Writing Great Kissing Scenes
This week’s topic is Kissing Scenes.
Mom and Dad, kindly avert your eyes.
I have to admit this: kissing scenes are among my favorites to write. Who doesn’t love reading a good toe-curling, swoony kiss?
My favorite kinds of kissing scenes are the ones that surprise, manage to feel fresh, and utterly unique to the two parties involved.
Scenes that involve intimacy should surprise us. We are not always what we appear to be on the surface. People can posture, flirt, fight, ignore, but there’s a certain level of truth when lips touch that transcends artifice. Nerves are revealed. Passion. Hesitation. Experience. Kisses are as much about knowing someone as they are about revealing yourself, the self you are when social conventions slip away as the lights dim. Who are you really when desire drives your actions as your logical, rational mind?
A character can be shy, reticent, retreating, throughout the entire story, but a kiss that uncovers a take-charge, passionate side—that’s memorable for the reader. Interesting for the reader, because we see someone dimensional, someone who has contradictory sides to their personality, just like real people.
What about the “fresh” part I mentioned above? Tangible, sensory, unexpected details ground me in the scene, and they will also be unique to the characters. The snagging of a jacket zipper or the buzz of a cell phone in the background—those are what sell me on a kiss being “real.”
What about you? What do you think makes for a great kissing scene?
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