By Mariana Wilson


Writing a kissing scene in a romance novel isn’t the easiest thing to do and a lot of novice romance writers seem to get intimidated by the thought of it, as the great number of online searches point out. If you are looking for a magic formula or a recipe for perfection, you’re not going to find it in this article. Writing a book involves hard work and there’s no magic formula that can do it all for you. However, there are ways to make it easier. Here are a few aspects each romance writer should consider before attempting to write a good kissing scene.


1. Each romance novel is different. It has its own unique fragrance and yours has a bit of you in it. Did I say “a bit”? I rephrase: a lot of you in it. So that’s where you’ve got to start: in you, with you. You can seek inspiration from other writers but never try to copy what they have done. Start from your personal experience (and that includes your “kissing” experience). You must have felt or experienced something no one else has. Look for that little spark of uniqueness and try to put it into words. Preliminary Exercise: before you start writing the kissing scene for your romance novel, take some time to describe in detail your own best kissing experience.


2. The kissing scene is not an isolated episode, something you just throw in because you know it’s got to be there. It’s the effect of many causes, the organic outcome of a whole range of physical and emotional factors. That’s why a good kissing scene will always have continuity with the rest of the story. Lead your readers on a path. Take them on a journey and make everything flow naturally. Nothing is worse than a scene that seems out of context or is inconsistent with the rest. Preliminary Exercise: make a short outline of all the little events that lead to the kissing scene.


3. Decide from the very beginning just how far you want to go. A good kissing scene – a love scene in general – does not have to abound in graphic details. After all, romance is not pornography. Ask yourself this question: do you want to go for subtlety or for a cruder approach? Do you want to go for soft tenderness, for violent passion or for both? In a complex kissing scene, the protagonists can be carefully led from one to the other. Preliminary Exercise: Write down a few keywords – no more than 5 – that describe your kissing scene (e.g. tender, sweet, violent, passionate, unexpected, strong, timid, stormy, sensual, liberating, etc.)


4. The setting plays a huge role in a romance novel. A good setting adds richness, credibility and magic to your scene. Like in a painting, every tint of color is important. Like in a symphony, every note matters. Colors, textures, smells, sounds – they all work together to create a rich tapestry that captivates and engages the reader. Preliminary exercise: Close your eyes and descend into the world of your novel. Imagine yourself in the place where the kissing scene is going to occur and describe everything as if you were there. Go for the most insignificant and minute details. If necessary, go on several journeys and come up with something new every time. Write it all down.


5. The next step is bringing your hero and your heroine into the picture. After all, they are what your story is all about and the main reason why your readers keep flipping the pages. Think of how they got there. Return to the same place again but this time try to visualize them as part of the scenery. See their faces, clothes, gestures, moods and attitudes. Describe them all in detail. Focus on their feelings and emotions. Try to identify with each of them and to help the reader identify with them as well. Preliminary exercise: Type five sentences describing your hero and another five describing your heroine in this context.


6. Involve all the five senses in your description. There are not enough words to emphasize the importance of the sensual element in a romance novel. Focus on what your protagonists can see and hear, but also on the olfactory and tactile element, on what they can taste, smell and touch. Try to avoid clichés, go for fresh and evocative images. Don’t run away from metaphors and similes, but use them wisely and stay away from the obvious. Challenge your imagination to come up with something more unusual (e.g. rather than saying “her lips tasted like honey”, say “her lips tasted like hot mulled wine” or “her lips tasted like orange, mango and cinnamon tea”, or “her lips tasted like milk coffee with a touch of Baileys”, whatever, you’ve got the idea. Preliminary exercise: Find two original similes for each one of the five senses.


7. Focus on the protagonists’ movement and gestures, but also on their sensations, feelings and emotions. Every exterior movement should have an inner counterpart. Everything that happens “outside” should generate an echo “inside”. (e.g. “His lips gently brushed over hers. Her heart was beating wildly.”) Preliminary exercise: Create two columns: one with “outside events”, the other with “inside reactions”.


8. Building sexual tension is another decisive factor in writing the perfect kissing scene. Delayed fulfillment triggers a stronger emotional response in the reader. Stretch it as long as you can, take the tension to the point where it becomes unbearable. Does the love of your protagonists grow from a timid flicker to a full blaze? Prolong that process; make your readers crave for more… Press the “stop and start again” button. For instance, you can let the kiss begin softly, tentatively, with the lips barely touching, as if the lovers were looking for each other in the dark. As the desire grows stronger, they go through a sequence of clinging and letting go moments. They lose and find each other time and time again. With every step, the tension builds up and the atmosphere gets steaming hot. So when the kissing scene finally reaches its climax, the reader will feel fully rewarded.


Mariana Wilson is the author of Eliza’s Writing Jug, a blog offering free writing tips and creative writing prompts for writers and bloggers who are seeking inspiration online. To read more of her articles and get creative writing ideas, visit


Article Source: How to Write a Kissing Scene in a Romance Novel