This is exactly my predicament 😂 because during Nano just yesterday I came to my romantic scene, and, not having the time to revise, wrote most of it pretty terribly and just went on. But I think I learned a few things, which I can share here:
1) Romance looks different in every book, so it can be a minor part of the overall story. I’ve read a lot of middle-grade books where the guy kind of likes the girl, goes on a major adventure, and then she says something sweet to him at the end that kind of sweetens the victory. Or in A Wrinkle in Time, a romance (of sorts) is established by two lines of text: Calvin telling Meg her eyes are beautiful, and Meg blushing in response. Middle grade romance in my experience is very sweet and innocent and you don’t need to experience it to make it work.
2) Do write what you know and what makes sense to you. When I tried to write an almost-kiss scene yesterday, I put a lot of fluff that was probably borrowed from the YA stuff I read in middle school. But then today, I put a line (“She wanted him close to her again, and his arms around her”) that seems kind of cliche compared to most YA, but I think it worked because it resonates with me and what I’ve felt in the past. (And I’ve never had a boyfriend.)
So that’s a little bit of advice from my Nano experience yesterday and today. A lot of it might seem kind of obvious, but I hope you find it helpful!
INFJ // The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)