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  • Leonora Seitz

Writing kissing scenes that won't make you cringe

Updated: Mar 2, 2021

How many times have you watched a movie full of so much crap and poorly executed scenes just for those three seconds at the VERY END? (I've literally watched a two and a half hour movie that was terrible just for the kissing scene at the end, DON'T JUDGE OKAY.)

I have.

Too many times. 

Hopeless romantic over here!

The kiss or kissing moments are a major thing when it comes to writing romances within your book. Whether your book is strictly romance, or it lingers within the undertones of your thriller novel, it's always important.

If you are having a hard time writing a kissing scene, here are a few things you might want to take into account before writing it out.

- Tension TENSION

The more you build the more your readers will freak when your couple finally kisses for the first time. Sometimes instant chemistry is good, but making tension always makes the moment more appreciated. I have a habit of making so much tension my readers are wound up like a spring, but that's all up to you! Whether you make them hate each other first, or enemies, or just best friends; it can make readers root for them and create a more detailed foundation for that relationship to build on and grow.

- Don't forget your surroundings! 

Creating the setting of the moment can be a big deal and add so much more energy to hype up the moment. Whether they are slow dancing to a piano in a crowded room of people or stealing a kiss as explosions blast in the background, make it exciting! Paint a wonderful picture readers will want to go back to and read over and over again. Sometimes building it up helps with making the moment more monumental, because you can add bits of information as the moment happens. (Ex: The sound of gun blasts fell away as her lips brushed against mine, the chill in my bones from the winter air was gone and all I felt was her heat.)

- Physicalities are just as important as mental ones.

Inner monologue is something everyone has, even in day-to-day life, so why would your character not have any? Not only explain the emotion but what is your character thinking? Are they questioning it? Are they not wanting it? Doing this is important, just as important as the physical aspects before the kiss. Don't just lay down a simple sentence like ' he drew me in as we regarded one another.' Think deeper, dig into your mind and pull out aspects of a kiss people don't normally think of.

(Ex: The tips of my fingers tingled as I skimmed them against his forearm, feeling the electrical current that was slowly growing between us. My breath shook as I felt his breath against my forehead, slowly, I lifted my head to find him already watching me. His hand caught my elbow, his thumb stroked the skin there and I couldn't hide the shiver it gave me.)

- Don't forget about the kissie

If you are in the first person, you are the kisser, but you can't forget about the kissie. Explain what they might be doing during this scene, and how they are reacting with body language. If they are surprised, they could be stiff or still. If they are uncomfortable, they could be pushing away. It takes two to tango, don't forget the other partner's feelings within the moment.

- Similies are your best friend

I used them all the time, they are one of my favorite things when it comes to writing. If you don't know what a simile is, by definition it is a figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind, used to make a description more emphatic or vivid. His lips were like Lillie petals against my lips. The feel of her hands was like dancing with a hurricane. Comparisons give us a better picture and make things sound more artistic and beautiful.

- You have five senses, use them

It's not just about touch and feel, there are other senses you have that can add detail and excitement to your scene. Smell is something we humans are big on and often can recall memories by a specific smell. If your MC smelt gun powder, or perfume, that will stick with your readers or your character. Sight, of course, can be used to describe how the kissie looks, how beautiful they are, and their emotions. Sound is another that can help make the moment distinct, if there is the sound of a specific song playing that melts away, or the sound of cries or clapping. Taste is a big one you can use that your character can recall later; the taste of whiskey, or of coffee, or candy. People's mouths often have a taste, as weird as that might sound.  Use it.

-Is there such thing as too mushy?

No. I believe that depending on you, and the direction of your book, and your characters, nothing is too mushy. Play it to your characters. Play it to how comfortable you are. Some writers can write extremely explicit scenes, and they make it sound so amazing you're basically drooling. Some just make it simple, because that's what they are comfortable with. It's really at your discretion. I personally like all kinds of levels, but it's hard to make them explicit because I'm awkward and I get awkward when I write them.

- Leave the reader wanting more

You can give your kisses a beautiful ending, with a soft stop and a cute saying, or, you could be like me and rip it away like the devil you are! Readers won't admit it but they do like those random moments where they get to have a heated kiss and then someone walks in, or they have to stop because of some unknown danger. Leave them wanting more! Leave them waiting, begging for the next time your characters will get a moment alone together! It will make people read faster, looking for that moment!

I hope some of these helped, and if you have any questions feel free to ask, I would love to help. Sometimes these scenes can be hard, but if you run through it a few times, and add a little of each of these points, you should have a pretty good scene.

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