Thursday, December 16, 2010

Let's Talk About Kissing!

This post has been percolating in my head for awhile and I think it's time I just get it out there!

So the other week when I was reading North of Beautiful and there was this awesome kissing scene, it made me wonder what, to me, makes it awesome. And on the other hand, what I think makes a scene not so awesome. Which, of course, made me wonder what you, my fellow book lovers, look for in a kissing scene.

The reason I loved this particular scene so much is first of all, the build up, and the anticipation of the characters. You know they'd both been dying for it, but had held off until the perfect moment. Also, I loved it because it was so simple and sweet, yet so deeply passionate at the same time. You know the kind of kiss I'm talking about here?  I wish I could quote that scene to you but there's two problems, the book is back at the library and it's way too much of spoiler. So you'll just have to go and read it yourself!

Other thing that I like are unexpected kisses, those ones that come out of nowhere and surprise the heck out of the characters! And most likely the readers too. So fun when that happens.

The setting is always fun too. In Secondhand Charm, the setting for the kiss is totally insane, and very cool. When Julie Berry came to our library and talked, she mentioned that writing this kissing scene freaked her out. She didn't have one in her first book (The Amaranth Enchantment) but then got lots of letters from fan girls saying they needed it! So in Secondhand Charm, she had to psych herself up for the kissing scene and then hope it come over nicely and not overly done, or too gross, or too creepy, or whatever she was worried about. As for me, I loved the scene she created and hope she continues to fight her fear of the kisses for future books!

That made me wonder if some other authors have issues with their kissing scenes. Maybe they get themselves too immersed in the story and it feels too real, or too awkward, or too wrong, making them really hard to write. I wonder how it goes for them. I wonder the difference between girl and guy authors... if they approach the whole kissing thing differently. I've not really analyzed this much, but I may have to now pay a little more attention.

Stuff that bugs me about the kissing thing is when it happens too soon, and all the fun of anticipating it happening is over. And then once it happens, it's ALWAYS happening so then it becomes old news. Some books just have way too much kissing going on, don't you think?

But then again, there are books that don't have enough and that too also bugs me! My biggest beef about Pride and Prejudice is "where's the kiss????" I want it said in plain words that it happened, not just allude to the fact that it probably happened! Sheesh. Many of the novels from this time period have this problem. I guess they had a hang about the kissing scenes, but I would love know how they would have described them.

Also I'm bugged if there's too much information, and you know what I mean, or not enough, for instance, "and then they kissed." Let's find a happy medium between those two places!

So now I want to know, how do you like your kissing scenes?
Sweet and simple or hot and heavy?
Few in number or all over the place all the time?
Do you feel they are necessary to make you satisfied with the development of a relationship?
Or would you rather there be no kissing at all?
Do you think there's a difference between how guys write them versus how girls do?
What are some of your favorite kissing scenes? 


  1. What a great post. To be honest, I love the anticipation and find that too much of the make out in books is just that too much. I also do like the alluded to embrace and kiss because then My own imagination can run wild.

    I have to admit though off the top of my head I cannot think of any example of a first kiss that sticks in my head, but now that you have effectively place the idea in my head I will be looking out for it.

  2. I love a good kissing scene. The thing that makes it good, for me at least, is the build up. If they start kissing out of nowhere, no reason at all, it usually falls flat. But if the author does tension well (I love it when, like in North and South or Graceling or Pride and Prejudice, the characters are at odds until they they realize they're in love), and build up well, then the kiss writes itself.

    That, and I appreciate having some things left to my imagination. Less is more in my book.

    (Oh, and I haven't seen Some Kind of Wonderful in a LONG time, but that's one of the really great kissing scenes!)

  3. In general, I think less is better when it comes to kisses, but not none at all. I think a hesitant kiss is a powerful kiss, but that usually only happens once in a relationship. I can't think of any book kisses right now, but one of the best movie kisses is your first picture--the kiss at the end of North and South. Swoon!

  4. Well, you probably could guess this about me. I hate early kisses. I hate early romances. You know, the soul mate at first sight. Yeah, right! I love the anticipation and build up. As for my favorite kiss...I'm more visual so mines a movie kiss. Catch and Release. BEST kiss ever. Very swoon worthy!

  5. I'll have to think about why I like certain kissing scenes in books and others not too much ...

    But I can tell you that that image from Some Kind of Wonderful that you posted is my all-time favorite kissing scene on film!

    P.S. I'm currently reading North and South, so I'm looking forward to that kissing scene.

  6. Great post, but honestly, I can't really define what I like about kissing scenes because I just love them. I mean, I do love the anticipation and the sexual tension between the characters. There's a part of me that doesn't want the kissing to happen because the sexual tension leaves. I can also say that I don't like graphic sex in books; the less the better because it leaves more to the imagination and it adds to the tension.

    One of my favorite kissing scenes was in Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare.

  7. Can I just say I agree with everything you say here? A well written kiss scene is probably more enticing to me than any other scene an author could write...

    Love that pic of Ron and Hermione! :D

  8. Wow, what a great post. Loved it and I’m sure it has something to do with that is one of my utmost favorite scenes in a book or movie. Everything leading up to it, as well as how it’s delivered and ends is of the upmost importance.

    My favorite is between long time friends, or a stubborn, refused to acknowledge attraction. But that moment HAS to be perfect. Has to be after the characters are well developed, and enough time has elapsed, often waiting until three fourths of the movie or book is complete.

    Thee execution of the kiss is just as important. It has to deliver as all that you anticipated. And when the kiss in completed, it also has to be perfectly handled. From start to the finished, it at any point one aspect of it isn’t handled correctly; it can ruin the entire affect. But when it’s done correctly, oh how it can live with you forever!

  9. Fun post.
    I appreciate the whole anticipation factor,and then there *must* be some sort of relationship brewing, and growing. I do however become a bit annoyed when there is not one kissing scene when it is hugly alluded to...usually though, that thought tends to rest with modern authors because I have no issues with the way these scenes or alluded scenes are written in classic books such as Pride and Prejudice or North and South. Those stories seem to have a different type of feeling to me. I do not like a lot of kissing, and make out sessions because I think it then takes away from the story, and growth of the characters. I like to have tension, anticipation, and that can not happen if it is always in your face.

    I have never thought about how an author can write a kissing scene, but I do wonder constantly about how they can write the sex scenes...that would be terribly difficult to do...more so because people I know would be reading the stuff.



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