If you’re easily offended, please read this blog. Just kidding.
The word ‘logistics’ usually associates with a precise military operation – or, at least, the entire scope of acquisition, maintenance, and replenishment of supplies and people necessary for some military action. The business community has borrowed the term (as they liken themselves to warriors) to capture the start-up, rollout, and coordination of a business venture.
As a writer of the romantic (laced, of course, with dead bodies and political conspiracy), I presume to borrow ‘logistics’to address the no-going-back-cat’s-out-of-the-bag moment when two people lock lips for the first time. Before this point, we can do the flirtation parry and thrust with the option of retreat. Once you signal your intent to plant one, there’s no going back. You can’t pretend you haven’t been dying all along to know what that hottie’s body would feel like next to your own . . . heh heh heh . . . so to my point –
As a writer, I need to think through a variety of factors to carry my reader through the story. And I better not muck it up because as a reader, nothing bugs me more than to be caught up in a romantic moment only to have something jar me back to analyzing the mechanics of said moment. Don’t let your reader get their head out of your story to think through whether a particular sequence of events is logical much less biologically possible.
So, what should I consider for kissing logistics in my scenes?
Height: Relative height affects angle and might imply arm/hand placement.
I want to cringe every time I read about the 6’ 6” hero burying his face in the 5’ 4” heroine’s cleavage while they stand on a windy cliff. Not just because I’m afraid of heights and the whole windy cliff thing gives me hives, but in commiseration. I mean seriously, the poor man’s back must be spasming like crazy given the angles.
Hygiene: Does this really require an explanation?
I love reading a good historical; every healthy woman appreciates a well hung kilt and a fast horse. But I get into the story and the same issues crop up for me, especially when the author tries to keep description and circumstance authentic. When do they brush their teeth? How many dazzling white smiles were even possible before braces and teeth whitening kits? And well . . . there’s the smell.
Circumstances: The intensity, duration, and outcome of the kiss should correspond to current and anticipated events.
I have no problem with a passionate embrace – however extensive – before some cataclysmic battle or while on the run from the bad guys. I know others might disagree, but I think a properly structured and motivated love scene can heighten the pace in those situations. However, I do not believe a hero and heroine will pull out of a hot pursuit to fool around. It’s about primary and secondary motivation. If our hero and heroine are on the brink of a big bad whatever, then maybe it’s the old ‘I don’t want to die a virgin’ cliché. But if our hero is a moment from capturing an evildoer, he will not become distracted if ‘she runs her pink tongue across her full moist bottom lip’ (don’t bust my chops on the purple prose; I’m on a deadline for crying out loud). The point is, even a hormonally charged fifteen-year-old boy would keep his eye on the prize not the pucker.
What do you advise for writing about the first kiss? I’d ask for personal stories about first kisses, but then I’d have to share mine (he missed and got my left nostril) – oops. Sorry Ken.