When we think of the romantic kisses we’ve had, I think many of us may agree we consider them a prelude to something greater. A beginning. As far as initiating physical relationships with our significant others, that initial kiss is often a first step. Foreplay, if you will.
In a romance novel, as far as I’m concerned, the first kiss is something much greater than a stepping stone to deeper intimacy. It is an explosion of awareness. In my books, it is generally the moment when the characters suddenly realize the person they are kissing is “the one.”
Momentous, right? One would hope.
In writing about a couple’s first kiss, it has to be about more than just two sets of lips becoming acquainted. Yes, there is an element of discovery there and it’s important to show that. The embrace might be tentative at first, as the main characters discover what their partners like. It might also be a savage kiss, fraught with withheld lust and a measure of frustration. Either way, the characters are learning about each other and hopefully learning about themselves as well.
For me, it’s also a turning point in the book and as I mentioned above, it’s all about awareness. It should be a catalyst. Very often in my stories, it’s the moment when the hero and heroine realize something has changed, not only in their respective worlds but in themselves. Going forward, all their actions will be impacted by that kiss and the emotions it inspired.
Emotion is always key in any love scene but certainly in this first physical union. I like to describe the kiss as a moment of surrender. It might be blissful or it might be vexing, but no matter what, it has to be life-changing for that character. The kiss should make the heroine understand there is more to the hero than arrogance and machismo. And the hero should come to realize the heroine is his match.
How does one show this? Again, emotion needs to drive the actions. Perhaps this is an opportunity for the heroine to confront a painful moment from her past. Maybe this could be a chance for the hero to look at an issue in a new way. It is an opportunity for development and should drive the characters toward that all-important fork in the road.
One can show how they feel by describing their physical reactions as well. Is her heart pumping? Are his hands shaking as he cups her cheek? Are her hands fisted at her side because she hates this man so much but can’t resist him? Does he dig his fingers into her hair, desperate to experience its softness?
Do you see what I mean?
The kiss changes the characters, physically and emotionally. If it’s done well, it might just change your reader too.