12 April 2014

K is for Kissing

I've only written two complete novels in my life (the first one three times, don't even get me started...), and even though they are very different stories, I tend to notice certain similarities between them. Like how I always find a way to get my MC's parent(s) out of the picture so they can pretty much do whatever they want. The biggest similarity in both, though, is that kissing happens. A lot.

My first novel was a fantasy about immortal beings who drew the life force out of their victims by kissing them. Sometimes I over-analyze this concept since I was fourteen when I came up with it and had never been kissed. Maybe I was fascinated by the idea. It did make writing kissing scenes a bit difficult since I really had no idea what it was like. But since it was a fantasy and there were more important things to focus on than the kiss itself, it made it a bit easier.

Fun fact, that is somewhat pathetic but you'll probably "awwww" for days over it: I didn't get my first kiss until I was twenty, and the person I had it with is now my fiance. I've never kissed anyone else.

So anyway, onto my current WIP. Since my characters are in a relationship where they can't have sex (one is 15 and the other is 28), but they're still attracted to each other, they end up kissing a lot. Like seriously, all the time. There's usually at least a short kissing scene in each chapter. The issue I find myself having is to keep each new scene interesting without it just being a repeat of the last one. I mean, there's only so many ways you can describe a kiss, right?

I think the trick is to mix it up a bit. Sometimes I'll write a page long make out scene, other times just a sentence or two to imply that it happened. Sometimes you want to give the reader what they want, other times you'll want to drive them nuts waiting for more. Luckily for me, a major part of the story is that the physical relationship progresses very slowly and methodically, so that, for example, the first tongue slip is a huge deal. So anything even slightly different from the last kissing scene is worth mentioning.

It's not all physical, either. You'll want to get into the character's head, too, examine how they're feeling while the kissing is happening. First kiss scenes can be particularly fun, if not also terrifying. That's where the thought process is going to be most important. The characters will probably be nervous and excited. And a first kiss isn't always perfect, either. Just do whatever works for your story and characters. If it needs to be sloppy and disappointing to create just a little more conflict, or to let down your character's expectations, then that's ok. But it's ok if it needs to be perfect, too. That earth shattering, heart stopping first kiss will always be fun to read about.

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  1. I wrote about kissing today, too. I love writing kissing scenes, but I write romance, so I guess it's supposed to have a lot of good kisses. I'm intrigued about the 15 year old and 28 year old. Interesting dynamic.

  2. I think kissing is totally subject to your genre, and then to your scene. It's easy to get carried away, but one of my favorite writing books talked about finding the heart of the scene and making it the heart of the scene, where all else is periphery. There's such a balance...

  3. Hah I have you beat. First kiss at 21 and now almost eight years later we are married. He's my only one. :D

  4. Kissing is the theme of the day LOL!

    It's funny, but even though I write romance--heavy books, I don't love writing kissing scenes because they can be quite hard to get right. The balance of action and feelings is tough to juggle sometimes!

  5. Don't feel so bad, my first kiss when I was in my mid 20's. Anywho, I don't write much in the way of kissing scenes. In my stories, kissing is done either as an afterthought or as a prelude to a major butt kicking.

    A-Z Challenge at Father Nature's Corner

  6. I've had some kisses that "drew the life force out." I suspect that's why so many make bad decisions in terms of their relationships, as in a 15 yr. old and a 28 yr. old being together,which is downright criminal. Literally. via A to Z Challenge

  7. In stories, I love the moment before the kiss as much as the kiss itself. In real life, I've had some kissing that had my mind more focused on my grocery list than the kiss.