A couple of minutes into the kiss, he pulled back and asked, "What are you doing?”
“Licking at the roof of your mouth. It’s what a character in a book was doing.”
“Stop. It’s weird.”
A few days ago someone asked me what I was having a hard time with lately when it comes to work. I’m a complainer from a long line of kvetchers and so if anyone asks what bugs you about your job, I’m on that answer like nobody’s business. I can get very creative with the things that get in my way, ruin my day and try to ruin my brilliant career.
My answer was a simple, “composing a kiss.”
Surprised me, too.
I’m trying to improve my kisses. Not my real one--although, at least the smirky remarks about research aren't so far off target.
Hey, my real kisses are fine, but I decided my fictional ones could use help. They bored me so I thought maybe I could put some new element of something in there.
Seriously. Sex is okay for me to write. maybe because once the characters are that far along, the tension is going to kill them if they don’t get into each other, pronto.
But kisses are more difficult for some reason. I think it’s because they’re kinda…weird. Actually think about the action of kissing for a while and the whole thing becomes odd, or gross, depending on whether or not you’ve been spending time around 10-year-olds. If that’s not enough to squick you, you might recall it’s based on what we all did as babies, nursing. Never mind, we’ll just skip over that part.
When I write, I want to see and taste everything as carefully as possible and from every angle—it’s a way to make things more vivid. Look at old actions in new ways, observe more closely. And if I can, grab my husband to see if he can help with research. Usually that sort of activity gets the thumbs up around here. Funny that when it came to the kissing experiments, they didn’t go over so well.
“What the heck was that?” He pulled away and rubbed his hand over his mouth.
“Lapping at the inside of your lip and your teeth. I read it somewhere.”
“No. And, look, I don’t mind the lip nibble but no more bites.”
I want to write a good kiss. And how many times can I use words like deep, wet, lingering, hungry, sweet, greedy….
Um, well. Apparently some buzzwords are fine and I don’t mind using some of those, but honestly, the kisses run together, bunch of same old, same old face sucking.
So heck, how can you make a kiss unique and not remind readers that characters are slurping around inside each others’ mouths which is …kinda odd or gross.
Stroking, dancing or mating tongues, eh. Not my favorite. Tangling tongues, I get an image of a knot and the kissers in trouble, stuck together.
I went looking for other people’s best fictional kisses. And was reminded once again, duh. It’s all of it at once--the effect of the kiss on a character’s emotions or the rest of the body--along with some description of the action.
Don’t need nearly as much tongue dancing or prancing or dodging when you’re writing about how the hero’s mouth on hers is arousing and terrifying the heroine at the same time. And the dancing tongue you might add into the mix is so loaded with emotion and tension—let’s just say at least it doesn’t pirouette around on its own.
The best kisses are a complex, rich balance of emotion and sensation as well as a description of the actual slurpy stuff. Voila, you get a plain ol’ garden variety kiss heated into something magnificent.