That's right, you heard me....er, read that. I LOVE making out.
Well, I love writing about it at least.
Today, I was revising some chapters and I discovered a TOTALLY SECRET MAKE-OUT SESSION which two of my characters apparently decided to have, then forgot to tell me about. (Actually, I wrote it in the first draft when I was clearly half asleep, which was evident because I used "and" when I meant "had" and "if" when I meant "is" and other sound-alike changes that I always do when I'm starting to get too tired but am dying to type out just one...more...sentence. I guess my sleep-deprived self decided to let the characters OMGTOTALLYMAKEOUT, and then I forgot about it the next morning...until I read it today.)
The thing about this kissing scene, though, is that I decided a few weeks ago to take out all the kissing scenes between these two characters, and save them for the next book. For reasons I'm just not going to divulge here because I harbor delusions that you all care about spoilers or will even remember these tidbits when my book is published, I decided it was best to keep these two apart for the time being. But as I was reading it, not knowing that I had written a kiss in, thinking it was just a tender moment, I kept thinking to myself, "Oh, man, it would be SO PERFECT if they kissed here!!" And then BAM! They do! And it is kind of perfect, actually, even if it's maybe not totally right.
just plain embarrassing. I love the way I get all tingly inside when people are kissing on the page and I'm rooting for them because I knew all along it would happen, or because I never guessed it would. Kissing is awesome.
When I write kissing scenes, I try to think back to the great kisses in my life and describe them on the page to make everything sound more authentic. Then I might go through and change things to protect the innocent. I also have distinct kissing styles for each of my characters. One guy kisses and tastes a certain way, and the other kisses and tastes a different way. I have to make sure they are distinct and match the character, otherwise things are just going to get boring. And no one wants to read about (or participate in) boring kisses.
Writing kissing scenes can definitely be tough. When I emailed a group of writing friends about finding my super-secret kissing scene, I got a very diverse reaction about how much they loved - or didn't love - writing kissing scenes. And just because you enjoy writing about kissing doesn't make you instantly good at it (kind of like kissing itself...) One of my crit partners pointed this out to me. (Not because I was kissing her! Get your mind out of the gutter, people, and read on.) I sent her a chapter from my WIP to look at, a scene that involved some sexy kissing. I wrote about (among other things) sloppy kisses and raw lips, and overall I thought the scene was pretty sexy. It's funny how people have totally different definitions of sexy, though, because the notes I got back from her made it clear that she wasn't totally clear if FMC was supposed to have enjoyed the kiss, and that my descriptive words were not really getting across the va-va-voom of the whole experience. And she was totally right. When I reread it from her perspective, I almost laughed out loud. "Really, Heather? REALLY? This was supposed to be earth-shattering??? It sooooo isn't," was all I could think. So I rewrote. And it's way better now (I hope!)
I guess that's just another reason you need great crit partners. Because not everyone kisses the same way, and sometimes you need someone else to tell you how to be a better kisser.
What do you think about making out? Do you like writing kissing scenes, or do you dread them? As a reader, are they awesome, or not awesome? What is the appropriate length for a kissing scene, anyway? A paragraph? A chapter? 248 pages?