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How to Write a Terrible Love Scene

6 Cringe-Worthy Tips

I hope everyone had a great Valentine’s Day, whether you had a date with your characters or with a real-life human being! Always the cynic, I thought I would take the opportunity to eradicate all shreds of romance. You can take these suggestions seriously if you’re on a mission to make your reader cringe, or you can laugh them off and write a google-eyed romance. It’s up to you—I claim no responsibility. Whatever you choose, here are 6 ways to write a terrible love scene.

1. Cheesy Metaphors

Include all the cheesy metaphors and euphemisms you can. Here are a few to get you started: Church the butter. Going heels-to-Jesus. He might have a sword, and she might have a sheath. Come on, guys. Get creative.

2. Disregard the Plot

Make sure the sex has nothing to do with the plot. The love scene comes out of nowhere and doesn’t advance the story or the characters’ arcs in any way.

3. Describe Everything

Make that prose so purple it could be mistaken for Barney. Describe every single moment in painstaking detail. Does this love scene last ten minutes? It should take at least fifty pages. Remember to use all twelve senses (wait, what?), and refer back to number one—lots and lots of cheesy metaphors.

4. Chatty Character

Give us a character who won’t stop talking. Bonus points if he or she isn’t talking about anything remotely related to what’s happening—the weather, a ball game, yesterday’s breakfast. It’s all so interesting, the sex can’t compete. To make things super awkward, have the character speaking directly to the reader.

5. Fetishes

Involve the weirdest fetishes you can imagine. No, I’m not talking about feet or odd music selections. Maybe one of your characters gets turned on by balloons or by crawling insects (formicophilia). Make it as weird as possible and, again, add no connection to the plot.

6. Rhyme

I don’t care that you’re writing prose. Give us some rhymes! Maybe he’s tearing at the sight of her golden earrings. Maybe he has great abs but an unfortunate case of crabs. Everything’s cute if you rhyme, right? …Right?

I hope this gave you some ideas for creating the most outrageous, awkward love scene imaginable. Make the romantics cringe. Make the lovey-dovey fall from their chairs. And make Saint Valentine roll over in his grave. Then have some 75%-off chocolate.

Photo by Julie Gibbons

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Victoria Griffin

Victoria was born and raised within sight of the Smoky Mountains. She loves any place you can still see the stars and constantly struggles with (and sometimes succumbs to) the temptation to write "ain't" and y'all." To connect with or hire Victoria, visit her website,
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February 15, 2017
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