Monday, February 17, 2014

Writing Kissing Scenes by C. Lee McKenzie

C. Lee McKenzie, one of my amazing AZTechs for the A - Z Challenge, has graciously accepted my offer to share a guest post on Writing Tips today. I’ve known Lee for quite some time now, and even had the pleasure of reviewing Lee’s debut book, Sliding on the Edge. Of course, Lee’s written several more books since then. She also keeps up with her blog, The Write Game. Take it away, Lee.

by C. Lee McKenzie

Thanks for inviting me to Guest Blog, M.J.

Since Valentine's Day just happened, I thought I'd post about the kiss in love scenes.

For me and for many writers, these are often difficult to write, especially the steamy kind. And I don't mean to confuse love scenes with sex scenes at all. They are different, but love scenes do have degrees of passion. And I think the problem I have writing the more passionate ones has to do with the fact that readers so often ask me if my stories are autobiographical. 

"Not exactly, but kind of," is my hedgy answer.

And then they give me the look, and I know they're remembering something I put down in words, probably something "revealing," like that heavy petting I let that last character engage in.

Anyway, love scenes are important, and they can enhance a story when well-written. So how can you use the kiss to develop a more engaging and exciting moment for the reader.

* Since the two most important factors in a great love scene are tension and tenderness (Stein,1995), the kiss is a perfect act to capture both. 
First, postpone that kiss as long as possible to create the tension you want. If you want the guy to be simpatico and the girl interested but cautious, here's one way to show that.

Eric pulled Megan close and cupped her chin in his hand. "You are so beautiful." He leaned over her and his breath brushed her cheek.

The door opened and flooded the bedroom with bright light and the thumping beat of music from downstairs. A kid with a hoodie froze in the doorway. "Hey, sorry, man. Thought this was the bathroom." He backed out, but left the door ajar.

Megan tugged her sweater down and started to leave when Eric grabbed her arm. "Stay."

She pressed the door closed and let him gather her into his arms again. "Maybe we need to take this a little more slowly, okay."

"Okay." He held her close, resting his cheek against her hair.

* The kiss is a great way to characterize your couple.
Lena let him pull her close. His kiss started with soft pressure, then he took her lower lip between his teeth. She jerked her head back. Nobody had ever bitten her lip before. She wasn't sure she like it.

"What?" he let her go and stepped back, glaring.

* Enhance the love scene by focusing on the sensations and emotions of the kiss.
I leaned into him, feeling the warmth of his chest and the steady rhythm of his heart. His kiss came like butterflies on my lips.

Then he held me away and smiled. "I have more. Tell me when you want it."

"Now would be a good time." Then I lost myself in his kiss and this time the butterflies demanded much more of me.

I'm not a romance writer, so I have limited knowledge of this romantic scene business, but I'm practicing. Let me know what you do with the kiss in your love scenes.

Thanks again for your guest piece, Lee. And thanks to all of you for visiting and commenting on Writing Tips today. 

Oh, and don't forget to sign up for the A - Z Challenge. Lee and I will both see you there! We've also got a special post for Jeremy Hawkins there today. Be sure to read the blog and leave a comment, please.

M. J.

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