How to Write Characters in Love if You've Never Been in Love

Every writer is different. Some of you are older, and some of you are younger. Some of you have been writing for years, and some of you have been writing for only a few months. Some of you have been in love, and some of you haven't.
Personally, I've had my ups and downs with boys and relationships, but I've never been in love and I have yet to find "the one." That's a pretty common thing for young writers. And while it's not a bad thing, it can make writing characters in love a little tricky. How do you write a feeling you yourself have yet to feel?
But when you think about it, this same idea can be applied to a lot of things when it comes to writing. How do I describe a dragon if I've never seen a real one? How do I write about my character being stabbed when I've never been stabbed before? Thankfully, we writers are able to write about all of these things because of imagination, research, and sheer talent (hey, it takes some skill to put yourself into the lives of dozens of different people and make it all sound realistic!) While it can seem a little intimidating at first, writing love when you've never been in love isn't as hard as it sounds. Just like dragons and stab wounds, all it takes is imagination, research, and talent.



1. Pay attention to the people around you
If you've never been in love yourself, pay attention to the people around you who are--older siblings and their spouses, friends, aunts and uncles, etc. Even strangers in public. Watch how they act towards each other, how they speak. Look at their eyes when they see each other after a long day apart. If possible, notice how they argue. How they make-up. How they sit together. Pay attention to all the details that you can, and use those with your own characters. Try to get perspective on multiple couples, too--every relationship works differently!

2. Read love poetry/listen to songs about love
When I say read and listen, I also mean analyze. What words stick out to you the most? What emotions are the authors/artists trying to portray? How can you use these emotions in your own writing? Both poetry and music can easily influence our own emotions. Even if you've never been in any kind of relationship, certain songs and poems can stir up some butterflies in your stomach. Use that!

3. Learn your character's love language
This is a super useful tool I discussed last Valentine's Day and is something I definitely recommend all writers to research. In short, your love language is what makes you feel the most loved. There are five love languages: Acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, and physical touch. Not only is the Love Language test a good thing to take yourself, but it's also awesome to put your characters through! You can check out all the details you need about love languages in last year's post here.

4. Use your intuition
Everyone has their idea of love. What's yours? Put yourself into your character's shoes. How would you react? What would you say? How would you feel? You don't have to be an expert on love to get an idea of what it feels/looks like. Use your imagination and intuition to your advantage!

Like I said before, everyone is different. Writing characters in love (or falling in love) can be a struggle whether you've been in love or not. Hopefully these tips will help you go from hating love scenes to absolutely adoring them.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Comments

  1. Thanks for the advice! Romantic love is a weak point of mine :-P

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    1. Glad you got something out of the post! :D

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