How To Write A Kissing Scene: Write The Perfect Kiss In 3 Easy Steps

If you are writing a novel, you need it to be as realistic as possible, at least when it comes to the characters’ interactions. There will inevitably be at least one kissing scene when two characters fall in love. Whether you like it or not, these kissing scenes can make or break you as a storyteller in a love story that the reader will be invested in. Readers care about love, and they revolt when you cannot write a decent kissing scene.

This article will guide you on how to write a kissing scene that can compete with your favorite romance novels. After all, in a story, it is not just about the kiss—it is also about the start of a relationship, and often, that first tender kiss is what the rest of the written relationship is hinged upon.

How to Describe a Kiss and a Romance Scenes

Maybe you are a romantic at heart, and you can think of many ways to describe a kiss, regardless of what kind of kiss it is. It can be an awkward or surprise kiss or a steamy kissing scene, and you have got the words for it. However, this extraordinary kissing scene task that you have to write often sneaks up on an author. They quickly learn how stellar that smooch feels in real life is more challenging to write on paper that does not make the whole experience seem cliche and clunky.

Draw from Personal Experience

If you have ever played out a kissing scene in real life, think about it, and try a little bit of free writing. Put words to how it felt physically, emotionally, and psychologically. Maybe your first kiss was awkward, lips smashing into dental braces, noses bumping, dry-lipped fiascos, but there were almost undoubtedly memorable positive feelings you could draw on.

Think of kisses you have seen in movies or read in other books. What is that one heart-melting kissing scene in a movie that gets you every time? Maybe it was a sweet peck that hinted at an innocent feeling of attraction that could go somewhere deeper. Maybe it was a steamy lust-filled make-out session that hinted at the risque desires of the two people involved. Think of all of the words you would use to describe that kissing scene, and write them down.

Even if they do not apply to the particular situation between the characters you are writing about, keep that list of words and phrases that you will accumulate when you free write. It may come in handy down the road, in other stories, or even in the story you are working on.

How to write a kissing scene, write a good kiss

Consider the Situation

Think about the situation between the characters you have created. Do the kissing scenes seem like a good move between characters who have been flirty for most of the story? Or do they dislike each other, work on opposite sides, and cannot help but feel romantic tension when they are around each other?

Genuinely consider the situation to determine how best to describe the kissing scene. This is often an overlooked notion when trying to figure out how to write a kissing scene. Not every kiss is the same—not every situation is the same, and not every character is the same.

Look at how you have written the characters you are pushing towards each other romantically and the situations that you have designed to put them in. Now think about what sort of kiss these variables call for.

Words to Describe a Kiss

Kissing scenes are tricky because the words you choose matter. You do not want to sound like a sappy Hallmark card when writing the kissing scenes, but you also do not want to compromise the emotion and feeling that your story is starting to sound like a technical guide on how two people kiss.

As we have already discussed, the descriptive terms you write need to reflect the situation. It would be best to create enough imagery for the reader to “see” this kiss happen, believe that the kiss could happen the way you say it does, and invest in either something more than a kiss or things that will make them fall apart. It is all about the situation, characters, imagery, and intent. I know there is a lot to consider, so let us unpack them a little more.

Use Words That Create Mental Images

Consider the following example:

Michael leaned in towards Liz because he thought she wanted him to kiss her. He went for it and kissed her, and he could tell that she liked it because she kissed him back. The kiss lasted several seconds. Then they pulled away from each other and smiled at each other.

There may be worse kissing scenes than the example above, but probably not many. It is clunky, it overuses the word “kiss,” and it is a very awkward kiss at its very best. The reader cannot really visualize it. The reader is not experiencing it with Michael or Liz. You have to create that mental movie that takes over and plays in the reader’s head when they read the story. You have to give them words that describe the kissing scene in ways that make it feel real.

How to write a kissing scene, kiss scenes

We could do better with Michael and Liz. Consider the following example:

Michael had noticed the signs, the body language, and the look in Liz’s eyes as she sat across from him at the small table. He leaned across the space that separated them, and she did the same. He noticed she was breathing deeply, which reminded him that he wasn’t breathing. So caught up in the next move, he’d forgotten to inhale. Their lips met, and the moment Michael’s tongue pressed Liz’s lips, she parted them like a freshly split-open fig, welcoming him into the warmth of her mouth. Finally, she pulled away slowly, but Michael kept his eyes clenched shut for a moment afterward, not wanting to wake up from this dream he’d brought to life, savoring the moment.

