How to Write About Love
To write about love is a tricky task for many of us. I’ve been taking a look at what a great love story looks like in writing.
Love is universal, it’s something almost all of us can identify with, in one way or another, and that’s probably the thing that makes it most tricky. It’s extremely easy to spot love that doesn’t ring true in a story.
Write about love in a way that rings true
First, what does love look like? After all, in writing we’re supposed to be showing rather than telling. To get yourself ready to write about how love looks, I recommend watching a few scenes between your favourite characters in love, specifically in a television show or movie. After all, shows and movies do the best “showing” because telling is largely impossible. Consider how the characters who are in love act, react, speak to each other, touch, etc.
Next, what kind of love are your characters experiencing? There are, after all, many kinds, from friendship to passion to unrequited to consummate love, and everything in between. Knowing the kind of love you intend for your characters will help you understand how that love is going to work within your plot and play out for your characters.
Lastly, how do your characters respond to love? You have already learned quite a bit about your characters as you’ve been writing about them. Will your character be the jealous type, the possessive type, or the type who becomes so fully engrossed in their relationship that they forget about everyone and everything else outside of it? And how does their love interest or partner react to this?
Examples of Loving Relationships in TV, Film, and Literature
When it comes to writing about love, you must have an understanding of how love looks. These are some favourite love stories or loving relationships from TV, film, and literature:
- Damon and Elena – The Vampire Diaries (TV)
- Claire and Jamie – Outlander (book)
- Fergus and Marsali – A Breath of Snow and Ashes (book)
- Roger and Bree – An Echo in the Bone (book)
- Charles and Caroline – Little House on the Prairie (TV)
- Cath and Levi – Fangirl (book)
- Simon and Baz – Carry On (book)
These are just a few whose love stories I enjoy and which can serve as inspiration, depending on what portion of the love story you’re looking to create in your story. While YA books typically depict new love, I usually enjoy reading about lasting or lifelong love to get a better idea about how love looks in a story. After all, new love is really only a short period of time and anything after that is established love and has far different rules.
Here for the Sex
For those of you who opened this article hoping to learn more about how to write sex, which is different from writing about love but definitely included, I highly recommend this book, I Give Your my Body: How I Write Sex Scenes by Diana Gabaldon. Diana Gabaldon is the writer of the Outlander series and an absolute master of capturing the nuances and realities of lifelong love. Spoiler alert, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns, but it may be sometimes.
If you’re working on a love story, a love subplot, or just a tricky sex scene, let me know if any of these tips are helpful for you!
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