Wednesday, November 12, 2008

M'embrasse, s'il vous plait

Writing kissing scenes is hard. Really hard. I'll amend that. Writing non-clichéd kissing scenes is hard.

Because it's all been done. If you consider how much of the publishing industry is dominated by the romance genre, then remember that there's at least one kiss in every book...that a lot of written kisses.

Every heroine has looked deeply into the hero's eyes. Been there, done that. The fluttering of the stomach, something between romance and gas, also been done.

And Christian publishing prefers a certain amount of *ahem* discretion, so it's not like you can write a play-by-play. You're left with the heroine's tingling toe sensations, and you're back in cliché-ville.

I am whining because I'm trying to write just such a scene. Trouble is, my female protagonist really ought not to be kissing my male protagonist at the moment, so setting up this scene is kinda tricky. Ultimately worth it, because the ensuing drama will give me material for the next chapter, but writing it believably is a lot harder than you'd think.

Maybe it's the culture we live in. We don't kiss spontaneously much anymore. My grandmother has a story where she was working at the newspaper, and found herself in the photo darkroom with a coworker (I think it was a darkroom. Something like that. Some sort of small, dark, confined space). He leaned over and kissed her. Just like that. Can you imagine?

And because the culture is so anti-spontaneous lip action, it's making my job that much harder.

1 comment:

  1. When I was in high school, I wrote a 1940s detective story that ended with the hero getting a kiss "that would put a dustbuster to shame." I think it took a whole two days after I turned that in for it to get around to my parents and the school librarian. I've never been prouder of any other story.

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