Did yours deliver the fireworks you’d dreamed about or was it an awkward first attempt that didn’t live up to your expectations?
Even if you felt confident, because you’d practiced secretly with a pillow in your bedroom, I’m sure you wanted your first kiss to be memorable.
Of course, in many romance books, the first kiss is what we readers yearn for, root for, and skip long passages of dialog to find. Why? Because it will be one of the most memorable parts of the book. This is where the story changes, for better or for worse. And it’s also where the story touches the reader most, because as grown-ups, we can connect with that moment from our own personal experience.
Movies have deposited in our memory banks some of the GREATEST kisses of all time. One of my personal favorites is the first kiss from the film, The Princess Bride. When you read a sweet romance, isn’t this the kind visual imagine you want to conjure? Aah!
Then there’s the “superhero-saves-the girl-and-she’s-forever grateful” kiss. And no hero ever delivered an inverted, sexy smooch better than Spiderman. Don’t we all want to read about alpha heroes who sweep their heroines off their feet and into their wicked emotional web? Doesn’t that first kiss do more for our reading satisfaction than a full box of chocolates? Well, let’s not choose and do both. Shh!
Television, although mostly Rated PG, also teases us with couples who fight sexual tension, episode after episode, year after year, until the writers finally acquiesce and give us what we want. Like Ross and Rachel’s first kiss after years of being just FRIENDS. Of course, those who loved the show, suffered along with Ross time after time when his misguided infatuation, or unrequited love, sometimes both, would crush his self-esteem. But we’d root for him as he selflessly put Rachel’s needs before his own. At last, though, the writers gave us what we wanted, and we could all cheer for him when he finally got the girl!
Even Outlander fans flocked to their TVs and watched the STARZ series after the same name. Many already familiar with the classic, tuned in to find out how Hollywood would treat their favorite Highlander and his bride, going beyond their wildest imaginations to bring to life the wedding kiss between Clair and Jamie. For those who council in the affairs of the heart, could this kiss become an educators anatomy lesson? For as any romance reader will attest, the kiss is not about the physical description, as much as it’s about the emotional contention. The moment when the head talk becomes risk-taking reality.
Memories are sacred and unique to each of us, but we can all appreciate a great romantic first kiss. Authors, we will need to remember the importance of the first kiss and take the memories of our favorite first kiss moments, documented in novel, film and television, and let that inspire us to create something magical in our writing.
And readers, you shouldn’t accept anything less.