"My book is in a different genre, not romance, but there is a romantic angle. While I have read books with a kiss at the end, I have no idea how to write it. what should a writer do when they have to write a kissing scene yet they have never yet been kissed? I figured people who are writing in this genre might be able to help so I'm asking you. Plus I'm not sure about writing sex scenes. My friend says if there's kissing there should be sex but I'm not sure I want to be writing sex. I've never done it before and my book isn't romance. Should a story with a romance in it include sex scenes? "
Never done it before. You know, because you wrote this in a grammatical ambiguous (and incorrect) way, you leave it open to interpretation. Are you saying that you've never had sex before and therefor do not know how to write sex because of it? Or are you saying you've never written sex before? While you always need to check your grammar, romance is a genre where you doubly need to be on your toes. Misplaced words can lead to hilarious situations. But anyways, as you said you've never been kissed, or at least implied you have never been kissed, I'm going to assume you also meant to say you've never had sex thus don't know if you'd be able to write it.
In any case it sounds to me like you are uncomfortable about the idea of writing sex and therefor you should not feel obligated to do so. No, sex is not required for romance. Shocker, but about 62% of romance novels DO NOT have a single sex scene in them.
Quick Facts About Sex Scenes:
So don't go thinking you have to put sex in your story.
Outside of the Twighlight Manor series, I tend to avoid sex scenes. Inside of the Twighlight Manor series you'd think it was perpetual Ratzin mating season. I'm told I'm very good at writing sex scenes. I’m also told I'm pretty good with the kissing scenes too, though they are rare in the Twighlight Manor series.
I've written many stories (yes even Twighlight Manor ones) which never even mentioned sex at all. The closest I ever came to writing sex into my sex-free stories was saying something like: “…and she spent the night at his house.”
I never said which room she slept in. She could have slept on the couch or they could have had sex. I never said they did, but I never said they didn’t either. I left it up to the reader to decide if they had had sex or not. I feel it’s better to leave things like sex to the readers imagination. This is what is known as "fade into black". It's when two characters are left alone and the author leaves it up to the reader's imagination whether anything happened between them or not. If you don't want to write sex, but you feel you should imply sex happened, than "fade in black" is the way to go.
Okay, so sex out of the way, let's get on with the kissing stuff, shall we?
How to write a kiss scene in your not-quite-romance story?
When it comes to kisses I don’t like bogging my readers down with long narratives (I do enough of that in my non-fiction articles!) It’s a case where I write what I know and let my readers fill in the rest with their imagination. When writing a kiss scene, I add in tiny details like instead of saying:
They kissed under the willow tree.
He kissed her passionately.
They kissed under the willow tree. It was her first kiss. It seemed to last forever.
I only added one or two little words to each sentence. That’s it. But it changed the whole picture in the readers head. Nothing big. Just little things.
Another thing that goes over well with readers is to get inside the character’s head. Show don’t tell.
They stopped under the willow tree. Esmerald pulled Pippi close and kissed her long and hard. She felt the world disappear around her. Nothing else mattered. No one else existed. It was just the two of them alone in the universe. He had kissed her. Her first kiss. She hardly believe it. Pippi wondered now if it had only been a dream.
~From: The Ruby Hummingbird
(Twighlight Manor series 2007)
It’s short. It’s quick. It’s simple. It doesn’t stop the flow of the
story. It doesn’t describe the kiss. It doesn’t tell. It describes how
she felt as she was being kissed. It shows.
Whatever you do, keep it short, keep it simple, keep it familiar, let the reader interpret the minor details themselves, and you’ll write a book that’s easy to read and seems familiar to your readers and your readers will love you for it.
Remember that mood is important when you write a kiss scene. Before you write a kiss you first want to build up atmosphere. Talk about the cool gentle breeze, the soft twinkling stars above, pink dolphins flying overhead ... wait, what? Pink dolphins you say! Quick! Quick! Somebody stop them before they reach the portal! Hmmmm.... too late, they're gone. Where was I?
That said; being kissed can be the most amazing feeling in the world, if the guy it “the one” and not “just some guy”. Soft lips, wet tongue, warm skin, the smell of perfumed hair, the tingle down your spine, the light headed feeling, the feeling that you could walk on air.
French kissing is better in my opinion.
If you haven’t been kissed, then just imagine that you are experiencing the most amazing wonderful feeling possible and go with it, write how you imagine it would be like.
Write a kiss scene by writing what you know and bluff the rest. Chances are your readers will never know you’ve never been kissed, because they’ll be too busy imagining their first kiss, past or future.
Most of the articles I write in response to reader questions are genre specific, making the genre section of this web site the largest section.
My areas of expertise are:
#1 Horror and all of it's subgenres esp Gorn, Tales of the Macabre (Poe style) and Gothic Romance.
#2 "Dark" (BDSM) Medieval Historical Erotica, esp gay M/M.
#3 Alternate reality speculative/weird/bizarre science fiction
#4 Dark/Gory/Slasher retellings of folklore, nursery rhymes, and fairy tales
On occasion I also write Westerns, WWII War Stories, and Dark Fantasy.
Everything I write tends to have predominately non-human characters, usually alien races of my own invention that are trapped on Earth, along side Fae races (usually Phookas, FarDarrig, and MerFolk) and monster races (Vampires and their kin.)
I do not write happy endings, villains tend to win, good guys usually die at the end, and most everything I write falls under heavy "Dark Gallows" satire focusing on taboo topics. Everything I write, even my children's fiction, walks on the Dark Side. Most of my non-children's books are M-rated for adults 21 and older. About 90% of my books have been banned and most book stores refuse to carry them.
My stories are often short, rarely longer than 35,000 words (7,000 to 13,000 word average). I write nearly as many stage plays as I do short stories. I also write children's books (early readers, why tales, bed time stories, picture books, and quick classroom play scripts.)
I do not write novels (novels are books of 90,000 or more words, most being in the 120,000 to 240,000 word range), so questions specifically regarding novels are going to be answered in reference to my novellas (a novella being a story 25,000 to 90,000 words).
I rarely write articles about any specific genre other than those listed in the link headings above, because the genres above are the genres I write.
Keep these facts in mind when asking advice from me, about your own writing career. I will gladly try to help you out, but my knowledge of writing is limited to what I know and write in my own career.
If you are looking for advice on Westerns, War Fiction (other than WWII), Fantasy, Contemporary Romance, Mystery, Action, Adventure, Suspense, Chick Lit, Romantic Comedy, Humor, HEA, etc I'm probably not the best person to be asking your questions to. You can certainly ask and I will try to answer, but I don't write these genres so they are not my area of expertise.
Recommended Books for Genre Writers:
Below are books I use as reference when writing my own books, articles, and short-stories. A quick heads up, these are not linking to pages where I review each book, here on my website! I have a list of those review pages elsewhere . Each of the books shown below are linked directly to the site/book seller which carries it for sale, so clicking on any of the books below will take you away from my website.
What do you want to become?
What did you do today to step closer to that goal?
Whatever you do, be your best at it!
And remember to have yourself a great and wonderfully glorious day!