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First Kiss as First Impression

I finished writing the first kiss in my current WIP (work-in-progress). For my first draft, I usually don’t mess around. I get the words out and move on and then fix it up during revisions. For some reason, I couldn’t do that this time. For me, the first kiss between the hero and heroine is pretty important. Sometimes, it’s the first time they act on their chemistry, other times, it’s a test to see if the chemistry is really there.

I finished the kiss scene and knew it was bad. When I mentioned it to my critique partner, her response was, “Oh, poor Elizabeth [heroine].” It took a minute for me to realize that she thought I meant the kiss was bad. I explained that it wasn’t the kiss that was lacking, but the scene itself; it didn’t hold the importance I thought it should. The conflict and emotional intensity weren’t there.

I couldn’t leave the scene as it was, so I went back and at least tried to fix it before going on. I know I made it better, but it’s still not quite “there.” It will be eventually, probably during long and torturous revisions. The experience got me to thinking about first kisses.

Personally, I think first kisses can make or break a budding romance. In one of my other manuscripts, my heroine, Quinn, goes out on a few dates and is bothered by men who can’t kiss. One kisses like a lizard, jabbing his tongue in and out. As she says, she doesn’t have time to teach a man to kiss. I’m in agreement (not that it matters, since I’m married, but you know what I mean).

I dated a guy in high school who was a great guy. He was really nice, had a job, a car, and treated me well. I don’t remember our first kiss, which isn’t a good sign. But he wasn’t a good kisser. He wasn’t a horrible kisser either; he was a sloppy kisser. Like he had too much spit in his mouth and couldn’t figure out what to do with it. It wasn’t the reason I ultimately broke up with him, but it was a factor.

In searching for a clip to include about kissing, I found lots and lots of first kisses that went well, which I’ll save for another day, since they’re so much fun. I did find this one, that covers the issue of bad kisses.

From Sex and the City:

Every time I watch it, I get grossed out. The man’s like a dog with his tongue all over her face. What’s worse, she goes back for more. I didn’t watch Sex and the City when it aired, so maybe this guy had some fabulous traits that this clip doesn’t reflect. I suppose anything is possible.

What do you think? Can you come back from a bad first kiss? I almost want to write a scene with a bad first kiss between a hero and heroine to see how it will play out.

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About Shannyn Schroeder

Mom of 3, editor, and contemporary romance writer

9 responses »

  1. Hahaha! That clip is something else. I can’t believe she went back for more. I agree that the first kiss in our book is very important. I had to rewrite that scene in my wip several times before I got it right. It’s also a disastrous kiss, and it’s the MC’s first kiss. I agree that first kisses can make or break a budding relationship. Great post!

    Reply
  2. Oh Lord. My first kiss ever was awful. There was no delicateness or anything. He just made this face (which I guess was his romance face, but just looked to me like he was going to vomit) and then went in with slobber and tongue and everything. Then afterwards, he goes, “You’ve never kissed before, have you?” So humiliating.

    Reply
  3. What a fun post! That vid was atrocious! My first kiss? Well, since I can’t remember it I would have to say he made no real impression either way. I guess that’s better than a bad one.

    Reply
  4. Back in my dating days, I recall two really bad first kisses. Neither of them ever got a shot at a second kiss. My first ever kiss was in the 8th grade. It was nice but not world ending. I’m glad it wasn’t one of those other two guyys.

    Reply
  5. Pingback: First Kisses « Shannyn Schroeder's Blog

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