How to Write an I Love You Scene

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Part One

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    1. Chose the characters who will interact during this scene.

»A. It could be as little as one character (someone standing in the mirror saying it to themself) to an infinite amount of characters (a kingdom bowing to a ruler and saying the phrase).

I.     What imprint will this leave on the target character? Already have an idea of how love will “conquer all” per se. Think about the consequences of saying this phrase and the meaning behind it. I love you could be as simple as meaning someone is a good friend to being a lover. There is different kinds of love so establish what relationship these characters have by being subtle if it isn’t already clear.


II.   What love language is this phrase being said in? There are five main ways to show love. That is through gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service (devotion), and physical touch (intimacy). Depending on the relationship between the character(s), decide how the phrase “I love you” will be said and what will accompany it.Below are some examples:


A. A man says I love you and then gives his girlfriend a wedding ring.
B. A mother goes to her son’s soccer game to cheer him on. Before dropping him off she says “I love you.”
C. A servant is offered a full time job elsewhere with better pay but decides to stay with her employer instead. She tells him she loves his friendship and couldn’t imagine working anywhere else.
D. A newlywed couple make love in the wedding bedroom. Both say “I love you” during the act.

Example 1: 

Every day I look at myself and wonder why I exist. There is nothing good about me. I have no talents that come to mind, no one cares enough to even hang out with me and my dog barely notices I exist… only when he’s hungry would he pay me any mind.

But there is this one guy. His name is Jacob. He’s a type of geek that works with computers and actually knows how to update the software. The attraction level is barely there, well at first. It grew over time. Something about the way he moves; I just can’t put my finger on it. The fact that he doesn’t even try, makes it even hotter. Listen to me. What am I saying? Not even he would take me as his “girlfriend”. Jacob is so focused on school and computers and has no time for much of anything. The difference between us both is the fact that he actually chooses to be alone. I don’t. Pathetic, I know.

If I could just touch him. I fantasize about it everyday to the point of insanity. Then I go to bed and wake up the next morning, barely normal. He probably doesn’t like to be touched, though. I once saw a female try to shake his hand and he made an extreme point to bow instead as if he was greeting the Japanese president. It was not like she was ugly. I made sure of it by comparing my average face to hers. I’m about a three but she was clearly a seven. So this got me to wondering. If I can’t touch him then what can I do? So now I’m saving up to buy him the latest computer. I could barely afford my own as it is but I really like him and want to get his attention.

 

»B. What is at stake? What changes will soon follow?

I.  Similar to the first example, show what the consequences will be. For this part you should go into more detail. If a friend says I love you to another friend will it makes things too weird and ruin the friendship? How? If a girl says I love you to a guy that is breaking up with her, does it make her have an emotional breakdown later on when he does reciprocate the feelings? Can a married man saying I love you to an old-time friend spark up some overdue feelings and cause him to cheat on his spouse?

II.  What causes the character(s) to say this well-known phrase? What gave them the courage to do so? Did a pal encourage them to go for it? Were they miserable withholding the information and needed to let it out or else? Were they dying and this was their last words to a loved one whom they’ve never really spoke to?

Example 2:

The next day I sat in class as the professor yaps on about god knows what. All I’m doing is staring at the back of Jacob, really. Why is his hair always perfect? Does no one notice? How in the world does a guy like that NOT have a girlfriend? I rest my chin in my palms and smile.

“Niah, are you alright? You’re doing that thing again,” a classmate said. Funny how they only talk to me to point out a flaw.

“I’m fine, thanks,” I said with a tense smile as I grab my bag. The bell rang the moment I did. As I headed to my next class I went into the cafeteria to grab a bite to eat. Standing in line were three douchebags. Pardon my language but if I may be so blunt. These guys were all handsome yet they lacked good, quality character. In high school I would fall head over heels for a boy out of my league like them, however, I’m not in highschool now and I’m all the more wiser.
“So here’s the plan,” I can hear them speak quietly. “We’re going to break into his dorm and grab the DC456 computer. John, use your bat if you must.”

