“Kiss Me Like You Mean It”: 3 Tips for Writing a Better First Kiss

“You should be kissed and by someone who knows how.”

Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind  

There’s nothing like a first kiss. Right? Especially when it turns out to be everything you’d expected.

But what happens when it falls flat?

When writing my WIP, Follow Me, I wanted the couple’s first kiss to be spectacular. A moment where the reader feels the kiss right along with the characters.

kiss in the rain

Unfortunately after reading the first draft, my scene didn’t evoke any kind of emotion other than BORING.

So before revising, I needed to determine what was missing. I reread the first kisses in several of my favorite novels and found a common theme.

Here’s a list of 3 things that made these scenes memorable.

  1. Setting: The location played a huge role in the entire feel of the scene. It increased the urgency of the kiss, and in some cases, added more conflict for the characters.  Just think about the emotions evoked with a kiss happening in a dark alley, a life or death situation, or maybe in the pouring rain.
  2. Senses: My favorite scenes engaged many, if not all of the senses. The writer described the character’s surroundings, such as the scent of cologne, taste of minty toothpaste, the textures against the skin, or even a song playing in the background.
  3. Type: The best ones didn’t involve the average peck on the lips. The type of kiss had a specific meaning and was packed with emotion, like a passion-fueled “I love you/I hate you kiss” or a sweet forehead kiss.

Bonus Tips:

Videos are a great resource for choreographing character body language during a kiss. Beware. This proved to be really tough work.  Can we stay steamy?

I also found several helpful websites for writers.


Ways To Describe a Kiss in Your Writing

So I’m dying to know, what are your favorite types of kisses to read about or write? What made a kiss in a particular novel or movie memorable for you?

STaylor photo

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12 Comments Add yours

  1. Hi Stephanie, Excellent tips! I’m bookmarking this post for future reference. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. S.A.Taylor says:

      Thanks, Joanne! So glad you liked the post.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Hey, Stephanie. Oh my the first quote had me. I remember reading GWTW in 8th grade. Wow! I’ve shared. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  3. S.A.Taylor says:

    Hi, Marsha! I had the same thought when researching quotes for the post. Loved that scene. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Love this post, Steph. You come up with the best topics 🙂
    For me, it’s all the angst surrounding a great kiss that makes it special. One of my favorite scenes came in the Spiderman movie when he saves her life in a dark rainy alley, then runs to avoid detection but can’t quite leave her. He drops upside down on the wall to talk to Mary Jane and she rolls his mask down enough to kiss him. And oh what a kiss!
    The thing that did it for me in this scene is the vulnerability shown by our masked hero. He allows her to uncover his secret (his identity) and she repays it by only showing his mouth, even though she must be dying to know who he is.
    Here’s the link if you’d like to relive the moment 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. S.A.Taylor says:

    Thanks, Jacquie! Wow! I’d forgotten how amazing this scene was until watching it again. Indeed, perfection. Now if I could only put this depth of emotion into words 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Kathryn Jane says:

    Great post, Steph! Some of my favorite firsts are emotional forehead kisses! Done well they have me anticipating the next move 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. S.A.Taylor says:

      Thanks, Kat! Love those forehead kisses.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. N. N. Light says:

    What a great post! Romance is my favorite genre and for me as a reader, I love the emotional roller coaster ride leading up to the first kiss. It’s not so much about setting that clinches it for me but the unstoppable need to press lips together, like a magnet. *swoon*

    As a writer, I want the first kiss to be amazing so I obsess about it. I close my eyes and envision the whole scene from both points of view. Then I write it down as soon as I can (so I don’t lose it). I ask all my beta readers and my husband (over and over) until I get it just right.

    One of my favorite first kissing scenes is from Jude Deveraux’s A Knight in Shining Armor. Total swoon-worthy moment. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. S.A.Taylor says:

      Thanks for the read and reply, N.N! I agree completely and love the building of tension. I will definitely add the book you mentioned to my TBR list. Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. carrienichols says:

    Loved this post!! Thank you so much!!

    I’ll second Kathryn Jane on those forehead kisses. I also love the temple or top of the head kisses. I think they’re full of emotion because they’re not inherently sexual just full of affection.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. S.A.Taylor says:

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing, Carrie! BTW – it was great to meet you at RWA.


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