Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I Love Making Out

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.

I thought about taking it out. Part of me still thinks I should. I'm telling that part of me to shut it right now, and will see what my crit partners think when I hand it over to them. Because the fact of the matter is, I love kissing scenes. I love reading them and I love writing them. I love that moment when you know there's going to be a sexy kiss and then it totally happens and you just want to smile and jump for joy. I love (to hate) the moment when you think there's going to be a sexy kiss and then it doesn't happen for reasons tragic or 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?


  1. Well, not big on it myself but writing is different. lol

    I struggle with writing kissing scenes because they are becoming boring and repetitious. When writing romance and erotica, stuff like that happens all the time. It gets hard to write the same type of scene in a new and exciting way.

    I can't even imagine a whole chapter spent kissing. Wowza.

  2. I. Love. Making. Out. Man, I love it so much. I love the build up to the moment, and then the characters just getting lost in it. It's so much fun to read and so much fun to write. I'm seriously rushing through my re-write so I can get to the making out. That's the good stuff.

  3. I love reading and writing kissing scenes--sigh. If it fits and is written well they can be 248 pages. Wow! I am just imagining that. I love the almost kissing scenes too--the tension build up then the pull away. I have to go and write some scenes:)
    You started my day with a smile;)

  4. I love writing about passionate kissing, but I'm about quality over quantity, so I don't have too many kisses in my WIP.

    My main concern is writing the scenes so they sound natural, not cliche. That is a slippy slope, because I want it to sound sexy and lusty, but not cheesy.

    I'm getting close to a huge kissing scene in my WIP, and man, I'm sweating about it already. I want to get it just right.

    And I love that you assign your characters different kissing styles and tastes! I think it may be harder for me, because the only person I've ever *truly* kissed is my husband, so that's all I've got to go on. I really have to use my imagination here.

    Love this post!

  5. LOVE kissing scenes! Love them to pieces! Love it! They are a blast to write, read, think about, and act out in real life. I say more kissing scenes!

  6. I love me a good kissing scene! I like writing them, though I'm not sure mine turn out as well as I planned. Kissing scenes, I believe, shouldn't last an eternity. Maybe 2 to 4 pages?

  7. I don't right them, but I love reading them! :-)

  8. Sigh. I like them too. Nothing makes me madder than reading a story in which the writer cops out with "and then we kissed." Argh. I want an evocative sentence at the very least! I've read an occasional scene in which a kiss lasts two consecutive paragraphs, and others in which the makeout session is punctuated with dialogue. Those work well. A whole chapter strikes me as a stretch, and likely to fall prey to overwriting.

    The amount of kissing is of course dependent on how important the romantic plot is to the overall story. I have only one brief one in my first book because the romance is a subplot.

  9. I love reading kissing scenes, especially ones laden with UST and long a-coming. I especially love kisses that make my heart ache and want more. As a writer, however, I dread them, because the ones in my head are always so much better than ones I write down. :]

  10. Kissing scenes are SO much fun to write, especially in YA! Cute kissing, crappy kissing, hot n heavy kissing --- I love it all! I love making first kisses a little imperfect, like an awkward nose bump or something, and no matter what, I try to make it realistic. The hottest guy isn't necessarily a great kisser -- or even a good one. And since tongues and saliva aren't the most attractive things in the world (and it can be weird to describe literally), I always focus on the little things that give you a tingle in your belly and make a kiss truly amazing.

  11. I love reading and writing them! I swear they hold magical powers. And I don't think you can go wrong with a kissing scene! : )

  12. I struggled with the mechanics of a love scene I wrote for my novel. It was actually two love scenes that I was writing about that were happening simultaneously. One was a really angsty and angry sex scene while the other was a lyrical and soft love scene.

    But man, the mechanics of it. Contrasting two styles of kissing, the position of hands and bodies, legs etc...it was tough going. Not to mention, steaming...

  13. I love writing kissing scenes. My two MC's take forever to actually kiss. The first time I wrote the scene it was like five pages long--not the actual kissing--but the parts leading up to it and then the kissing. I was so frustrated waiting for them to kiss that it was total overkill. lol...

    It has since totally changed and been cut down. I think it's just a few paragraphs now--but I still loved writing it. :)

    And I agree with the person that said they hate it when the writer just says, "they kissed." Aaaarghhh...

    I LOVED Harry Potter--some of the best books ever. My only complaint about them was that kiss between Ron and Hermione. I waited a good four out of the seven books for that kiss to happen. It was kind of a letdown.

    Then, in the next part it's like nineteen years later and they're married with kids. I was like, "What??" I wanted to see them kiss more. lol.

    Oh, btw, my name is Callie. I found your blog through YALIT. I love it! :) You gained a new follower. Anyway, just thought I'd introduce myself. It's nice to "meet" you...


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