How to Write Hot Kissing Scenes

In a romance, it’s pretty much a given that someone is going to kiss. Whether it’s at the end, halfway through, or sort of awkwardly jammed in at the start, there will definitely be at least one. Sometimes it’s the final scene of the novel, used to cue the reader that happily ever after is around the corner.

These types of kisses—the kind that come at the end of the story—aren’t really good fodder for a hot kissing scene. They’re more of the time for a sweet peck and then the story ends. As in real life, a good kiss is all about the timing; it needs to come in a moment where emotions are running high and the characters and reader have nothing to do but fall into the kiss.

Perhaps the hardest part about it is the actual description. How can you go into detail about an act that essentially involves pressing your face against someone else’s? Well, as in any low action moment, you can focus on how it feels. You don’t need to describe every tongue motion—and you shouldn’t—but you can say something like ‘I wanted to move into him as much as it felt like he was moving into me.’ Or you can describe the heat of the moment as literal warmth emanating from the other person’s body (‘His touch seemed to ignite me, sending tiny echoes through my body’).

That brings me to another point, specifically one of the big differences between a hot kissing scene and a normal kissing scene. ‘Hot’ kissing is meant to arouse the reader, if only in a minor way. The language should change in order to serve this end. Words with a slight erotic undertone are perfect to use here: body, longing, lingering. However, you should still avoid overtly erotic words, unless you’re attempting to transition beyond a kissing scene.

A good kiss—or rather, a good description of a kiss—is sort of a love scene of its own. You have the initial shy contact, the passionate connection, and then one person or the other breaking away. If you want, you can even have them pull away for a single moment to give you an opportunity to describe the hungry look in their eyes.

Also, the more ‘present’ the reader can feel in a scene, the hotter it will be. They should be able to picture the details around them, but ideally described in a way that maintains focus on the kiss. ‘I fell back onto soft grass, pulling him with me’ is perfectly fine, but ‘there was grass all around us’ isn’t. The implication of random exploring is that the kiss must not be very good; while you should describe more of the scene than normal, it should always be in the context of the kiss.

The narrator inhales after the kiss and gets a surprising whiff of cologne, or throws a hand back to steady herself against the wall behind her. Every grain of wood stands out, highlighted by her heightened awareness of the kiss. Mentioning the details is great, but always in the right context.

In general, a hot kiss is quick. It shouldn’t last more than a page or two, but it should always leave the reader wanting more. It should let the reader really dig into the narrator’s mind and feel how they feel, see what they see. Allow them to be present in that moment.

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