In a recent blog, I discussed how sexual attraction can detract from an action scene--a person facing an enemy is more likely to die if they are thinking about sex with their romantic and fighting partner so such thoughts in fiction makes the scene unrealistic, and the pace of the action scene is also ruined by the constant interruptions.
Long declarations and discussions of love or long introspective moments when a character is fighting are no more appropriate, but, surprisingly, the emotion of love isn’t such an interruption if used correctly as motivation. Love, particularly a love that makes the lover’s life more important than his own, will make a character do unexpected things in a fight.
She may be so busy keeping an eye on her lover that she isn’t protecting herself well enough. He may be so concerned about keeping her safe that he doesn’t trust her to fight as she is capable of doing and interferes disastrously in her fight.
Love as a motivation in battle can make the strong weaker, and the weak stronger. It can be the Achilles heel of a powerful fighter if the enemy recognizes it.
A life-threatening moment can also be a revelation for a character. He may not have realized the intensity of his feelings for the woman until her life stands in balance.
She may know how she feels, but never said anything until the fight is over, and they cling to each other after nearly dying, then she blurts out her feelings without meaning to.
Love is the most powerful motivation in the world, and using the characters’ feelings for each other can make an action scene even more powerful.