I turned around to let them know I heard them.
“Piss off, ” one of the hissed.

See what I mean? I put my food down and left the cafeteria. The bathroom was the first place I went. After looking under all the stalls to make sure no one was there, I stared at myself in the mirror. My new favorite pastime.

“Niah,” I said to myself, trying to talk some sense into…. well myself. “They are talking about Jacob.” The DC456 was a rare computer that the school gave away to the top performing computer programmer. Jacob entered the contest and won. I should know, I went there for the sole purpose of watching him move those sexy arms and fingers. But I digress. “You need to tell him!”

You would think I wouldn’t have a problem telling my future husband that a bunch of losers are about to take his prized possession. But I had a dilemma. It wasn’t whether or not I believed I should stop the guys myself, or if Jacob would believe me. It had to do more with my selfishness. If these lame-brains stole his computer I could give him the upgraded version I’ve been saving up to buy for him anyway. He then would surely love me. Right?
I contemplated this in the bathroom for a while.

Wait? I paused and looked at myself in the mirror again. My tired eyes, with color that matched my dark brown hair, had never been so alert. “Did I just say my future husband?” I repeated to myself. I knew I liked him a lot but not this much. Could it really be love or the fact that I feel bad for him?

  

»C.Prepare the character ahead of the deed!

I.    That morning he/she could have rehearsed their lines in the mirror or written down a note in order to give it to the targeted person. If you don’t want to go back too far you can always do a short sentence or two telling the reader what the character had done earlier to prepare.

II. What are they doing nervously while in the moment? Breathing heavily, calm, sweating? Looking everywhere but the person, staring too deep in their eyes? Folding the napkin several times over to occupy their mind and prevent from mumbling anything weird.

III.    All of this really depends on if they mean it or not. Is the “I love you” real or forced? Are they just saying it back to the other character to make them happy? If they mean it then it should be shown through their actions. If they don’t then show it through actions as well. Although, if the character is lying and wants to look believable, they may do a few nervous seeming gestures themselves to look more realistic.

 

Example 3: 

I left the bathroom in a hurry after coming to this realization. Not only did I have to do the right thing, to tell him, but I had to also not be afraid of what may come of the future. I can’t always wonder what if. I needed to tell him his computer was in danger of being stolen, the names of the three who were planning it, and, I needed to tell him that I loved him.

Don’t call me a stalker, please. But I knew where his dorm was, his schedule and what he was doing at every hour of the day. Okay, that sounded bad but it eventually came in handy, right?
I walked nervously over to Dorm 58, west wing of the college campus. I hadn’t been over here in forever. Surprisingly I almost a boyfriend who lived in one of these dorms. Note the word “almost” but not quite. I wrestled with the hem of my skirt and tried to think about something else as I drew closer and closer to my destination. In all the other dorms I heard loud music, people talking or television. It was a Friday. At his dorm, I heard silence. Knowing what I know, he probably was sleeping or silently creating the next big thing like a genius.

 

**

Part Two

»A. Make the scene memorable for both the characters and the reader through scenery, setting, words and secrets exchanged, plot twists revealed, etc.

I.  Hopefully you have already established the place where this is taking place and have written some decent conversation between the characters. Now it’s time to juice it up. How is the scenery important to them? Was it where they first met or he first asked her to be his girlfriend? Is the same things still up that were there fifteen years ago such as signs or the M&L Forever carving on the chair? This can definitely spark up good conversation to, not only prevent the character from being nervous, but give the reader further details about your characters history together and why this moment is especially important.

II. Furthermore, what plot twists are revealed or secrets exchanged? Could it be the targeted person confesses to being in love with the character’s best friend instead… or that she is pregnant, or he/she cheated? Here are some twist that would be great:


A. The targeted characters knows the main character is lying through their teeth and calls them out for it.
Even shows them video footage of them cheating. Slaps them across the face and walks away angry.
B. The “I love you” saying character (main character) doesn’t mean I love you in the “in love” sense and the targeted character takes it the wrong way. Now, throughout the entire chapter the main character has to pretend to be in love with them to prevent breaking the targeted character’s heart.
C. The character says I love you but then breaks up with the targeted character because they don’t think they are good enough or worthy.
D. If a gift is given it’s the wrong one and is revealed to be something that could ruin the moment or relationship entirely.

