Love Scene: Her Hair Breaks His Heart

What is a scene you love? Not book. Scene. A scene that when you read it, your heart moved–rushed, zipped, jolted–to another part of your body. Sometimes when I’m stuck, I take that scene of the shelf and read it again. If I really loved it, it still gives me a rush.

That rush carries inspiration–not that I’m always able to jump into the flow, but at least it reminds me what the flow looks like.

I don’t believe taking the scene apart ruins the magic. Perhaps breaking it open spreads the magic around. If I’m trying to write the heartbreak of love that can’t happen, I read about Lilith Bascomb who changes her place in the world by cutting off her red hair and shows Harley Wescott and everyone else that he picked the wrong sister. I love that scene. Bonnie Jones Reynolds sets the party, the many characters distracted by a thousand other things, shows us how Cass, the sister and wife, believes she has won, lets the gossip run madly around the party-goers, and then brings in Lil, shaking on the inside and yet proving her powers on the outside. Just the right people welcome her in and just the right people gasp. (You have to read The Truth about Unicorns to really know.)

I love the scene because of the conflicting emotions–the you-go-Lil coming against but-they’ll-never-be-together! Of course, I’m sucker for tearing true love apart. I’m mean that way.

Just thinking about it makes me want to write. What’s a scene between two loves that moves you?

3 thoughts on “Love Scene: Her Hair Breaks His Heart

  1. Well, this isn’t a love scene, and I’m not even sure it’s a “scene,” but I always remember the passage in Beloved where she compares the welts/scars on a slave’s back (from being whipped) to a chokeberry tree. That moved me beyond words. I read it right after college while I was in London, and I was thinking maybe I didn’t want to be a writer after all. But after reading that scene, I thought, this is what I want to do. And I decided when I returned home, I would apply for a writing program, which I did, though I didn’t get in. If I only knew then what I know now. It has been a long, fruitless road, but I’ve never quite given up the idea of being a writer again.

  2. My favorite scene is also not a love scene, but it is dramatic. It’s from the book “The Green Ripper.” The protagonist, while on tour in Vietnam, walks across an open field nonchalantly, while whistling, with his gun slung casually over his shoulder. He turns to signal his company to cross, and the first jeep explodes from a buried mine. The soldiers running out to help the injured are also killed by the more mines. I actually had to read it twice because it was so well written.

    Of all the Travis McGee novels (Travis being the protagonist) “The Green Ripper” has the best writing. There are a ton of great scenes, including love scenes.

  3. My favorite scenes are sort of warped love scenes: Heathcliff at Catherine’s death begging her to haunt him in Wuthering Heights — Hamlet telling Ophelia that he loved her not — Quentin holding his hand on Caddy’s throat while he says the name “Dalton Ames” in The Sound and the Fury — a disguised Viola telling Duke Orsino of her passion in Twelfth Night — Peter Pan leaving Wendy and forgetting to return for spring cleaning — Eowyn riding hopeless into battle in the Lord of the Rings.

    Maybe it’s no surprise I ended up with a warped love. 😉

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