Kiss And Tell November 14, 2011
photo credit greedoandhanblogspot.com
In honor of my first blog, I decided to write about that scene all YA writers and readers look forward to—that moment when the MC and the love interest have their first kiss.
The best written scenes are those when the reader has an emotional connection to the story and wants the kiss to happen just as much as the characters. But it should also be relevant to the plot.
Does the kiss signal the turning point for the MC like Cassia in Ally Condie's Matched. Or are there consequences from the kiss that drives to story forward. A good example is Bianca laying one on Wesley in The Duff by Kody Keplinger.
Even though both scenes were written completely different, they were both effective and relevant to the story. Sometimes as writers we get caught up in the choreography of the moment; reaching hands, moving lips, probing tongues...hold on who is holding what? Three paragraphs later you realise it's too much.
An excellent example of an effective kissing scene with hardly any description is Betsy Wickwire's Dirty Secret by Vicki Grant. She leads us into the moment, slowly creating a tender atmosphere. The dialogue is simple and sweet, but authentic.
The guy is 6'8 and he sits down on the bench, taking her into his lap. "You'll hurt your neck," he says. She takes off his glasses and he nods to his shirt pocket. Then with a brush of his hand through her hair, he asks, "Ready?"
YES! I certainly was.
Don't get me wrong I like the details as well. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins should win an award for 'kiss most felt while reading'. It's frantic, full of description and has HUGE consequences.
So, what can you do as a writer do to improve your kissing scenes? All of the above novels have three things in common.
1. Emotion (What is your MC feeling? What is at stake?)
2. Senses (Touch isn't the only thing being experienced by your characters. Don't forget about noise, smell, and taste.)
3. Set-up (Excellent dialogue leading up to the moment.)
A kissing scene is just that—a scene between your characters. Therefore, follows the rule for every scene ie: it should move the plot FORWARD.
Do you have any favorite kissing scenes?