III.    What actions does this all lead up to? A make-out session, a slap in the face, running for one’s life, awkward silence? Is this a civilized exchanged or something seen out of a drama show? Do the character make up soon enough or let days, months or even years pass before making amends?


Example 4:

I knocked on the door twice. Then a third time for good measure. “Who is it?” he said in a hushed tone. “Nia…” I paused, realizing that maybe he didn’t know who I was yet. At least not by name. “A classmate. I-I have important information to share with you.”

I could hear him yawn. “Can you tell me in the morning?” he said with a bit of irritation in his voice.
I don’t think it can wait till the morning, I thought. “No” I ended up saying. Next thing I knew he opened the door and there he stood in his boxers and white tee shirt. His messy dark hair gave a clear indication he had been sleeping. “Oh,” he straightened up and fixed his hair. “Niah, right?” He nodded. “Please, come in. My apologies.” I followed him into his dorm while noting the pleasant character change. He set aside a few large computer language books before offering me a seat.
“I’m sorry for waking you,” I said in a soft voice.
“No worries.” He smiled and his eyebrows raised. “What can I do for you?”
I barely could sort my words; my mind was still fixated on how he knew my name. “I, um, overheard a few of our Philosophy classmates talking in the cafeteria.” I turned my eyes away from his intense stare, then, using a shaky hand, managed to brush my hair behind my ear. “They are planning on stealing your computer.”
“Which one?” he joked.
I arched my eyebrow as I watched Jacob get up and go to his closet. Inside, he had loads of computers… at least 20. My mouth dropped open.
“If you’re talking about the DC,” he continued, “then they can have it.”
“What?” I managed to speak.
Jacob shrugged. He got up and changed into some jeans. “Yeah, I mean I just won two other newer computers in a recent competition. It’s not big deal. Heck, I can leave the computer outside my dorm for them to pick it up. The darn thing has barely any more storage as it is. But I do like the warning. It gives me time to delete all my personal stuff.”

I sat in awe of what I was hearing.

“Now, Niah,” he stood and stretched his neck side to side. “Is there anything else I need to know?”

Anything else you need to know? I thought to myself. That I love you. “Uh, no,” I ended up saying.
“Alrighty then, nice talking to you. See you in class.” He grabbed his brown leather jacket that was behind the seat I sat in. He had to lean over and I smelled his amazing cologne. This wasn’t your ordinary geek. Soon I got up and he led me out the door. I didn’t take a step away from his door. Standing there, feeling the remainder of his presence and what I just experienced had me mesmerized. This guy was a god, I thought. So calm, so smart, so optimistic, so privileged, so attentive and kind. Fudge, how was I suppose to tell a man like that I loved him?

That’s the thing. I wasn’t. Instead, I took out a pen and post-it note from my purse, wrote “I love you” on it and put it on his door. You could imagine I ran as fast as I could afterward.

 

I hadn’t gone too far. I needed to see what he’d do when he found it. Around five minutes later his dorm room door opened and Jacob carried out his DC computer. I shook my head in disbelief. When he sat the computer down, he put a note on it and went back inside. He probably hadn’t noticed my note I stuck on the door. I contemplated whether or not I should go over and give it to him in person, like a silent exchange. But then, it hit me: WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING?
It’s now or never. I am tired of being so afraid, so miserable, so insecure, so… pathetic! The total opposite of him and if I ever want to get a man such as Jacob to love me, I need to change for the better. I took a deep breath in then out before marching towards his dorm.

**

Part Three

  1. What is the immediate aftermath of saying “I love you”?

»A. What are the emotions running through your character’s head? They can have a smile on their face but secretly be depressed inside.

