The Power of the First Kiss
In the romance novel universe, few moments hold as much weight as the first kiss. A well-crafted first kiss can set the stage for the relationship, provide insights into the characters, and serve as a turning point in the narrative. I thought I'd dive into the irresistible allure of the first kiss in romance novels (not to mention the first "almost kiss") and why it remains one of the genre's most iconic moments.
The Anatomy of a First Kiss
In many stories, the first kiss is often a culmination of scenes of tension and anticipation. Characters may even have spent chapters—if not the whole book—circling each other, their opposing worlds colliding and their differences making the moment even more poignant. It's a classic case of opposites attracting, where the tension becomes so unbearable that it necessitates release.
The Power of Setting
The backdrop of the first kiss also plays a crucial role. Whether it's a serene lakeside, a bustling city square, or the privacy of a living room, the setting can amplify the impact of the kiss and further etch it into the reader's memory.
The Role of the Unexpected
A surprise element can also make a first kiss truly unforgettable. Perhaps one character interrupts the other's sentence with a kiss, or maybe external circumstances (a rainstorm, an interrupted duel) conspire to bring their lips together. The unexpected can add an exhilarating layer of excitement to the experience.
My Favorite First Kiss of All Time
When James Garner kisses Sally Field in the movie Murphy's Romance, I literally swoon. If you haven't seen it, search for it. When Murphy twirls Emma around on that soda fountain stool, kisses her thoroughly, and then sends her on her way, it's such a turning point of the story and leaves me with a sigh every time.
Sally Field has been quoted as saying it was her best on stage kiss ever....
I often think of that kiss, when I'm writing my own first kiss scenes.
And if that kiss scene doesn't grab at your heartstrings, then be sure to watch the ending, because that's when you'll get all the happily-ever-after feels.
His Forever Kiss
Claire stood facing the ocean, waiting at the top of the dune for a man she wasn’t even sure was a man. Had her imagination taken over in the face of constant stress and conjured up a mysterious lover?
On the slim chance he wasn’t a mirage, she would wait for him. Because if she didn’t, she had a horrible feeling she’d never again find happiness.
That emotion had eluded her lately. Everything else in her life was going haywire. She needed, desperately needed, something special.
An intense energy force enveloped them until she felt, somehow, they were no longer two people, but one. There had been no physical touch, no words spoken, no contact whatsoever, but the power of their silent communion was deafening.
With his finger still resting on her lips, he took one last step forward until their bodies were as close as they could possibly be without touching. Hooking one finger under her chin, he tilted her mouth toward his. Their gazes locked as his lips descended.
The kiss was sweet and powerful and passionate. His soft lips nibbled and tasted hers. She felt lost in a swirl of ocean currents and shifting sands and night mist. His tongue mingled with hers, and her breathing quickened. Her beating heart rivaled to keep time with the waves crashing the shore. As his lips departed from hers, she peered into his face—and panicked.
What am I doing?
The first kiss in a romance novel isn't just a simple meeting of lips, it's an event with the power to transform a story, define a relationship, and set the course for the remainder of the story, be it book or movie.