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.