I.   Does the individual take it back or regret saying it? Do they go home to think about what they just did or beat themself up for it? Even if the person reciprocated the feelings there could be some regret. Maybe they thought they loved the person but really don’t.

II.   Is a I can’t live without you speech coming along?.How about I knew at first sight you were the one speech. Or if it’s between family the I am so proud of you speech. There is a difference between the regular conversation bought up in Part Two and the speech. The conversation can be about the past, present or future or the day, or school, work, etc. The meaningful speech is usually after saying I love you and after the targeted person makes their response. It is based on deep feelings and the root of why the individual loves the person in the first place.

III.   What word or gesture ends this scene? Make it a good one. It could be a simple as “I’m sorry Miranda, but I don’t feel the same way. I wish I did. Honestly, I wish I did.” And the character lowers their head. Or something upbeat as the characters dancing in the rain because they are now engaged. You decide what closes this scene and why a simple comment or gesture can completely shut a person down or open a person up. In other words, what is the last straw for the character before they completely give up or give in?


Example 5:

I knocked on the door hard and notice the post-it note wasn’t there anymore. He had put it on the DC computer instead like no big deal.
“Who is it?”
“Niah, again.”
The door opened quickly. “Yesss?” Jacob raised his eyebrows.
“I’m sorry, I can come back if you’re busy,” I said, lowering my eyes.
He sighed. “Come out and say it already, damn it.” He crossed his arms and leaned his head to the side.
“I don’t understand,” I say, my eyes now meeting his.
“You love me. I’m not an idiot. I’ve seen you following me around campus and I’ve caught your ip address multiple times googling me.” He laughed. “Niah, I know all about your obsession with me.”
I frowned. “You do?”
“Yup. And look, you’re a great gal and all but I just don’t have time for a girlfriend.”
“You don’t?” I barely heard myself speak.
“Syke, just kidding!” And with one swift move, he grabbed me by the back of my head and kissed me with intense pressure. His lips moistened and messy hair tickling my face. Surprisingly his breath didn’t stink after recently waking up from a nap.

“I’ve been meaning to do that since the first time you spoke about your views of the world in class.” He nodded at me and raised my chin. “I can’t yet say I love you, Niah, but I really, really like you. Your ideals and thoughts about the way the world works amazes me. I want to know more about you.”

I could have sworn I blushed. “Should I take my ‘I love you’ back?”
“Not yet,” he said. Given the timeframe that you finally had the courage to tell me… I’d say wait at least two weeks. I think I may have fallen for then if my calculations are correct.” He looked up to the right as if computing numbers in his head. “Indeed, that is correct. Give or take a week.”
I smiled. This guy was nuts and I liked it.

 

“Jacob, this is very strange. I mean, you have a rare and expensive computer sitting outside for anyone to take, you know I was stalking you but never asked me to stop, you just kissed me and told me you can fall in love with me in two weeks or so, and you’re acting like none of this is a big deal. Don’t you want to know why I love you?”
Jacob shook his head. “No, I can gather why. It’s not that hard.”

I stared at him waiting to hear a ‘I’m joking’ but that never came.

“Oh and,” he spoke again, “to be clear, I stole John and his friend’s idea for the programming contest. That’s why I won the computer. They’ve been trying to prove it for a few years now but they hadn’t had proof. I guess they finally decided to use violence. Huh, how ’bout that.”

“You stole their idea?”
“Yup,” Jacob said as he crossed his arms. “It’s not big deal though. None of them had the skill to actually program it.”
I stared at his unwavering face and pondered why the hell I loved him. I’ve been formulating a fantasy of what I thought him to be. But when finally speaking to my crush I can see the flaws that aren’t so lovely after all. One important detail remains now more than ever. This is the first time I ever had a boyfriend, however should I stay single or try a relationship with a clearly flawed man? He may be as bad as the three douchebags. Well, whatever I decide at least I know it was by choice this time and I have the complete confidence to do so.

 

**
 



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    • Sorry about that! I changed the landing page from Surprise Pregnancy to I Love You Scene. Thanks for the heads-up; I will change the url to it now.

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