What is in a kiss? What does a kiss mean? Does it mean the same thing every time? What can you learn about your partner in a kiss?
You’d be surprised how much detail you can learn about a character, person, or scenario in a simple kiss. We’ve all done it. After a first kiss with a new partner, we relive it and analyze the heck out of it, right? If you’ve kissed someone, you’ve done it. It’s okay; It’s human. It’s normal.
This same idea can be applied to our writing a kissing scene. There is a lot we can learn about a character in how they kiss. The style they use, as well as for how long, who started it and so on, tell us a lot about them.
Let’s start with how you’re supposed to kiss. This is not something most of us think about. We just kiss someone, right? Well, there is really a ‘proper’ way to kiss someone. Most people don’t know this, and because of it, you can learn a lot about someone by the way the kiss.
The proper way to kiss is pretty much what film makers try to catch in a movie, live action or animated. Take a look at this picture here.
Alright, so it’s pretty straight forward. You see here that both parties here have their lips pressed together. Character A is kissing her upper lip, Character B is kissing his lower lip. This is the basic kiss.
Now how many of you knew that? Show of hands? …. Not many. I’m sure you kiss like this, but it’s not like you were ‘taught’ that.
Now there are many other kinds of kisses. like the French kiss, closed mouth and open mouthed kisses. All of them mean different things about the relationship and the character who starts the kiss. I’m going to cover just three today.
First, we’ll go over what I call the ‘single’ kiss. (There may be a more proper name for it, but I don’t know it. If you do, please tell me in the comments.) Then we’ll talk about the close mouth kiss and to end this post, we’ll talk about the basic or ‘pure’ kiss.
First, the ‘single’ kiss. This one we don’t hear a lot about. Mostly because you’d very rarely, if ever, see it in a movie. You do find it a lot in real life. You may have given or been given this kiss before.
Now don’t get the word ‘single’ wrong. It’s not called ‘single’ the because only single people get it or because after giving this kiss you become single. It’s single because it’s a very one sided kiss.
A single kiss is when character A, put both of his or her lips over both lips of character B. Now the big thing about this one, is that it is a very one sided kiss. Think about it, how is character B supposed to return that kiss? Her or her lips are trapped between his or her partners. They can’t really.
This kiss can mean a few different things. First is the character maybe an inexperienced kisser. As you read this, I’d not be surprised if a lot of you realize you’ve kissed or been kissed like this. It’s a newbie mistake. Though it feels wonderful if you’re character A. So this kiss could mean the character giving the kiss in experienced.
Something else it can mean, is that the character is only interested in their side of the relationship. They are only focused on the pleasure they get out of the kiss. A kiss feels better when there is more between your lips; a firmer object feels better to kiss than a soft one. Someone who is more experienced may kiss like this because it feels great if you are character A, but not character B.
A good example of a character who would kiss like this is Prince Hans from Disney’s ‘Frozen’. He is a character who likely would kiss like this, because he likely hasn’t had many lovers. Also because he is after Anna only to get the crown. So he only cares about what he gets from the relationship.
The next kiss is the closed mouth kiss. These types of kisses are normally short. This is the most common one to peck with, so a kiss on the check or the kiss you’d give a pet on the head. It’s where you don’t part your lips much, if at all, place your lips over either the top or bottom lip of your partner and make that little smack before parting. This kiss is often a sign of either a reassurance or flirty.
A good example is happily married parents. They’ve been together a long time through tough and good times. They use this quick kiss to say a quick, ‘I love you’, to comfort before talking more about a problem, to say a quick goodbye, ect.
You also will find this with a couple who are head-over-heels in love and showing each other off. It’s a good kiss to show off because it doesn’t distract you from everything around you, shows clearly you’re together, and requires little effort.
Last, but not at all least is the basic or pure kiss. This is the one I described at the beginning. When you’re reading a romance and character A kisses character B, and then it says character B kissed back? You ever wonder what that mean? It means the character A started the kiss, kissing either the upper or lower lip. Then character B returned the gesture and kissed the other lip. This is when you know both characters are engaged in the kiss. Think of the classic fairytale kiss. This is that kiss. (Your welcome for those who have never kissed anyone and now know how to do it right)
It actually is one of the purest kisses, because it’s a sign saying ‘I love you’, yet giving the other person a chance to accept, reject or suck in the kiss. It’s the true equal kiss. Unlike the single kiss where you are taking all the pleasure for yourself, the kisser is sharing the love and pleasure fully. The perfect first kiss, first sign of love, or the ‘do you love me?’ kiss. It’s the kiss that communicates the most.
So those are the three types I’m talking about today. Next week we’ll talk about French kisses, open mouth kisses, and also talk about what kissing the lower lip or upper lip consistently means.
So when you are writing a kissing scene between your characters, think carefully about it. Do you want to tell the reader what kind of kiss? Why or why not? How will that show the character or about the relationship forming?
Your challenge is to try it. Even if your current project isn’t at all romantic, try writing a scene with two characters kissing, either for the first time or after being together a while. Experiment with what you can tell a reader about them by now they kiss. Send me a link to read it. I’d be very interested to see how you all do. You can tweet me at it on twitter at @RealRMDonaldson or on my Facebook page. www.facebook.com/OfficialRMDonaldson