that sort of thing), then I would give 1-2 sentences of a description and to keep it vague. In other words, just enough to let the audience know that two people are getting busy but not enough where you see anything. The concept behind my rule was that if it's sex between two strangers then it would be a good idea to let the audience watch, thereby making them feel as if they're really there. But if it was lovemaking, the reader wouldn't want to see that as if it were two parents doing it (a good example of this is in the chapter of "All Quiet on the Western Front, when they were in the church).

    That being said, I saw in the comments that you stated it's not sex but more intimate touching of hands and gooey things that lovers feel for each other. My advice: write everything leading to the event, then stop for a while. After a few hours, or even the next day if it helps, just sit down at the computer, take a breath, and hammer through the scene with all the ferocity of a runaway freight train. Just don't even think about what you're writing, just type the scene as it plays out in your mind. Once you're done with that, give yourself a treat. Whether it be ice cream or a banana nut muffin or a cigarette (depending on the spice in the scene), make sure you reward yourself for it. That way, you're conditioning your mind to think "If I get through this scene, I'll get a treat". In psychology terms, it's called classical conditioning. And it works.

    Hope this was helpful. Keep writing, friend.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Crismila View Post
    I've dabbled in lots of genres but, always seem to have some sort of romantic sub-plot present in my stories. The issue is, writing those small tender moments or a phyiscially intimate scene have me blushing and bumbling through. I feel as if I am exposing myself and my characters.
    These scenes feel very awkward for me to write and much less have someone else read them.
    So, I guess my question is: How do I write any romantic scene without being overcome by secondhand embarrassment?
    I am grateful for any and all advice.
    Thank you in advance.
    Being able to create an appropriate psychological/emotional reaction to your own work is generally a positive thing. If you read responses to these sorts of questions from authors of wildly successful books you will often see it said. The best horror scenes, for instance, often frighten their author. There is no reason why romantic scenes should not have an equally visceral reaction.

    The key word there, though, is the word appropriate. Your reaction should, by and large, reflect that which is intended in your ideal reader and no reader wants to feel embarrassment. I find it a little difficult to assess your question without understanding more about the response, what exactly is triggering it - as in, exact lines or words - and whether it really is just some harmless blushes and not actually something more sinister and destructive. Like shame.

    I will be quite blunt: Whether or not you think you are prudish, the fact you could struggle through writing something as relatively basic as a kiss indicates you might have some hang-ups, or perhaps even lack some maturity. I don't want to say that though, because I do not know who you are. But if it is an issue of the topic of sexuality generally making you squeamish then chances are you are not capable, yet, of writing that sort of material at all. A sense of discomfort when writing is rather like adding spice to food: Just the right amount brings some real flavor, too much results in something that will make whoever samples it gag violently. E. L James anyone?

    On the other hand, it is possible that with the right mindset your awkwardness around sex and sexuality could be harnessed. The human brain has a way of coping sometimes that allows for one to excel at things that make them afraid. Many sailors once never learned to swim. Plenty of pilots, climbers, etc. are afraid of heights. Many rather racy romance writers come from extremely religious, morally strict backgrounds and I personally know of at least one ex-nun who wrote erotica in her free time (under a pen name). So assuming you don't have any deep-seated aversions or crippling issues, there is no reason why this is not something you can fix.

    It could, in fact, be manipulated into a certain unique voice. Intimacy in real life is actually rather embarrassing, isn't it? Certainly for a lot of younger, less confident people and those with social anxiety. Why not focus on writing about those sorts of characters? They're arguably under-represented in fiction anyway and what is currently holding you back could well, with enough effort on your part, result in some quirky, yet emotionally powerful, love scenes. Why must the kiss be perfect? Most kisses aren't.

    Write honestly.
    "All good books have one thing in common - they are truer than if they had really happened."

    Hidden Content



Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
This website uses cookies
We use cookies to store session information to facilitate remembering your login information, to allow you to save website preferences, to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.