Then Mom asked me about writing kisses. She’s going great guns on her NaNoWriMo entry. The love scenes are slowing her up, so I guess I’m not the only one with the squee factor. She wrote, "They kissed passionately, ardently." And I said, "Show that". Which is where it got weird. She wanted examples. I wouldn't give her any. I suggested she do some reading, perhaps ask herself questions. How did it feel, physically and emotionally? What did they taste like? What physiological response did the characters have to said kisses? Did they want more, less? Did the kisses drive all other thoughts out of their minds?
I've been thinking about kisses for awhile. They are so huge both in real life and fiction. The first one has to be almost perfect. And if it's not, in fiction there better be something that makes the hero and heroine try it again. Every kiss means something. The first kiss, a kiss of anticipation and anxiety can taste like fear, or panic, even be over-eager, too worried about making a good impression to actually do so. Or the lead up that draws out the moment; breath mingling as mouths slowly come together, feather light touch of lips. Kisses can say so much.
So, Mom, I’m sorry I wasn’t forthcoming last night. This blog is an attempt to make it up to you. Just don’t read it while I’m in the room.
Here’s an example of a first kiss from Heaven Coming Down. Not a lot of description, mostly introspection but I think it sets up the situation between the hero and heroine. In the end, it is their kiss that saves the world so the first kiss needs to hint at that, even though poor Ki-ennu has no idea what he’s gotten into.
He could only think of one way to stop her from speaking.
Ki-ennu tightened his fingers in Gabriela’s braid, pulled her in close, and kissed her.
Her lips were smooth and sweet like the tender inside of a freshly peeled orange. He should have guessed that her tough exterior and acidic tongue would harbor such gentleness. Nothing with Gabriela was as it initially appeared.
Her hands came up to grasp his forearms, whether to push him away or draw him closer was unclear. Gabriela moaned.
The sound changed the tone of the kiss. Flipped a switch inside him as emotion took over from practicality. What had started as a way to prevent her from repeating the spell shifted to relief.
She could have died.
If her grip on the tree trunk had slipped, Gabriela would have fallen, impaled on a tree branch. It would have been an excruciating death. Her loss would be devastating, not only to the Quest, but to himself.
Ki-ennu pulled her in closer, tightened his grip as his tongue sought to banish the taste of fear from them both. He would shield her from harm, use his own body to keep Pzuzu at bay.
Her hands slid up his arms in a caress. Her mouth opened and Ki-ennu felt the kiss change again.
Gabriela pressed herself into him. She wound her arms around his waist, hooked her leg over his calf. She did not cling, nor devour, but met him head on, an equal exchange of passion and energy.
It was a kiss unlike any other.
With a woman unlike any other.
If this was how humans kissed, no wonder Inanna had been willing to forgo her throne for one. His mother’s sacrifices to be with a human suddenly made more sense.
Another moan, only this one came from him.
Stunned at the display of emotion she wrung from him, Ki-ennu wrenched himself free.