For me, it’s an inevitable; a consummation (pun intended) without which the book wouldn’t seem complete. I enjoy considering love scenes, writing those exalted, magnificent moments; enjoy even more the natural reaching-point that they represent for the characters. These comings-together are beautiful occurrences that I am fortunate enough to share, as when love comes to dear friends.
But what makes a love scene good? What makes it wonderful?
I’ve written before in this space the limitations and minimum requirements that fulfill the moment for me. Graphic passages? No. Squishy bits? No no. We create an idealization as exquisite as the moment can be. Some of that is experience. The rest is a wish made manifest; an encounter leisurely and consuming and full-hearted in its physicality, and, yes, pure.
Where does the love scene come from? Where in our lives does it fit? Is a well-wrought love scene a kind of wish fulfillment; a fantasy externalized? Perhaps. And is there anything wrong with that? Ah, it’s question time.
I have often wondered about folks I’ve known, male and female, who maintain fantasy loves in the form of actors, fictional characters, musicians. What does the love scene represent in the light of their real-life relationships? If the writer has a partner, is the imagining, the executing, of that perfect fictional moment a form of cheating? Does the creating of an idealized love represent a betrayal of sorts?
Writers, like actors, maintain a tenuous hold on reality. Imaginations fly to impossible places. Lines get blurred. Little wonder that actors who love on film often drift into love in life. In writing, the gathering and manifestation of faux-love are a bit more problematic. We write beings to life; often they are based on flesh and blood people…more often, still, people we are well aware will never be ours. There is titillation is innocent. And it is dangerous. The real can equal the unreal; can even surpass it. But knowing the difference and living by the laws of real—much tougher.
What is a good love scene to you? What makes it good? How does it coexist in an existence where real love lives? Those are the questions of the day. Asked with all the love in the world.