It’s almost here.
When you think about Valentine’s Day, what comes to mind?
Movies, dinner, chocolate, candy, teddy bears, flowers, roses, candle light…
cliche after cliche, right? How do you write a scene about Valentine’s Day without being cliche?
I had to rewrite my entire chapter that centered on Valentine’s day at least three times. When I first wrote it, I realized early on that it was super boring. But a romance novel needs romance, right? Well, what’s more romantic than valentine’s day? Lots of things, probably. (HA!).
I had to figure out why it was a necessary scene. At first, I reasoned it was because it provided the reader with a happy, lovely, romantic scene, but that wasn’t enough. There needed to be a bigger reason for this scene to be in my novel at all. Out of all the dates that the reader assumes they go on, (because who wants to read about every single dinner/movie/ice cream/let’s take a walk date?) Mm or maybe you do like reading all that. Who knows…Why is this one date more significant?
I think I finally figured out how to create significance. I have an excerpt from you. I had to break it up a bit for you to understand the significance that I’m attempting to convey.
2 + 10 = 12 paragraphs: The only context: Lacey and Jay are having a picnic at the river.
“I want to show you something,” he said in her ear before he had a chance to fall asleep. Carefully, with her body leaning against his, he reached for his backpack and dug out a notebook from the bottom. He placed it in front of her on her lap and flipped a few pages.
“When I finally started college, I made a list of stuff I’d never done before, stuff I’d always wanted to do, that I didn’t get to do as a kid,”
“Why?” She glanced up at him.
“I didn’t even know my dad. He left when I was three or something…After that, my mom—let’s just say, she was not on the list for Greatest Mom of the Year…I was put in foster care at ten years old. Anyway,” He paused, searching for a way to make a long story short. “I didn’t have the opportunity to do much of anything as a kid. Living with my brother later on, it was a stable situation, but all he did was work.” He cleared his throat, his glance darting away from hers, focusing on the way the grasses bent against the gusts of wind. ”When I was old enough, all I did was work…to stay out of trouble…”
Lacey studied the list, which spanned a few pages. After reading the first page, she glanced up at him with a grin.
“We’ve done most of these things together,” she observed. “Ice skating, bike riding, going out to ice cream, going to the river…visiting a nice restaurant…” He nodded, smiling. A gust of wind blew through her hair. He ran fingers through it, holding on, twirling the curls until they wrapped around his fingers. “You never did any of these things when you were younger? Not even with foster families?” He shook his head.
“I went and saw movies sometimes, but we never saw plays or went camping, or to the beach or anything like that,” he explained. “I never had the money to take girls out to ice cream, or restaurants…I didn’t hang out with that kind of crowd anyway. If I went out, it was to a party to get drunk…” He pushed back the acid-like feelings of disgust. He hated thinking about the old him, the old way of life.
“What about when you worked? During high school?”
He exhaled slowly, carefully, an itching fear climbing up his spine.
“All that money went to my brother,” Her gaze looked doubtful and curious. Much too curious. He clamped his mouth shut, lest he carry on a bigger lie. This was not why he had brought the notebook to show her. What did you think would happen? What, did you think she wouldn’t have questions for you?
With a mental fist, he pounded down the doubts, pushed the notebook aside and cradled her in his arms. That fresh, familiar, ever-present scent of coffee mingled with the smell of earth floated around them. “Every date we’ve been on means the world to me. Not just because I am finally experiencing new things in life, but because I get to experience life with you.”
You tell me what you think. 🙂 I’m curious to know what another reader besides my bias self thinks. What is the significance? Although it might be slightly difficult without having read the entire MS. Still, making predictions are the best part of reading.
Thank you to A Keyboard and an open mind for hosting WIPet Wednesdays. It’s a great place to share your WIP excerpts and build community.
Happy writing 🙂