Now that is a kiss. It is one that the reader can visualize, possibly relate to, and want to know more about. The audience will likely be far more interested in how these characters’ relationships would progress after reading the second example rather than the first.

How to Write a Kiss

Every romance novel has at least one kissing scene. Doing your research is a great place to start. Even if romance is not your preferred genre, grab a few, skim through, and look for scenes with apparent sexual tension that would lead to a kiss. When you write a kissing scene, you have to give your characters an opportunity. Put them alone together in some intimate space—a car, an office with a closed door, a hotel room, an elevator, or anywhere the characters can be alone for long enough for the reader to believe that a kiss could occur.

You can also write kissing scenes that are in the moment and unexpected. These work best when the characters have just been through something. For example, an attractive cop saves the witness from an attempted kidnapping or assassination, and there could be an unexpected kiss due to the high tension and energy of the situation. So a kiss that leaves the witness in deep astonishment afterward is appropriate in this situation.

1. Describe the Body

When you write a kissing scene, include the physical components without getting technical so it will not read like a medical journal. When you are nervous about an anticipated kiss or are caught off guard with a surprise smooch, your heart rate increases, which means you are breathing heavily. Say that in your scene.

We all know that your mouth has to move for a kiss to occur. Describe it. Lips parted, licked lips in anticipation, shaking lips, puckered lips—tell the reader what the mouth is doing right before the kiss takes place. These are some romantic moments the reader will remember and cling to. They want to know all about the perfect lips, touching each other’s lips. When describing first kisses, it is a requirement for the writer to write them as detailed as possible.

Think about the body’s involuntary actions while in the throes of passion or when experiencing happiness. You could say that the man groaned softly when his lips met hers, and the soft moans could be heard from the bedroom as they kissed. Did the body tremble when they kissed? If your characters remained standing for the kiss, was there a moment when someone’s knees weakened? Describe the events beyond the characters’ control because it amplifies the build-up of romance and suspense that lead to the perfect kissing scene.

How to write a kissing scene, just a kiss

2. Don’t Be Shy

Now is not the time to renege and blush. You cannot have a believable romantic encounter or relationship in your story if you are writing as a child astonished with adults doing such things as feeling attraction, having lust, or making out. If you find the experience uncomfortable, remove yourself from the situation and write from a different point of view. Characters and situations have nothing to do with you, so detach yourself from them and only see the scene through the eyes of the protagonist, antagonist, or person doing the kissing.

3. Powerful Words to Use

After you have thought about your own romantic experiences and made a list of as many terms and phrases as possible to describe a kiss, write out your scene, and then go back and read it.

Ask yourself if you could picture the kiss in your mind while reading it. The reader will likely experience the same if you, as the writer, are having trouble visualizing the scene. Remember that you are closer to your work than they are. You know what is happening and how the characters feel and want. The reader only has you to rely on to share the stories and experiences of your characters.

If you find that the scene lacks description, go through it and replace some of your words with those that can create powerful imagery. Here are some examples:

  • Arms wrapped around each other tightly, like black holes pulling each other toward their center.
  • His arms wrapped around her body, passionately holding her tight.
  • Make the characters tilt their heads towards or away from each other in the act of a willingness to kiss or a reluctance to give in to the moment. Then have the other character respond with appropriate body language.
  • Jaw clenched tight, body tense, etc. A kiss that can undo or melt a person like a summer rain is one of the secret weapons in writing romance.
  • Describe the eyes: blue eyes, gray eyes, brown eyes, amber eyes, etc. Make them darken or sparkle due to the kiss or anticipation.

Just Go for It

If anything, a kiss should be described well enough for the reader to imagine and anticipate that there is more to come. This scene is very important, but the rest is usually much easier once you get past it. This roadblock catches many writers up and gets them flustered. Readers want the human connection of characters, and kissing scenes give them that. If we could only write with such enthusiasm as the characters are expected to kiss.

Whether you are flowing loosely with the story or slowly moving intentionally towards a climactic romantic build-up that results in a kiss, it is literally true that once you get going and put your skills into practice, the rest gets easier. The character does not have to be a good kisser—you just have to be good at describing the kiss.

Remember the points given in this article if you need extra help. Remember that the whole body is involved in a kiss. Remember to be descriptive. Remember to use your memories as inspiration. And then just go for it. From the light touch that leads to a soft kiss in the rain to the toe-curling sloppy kiss that people stop and stare at like a car accident you cannot turn away from, you can write any kissing scenes you want. You just have to make it realistic and not skimp on the details.

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