How does a married, over-50 man write a love scene between 20-somethings?

When I was a young Sailor, deployed overseas for more than six months as a time, I wrote the occasional dirty letter to my wife. It was a release to, shall we say, “keep the home fires burning” while I was gone. Trust me, she wrote some sizzling ones back to me, which made for plenty off cold showers in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Now, as a 55-year-old man, I am writing fantasy stories that include love scenes between young men and women, half my age. The problem is, it’s difficult for me to put that same fire into my stories that I once wrote to my wife.

You envision your love scenes like you would see in the movies or a romance novel, but it’s not the same when you’re doing it yourself. It’s like being a voyeur or cheating on my wife with someone else. I know that sounds wierd, but true.

As a writer, you have to imagine the situation you’re writing about to make it real for the reader. To be honest, I don’t think of myself as a sexy man anymore (although my wife says I still am). That’s what makes this hard (ignore the pun) for me. Sure, I could watch porn or read a dirty magazine for inspiration, but it’s not the same. I want the romance, the seduction, the lovemaking, not graphic sex, in my stories.

It’s especially difficult when you have daughters the same age as the characters your writing about. It makes me feel like a dirty old man watching girls at the beach behind mirrored sunglasses. So how do you do it?

For someone like me, it involves lots of sleepless nights. When I’m writing, the story I’m working on occupies my dreams. I’ve been working on this love scene for more than a week now. I replay it in my head at night, re-read it on my computer screen several times to make sure it feels right. Like I said, sleepless nights.

Unless romance is the backbone of your writing style, it’s not easy to pick up on. The best advice I can give is to trust your instincts and give into your own feelings of love, passion, and romance. You can’t go wrong.

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Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a book/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides is available for purchase as a book/ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverse publishing. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon from Austin Macauley Publishing.

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