Saturday, April 28, 2012

Aida Brassington Guest Post and Giveaway!

Ah, the kiss. Unless your character is forced to lay a peck on a grandmother’s wrinkly cheek, there’s bound to be a bit more description than “he kissed her.” Raise your hand if you find writing a lip lock intimidating. Yeah, me too. I always worry I’m going to write something awful in a fit of idiocy, like “his mouth swelled and puckered like an infected belly button” and end up on some Worst Kissing Scene in Fiction list.

It was particularly difficult to write the kissing scenes in Between Seasons, my recently-released paranormal romance. Why? Well, how do you write a smooch between a ghost and a live person that doesn’t sound insane? It’s not like that’s a place where I could write what I know – I may have a ghost in my house, but I don’t make a habit of making out with him. But whether you’re fleshing out a kiss in a paranormal setting or your kissers are run of the mill humans, there are always ways to avoid coming up with a soul-sucking pot of terribleness that leaves your readers snickering.

Aside from avoiding bad metaphors (like the infected belly button thing), I recommend not trying to perfect the kiss. Look, music does not swell behind my head when I make out with my husband, nor do birds sing. And even though we’re really great at smooching now, our first kiss was awkward – there was saliva and teeth knocking and chins and noses in the way. It drives me insane to read a first kiss where everything goes juuuuuuuuuust right. Many writers feel pressured to romanticize that initial kiss, but it just comes off as unbelievable. Rise up against the shackles, people: own the awkwardness of a first kiss and reclaim the reality!

But even worse than a perfect kiss full of bizarre metaphor is the kiss that reads like a technical manual. Insert tab A (the tongue) into slot B (the mouth) just isn’t that enticing to read. And then there are the typical kissing scene clichés, all of which appear to revolve around tongues for some crazy reason. Tongues do not battle for dominance – it’s a terrible picture, like some wretched high school wrestling match gone awry. Tongues dancing is only slightly better. Infusing a kiss with emotion is what makes a scene special. Hell, I’d rather read about a main character worrying that her breath stinks or wondering if she left the stove burner on then read about the counterclockwise motion of her tongue while it probes some dude’s molars.

If I can make a ghostly kiss believable, romantic, and emotional, surely anyone can do it – just make it a point to write more about what a kiss feels like rather than the physical motion of it. And if you sit down to write and find you’re coming up with nothing, go grab your significant other or some hot stranger on the street and plant a big juicy one on his or her mouth . . . and pay attention! It’s for research, after all.

Damn, what a way to suffer for your craft!

Now’s your chance to win a copy of my novel, Between Seasons, and judge my character flaws . . . er, whether I can write a decent kiss. Leave a comment by May 12th giving me your best advice for writing a great kiss. One commenter will win a review copy of the novel in the e-format of your choice (Kindle, Nook, or PDF).

The blurb:
There are things Patrick Boyle will never forget: the sound of his own neck breaking at the moment of his death in the fall of 1970, the sweet taste of his mother’s chocolate cake, and the awful day his parents abandoned him in his childhood house-turned prison.

Nineteen-year-old Patrick wonders for decades if God has forgotten all about him or if he’s being punished for some terrible crime or sin over a lovely forty years trapped in an empty home. But when Sara Oswald, a strange woman with a mysterious past, buys his house, old feeling reawakens, and a new optimism convinces him that she’s the answer to his prayers.

Things are never simple, though, especially when she begins channeling the memories of his life and death in her writing.

What’s your best advice for writing a great kiss?

Buy Between Seasons:
Amazon US link:
Amazon UK link:
BN link:
Smashwords link:

About the Author:
Aida Brassington lives in a haunted house in the suburbs of Pennsylvania with her husband of five years and a Great Dane named Patrick. She loves all things related to Halloween and spooky movies, but not because she shares her house with a ghost (and it should be noted her ghost does nothing more than occasionally appear in the second floor hallway and hide her keys) — she just likes being scared. She is a former political junkie with a deep interest in artisan food, reading, and scuba diving.

Find her at Twitter
her website
or Goodreads


  1. hmmm a good kiss eh?
    It all depends if you want it to be serious or funny, but if I were you, I would try to focus more on the emotions rather than the physical actions of the characters. It should be awkward and a bit nerve raking because lets face it, kissing doesn't come naturally unless you have been together for quite awhile. You would probably want the characters to not only be focused on the kiss, but more so the person he/she is kissing. Perhaps even the background noises. And of course, make it passionate.

    Don’t know is that was all that helpful, but hey, i tried.

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  3. I could never be so bold, as a reader, to tell a writer how to write a scene, but this is what I love to read in the scene; tenderness, a brush of finger tips along the jaw, slowly moving forward as the lips touch in the sweetest moment, and the electricity of that first kiss that you feel all the way to your toes - that is the kind of first kiss I like to read about. Of course this all depends on the type of book and scene in general, as some stories just call for that adrenaline jump of smash mouth LOL Thank you for sharing with us today and for the lovely giveaway opportunity.

  4. This is an interesting blog -- reading about the people "behind the pages"!

    I have a blog award for you! Come check it out!

  5. This is all good stuff - I just wish you'd included a snippet of the scene you ended up with!

  6. That's a hard question. But I don't think writing the kiss is the hardest part. The hardest is building up to the kiss. If the writer wants to make it meaningfull he/she has to make the readers care for the characters before giving the kiss (unless the idea is to shock right from the start and catch the reader by susprise).
    But I belive that to write a good kiss scene, simplicity is the best way. Going with too many words will probably just make the scene goofy.