This year is huge for YA fantasy book releases. There are so many sequels, next in series, etc that I am looking forward to being released!
Passion, by Lauren Kate
In order of release dates:
3rd May 2011
by Jeri Smith-Ready31st May 2011
by Leah Cypess14th June 2011
by Lauren KateJune 2011
: The Demon's Surrender
by Sarah Rees Brennan12th July 2011
by Maggie Stievfater26th July 2011
by Kiersten WhiteAugust 2011
: Clockwork Prince
by Cassandra Clare13th September 2011
by Scott Westerfeld18th October 2011
: Beautiful Chaos
by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
What about you? Are there any books that you are waiting to be released?
Seeing as it's Valentines Day, a post on writing love scenes to make your readers swoon seemed like a relevant post!
Disclaimer: I am NOT talking about sex scenes in YA. I'm talking about plain ol' two characters falling in love through out a novel, and revealing its progress in scenes.
Characters don't usually fall in love in one scene. It's something that happens over the course of the novel, or often several novels if it's a series. But each "love scene" can build to that moment where the characters do realise that they are in love and as readers we can all have that "awwww" moment and make that silly heart sign with our hands.
So how do you use each scene to show this love-in-progress, and what makes some love scenes so damn swoon-worthy that you need to fan yourself?
Why aren't the characters together already? Usually because of some kind of conflict. It could be something as simple as "I don't know if he even likes me" or as complex as "my family's been at war with hers forever and we can never be together unless we run away".
Conflict is important because it provides an obstacle for the characters to overcome, and in a love scene, an opportunity to fight that obstacle is provided.
Just because it's not a sex scene, doesn't mean the characters aren't thinking about sex. If you haven't been a teen for a while, try think back and be honest with yourself. Male or female, in the presence of a boy or girl you liked, was there really a moment where it didn't cross your mind? No? Seriously? Well you were a boring teen then, weren't you...
Sexual tension often heightens the conflict in the relationship, raising the stakes even more and making a love scene all the more interesting. In YA fiction, this tension is important because it is an integral part of teen relationships. Without it, the scene can fall flat.
It's not a love scene if the character isn't feeling the love, but the other character is. For example, going back to the ball park, the boy showing the girl how to bat could be completely oblivious to it all, but if the girl is narrating, she must be revealing her infatuation through her thoughts and actions. The character who's POV you're in has to be the one falling in love.
A character the reader wants to fall in love with:
To make a love scene truly swoon-worthy, the reader must want to fall in love with one of the characters. Let's just pretend for the purposes of this explanation that the reader in question is female for the moment, and that the scene is from the POV of a girl falling for a boy. The reader must want to fall in love with the boy as much as the girl character wants to. It may help to ask yourself why your girl character is falling for this boy? Is it his looks? His cheeky grin? His bad-ass attitude? Whatever the reason, it needs to be shown in the best light so that the reader can fall for him too.
Now lets pretend that the reader is still female, but the character in POV is a boy, falling for a girl. You can still make your reader want to fall in love with the boy. Love scenes can be used to highlight the POV character's qualities as well. If one of his "awwww" attributes is his rough on the outside, soft on the inside persona, then this scene can be used to show that, and make the reader fall for him as well.
Internal and external dialogue:
Often in a love scene the characters may not say much. When they do speak aloud, make it count. Every word should either heighten the tension, reveal character or move the scene forward. For example, a character saying "I love you." is a useless piece of dialogue, unless it is accompanied by these things.
Internal dialogue can often be used to great effect to show a character's feelings. Too much can get in the way of what's actually happening, but a little scattered into a scene can go a long way in upping the tension.
Actions and reactions:
Actions speak louder than words, and so do reactions. Every move one character makes should make the other character react in some way. And no, it doesn't always have to be a physical reaction! Love scenes are often very emotional, and often the reaction is more important than the characters' actions. They can be hugely revealing for the reader.
That's my thoughts on YA love scenes. What about you? Is there anything else that should be injected into a love scene for maximum swooning effect?