I've written couple dozen romance short stories, books, and novellas. Some have been published or will be re-released in second edition, some are yet to be published, but many, for a variety of reasons, will remain unpublished and tucked away in the File Dungeon deep inside my computer. Regardless of their published status, they all have one attribute in common.
Not just any kiss, but THE kiss—the first kiss.
I've written stories with simple plots to plots that take an Excel spreadsheet to keep all the details straight. I have a gunfight that includes a herd of phantom cowboys chasing a phantom herd across the sky. I can write a scorching love scene that will make your toes curl or a romance so sweet you'll sigh and murmur, ahhh. I've written a tragic love triangle that will have you grabbing for the tissues at the end. There's a 150k family saga languishing on my computer, because I love revisiting and rewriting the story so much, I can't bear to part with it (I know, it's one of those idiosyncratic author hang-ups.) Then let's throw in a steamy contemporary vampire/cowboy story for good measure.
But the kissing scene—the kiss that clinches the romance between the Hero and Heroine—holds me up every. single. time.
Writing The kiss can't be too detailed in the physical mechanics or it loses the romance of the moment, but neither can it just be "...and they kissed", at least, not for the first kiss. In whose point of view should it be? What is that character thinking, feeling, wishing or yearning for? Which one instigates the kiss? What's going on around them? What do they hear, smell, see? Where are their hands? Are they standing body-pressed-to-body or is there distance between them? Are they completely embracing or just 'holding' onto each other? Are the characters close to the same height or is one significantly taller than the other? It makes a huge difference where they put their arms and how they have to bend their necks to make that kiss happen. Are they standing? Lying on a bed? Leaning across a fence or side-by-side on horseback? And of course, the debate of tongue or no tongue, which can easily become an ewww factor, and yank the reader from the moment.
Here is the Hero and Heroine's first kiss from my forthcoming Prairie Rose Publications release, The Comanchero's Bride.
Ultimately, my goal in crafting THE kiss is to get as close to perfection as I can, because we all know since the invention of the kiss, there have only been five kisses that were rated the most passionate, the most pure. This one left them all behind.
Until next month,
Twitter - @kayespencer
Note: The Princess Bride gifs from giphy.com