Thursday, September 5, 2013

CANVAS TOUR: Canvas Bound by Laura M. Kolar

Today has been a long awaited day for me. I absolutely love this book and this author, who I've come to know over the last two years. This book is part mystery, part supernatural and lots romance. Laura, my critique partner, is one of the nicest writers I know and I'm so excited to finally be able to share her book, Canvas Bound, which I hope will captivate you just as Libby has done with her artwork. Without further ado, I'll turn this blog post over to the author who will share with you the elements of writing a kiss scene. (I KNOW.)

Sixteen-year-old Libby Tanner’s art comes to life. Her painted skies turn from day to night, leaves rustle on trees, and sometimes, a mystery boy appears.

While attending England’s Aldridge Art Academy, Libby meets charming Brent Henderson, a performing arts student who showers her with attention. But his rival, gorgeous Dean James, is the one who occupies her mind, even though he’s very much attached to his current girlfriend.

Libby soon learns there’s more to both Brent and Dean than she ever imagined. In order to save her future and the boy who’s captured her heart, she must unlock the secrets behind her art by entering the most dangerous place of all… the world within her paintings.

But once she steps into the canvas, she risks being trapped forever.

I live with my husband and daughter in a one-stop-light town in northern-lower Michigan. Though I didn’t discover my love of books until I turned thirty, as a self-declared hopeless romantic, I’ve spent the past few years reading and writing stories with mostly happy endings. When not at my day-job or with my family, you’ll find me sipping a cup of chai latte while sitting in my favorite rocking chair, hunched over my laptop writing or spending entirely too much time on Twitter. (Photograph by Ashley Smigelski)

Kissing Mechanics 101

Hey there! How are all of you? I, for one, am great, and I’m so happy to be here at The (YA) Bookcase. Don’t worry, I’m not going to be one of those writers who tells you to go out and follow your dreams, never quit, never give up and don’t listen to people who say you’ll never make it. (You should totally do all of that, but I’ll let some other visitor handle those subjects.) Nope, today we’re going to talk about kissing, hot, steamy, make-your-knees-weak kissing.

Writing a good kissing scene is hard. There are so many things you have to make sure happen at the exact right moment before, during and after the actual event. Let me break it down for you:

  • The lead up or anticipation of the kiss: This is probably my favorite part. (No worries, there is plenty of anticipation in CANVAS BOUND.) I’m a huge romantic so I’m drawn to that part of a story line. I keep reading to see when the characters will actually smooch and I love it when that moment hits you by surprise
  • The physical description of the kiss: This is a little tricky because you want the reader to know how the characters are positioned and whose hand is where and whose lips part first, but you don’t want it to read like an instruction manual.
  • The emotional reaction to the kiss: Here’s where the good stuff is. It’s the place where you get to describe how the main character is feeling. And if done right, your reader is right there with them.
  • The aftermath of the kiss: The tough part about this is that you can’t just leave it out there. Somebody has to have some sort of reaction to what just happened, good or bad. This reaction might not be immediate in the scene, but if you’ve built it up well enough and added just the right amount of physical and emotional descriptions, then it would be a big letdown if you never revisited the character’s reactions to such a momentous occasion.
Now that we know the basics, there are a few more details to work out. Things like, are you going to make it sweet and tender, or is it going to be more heated. Also, how far are you going to take this kiss? Yep, I know all your minds just went there. Though, sometimes just a kiss can be way more passionate than taking it to the next level.

Lastly, practice makes perfect. No, I did not just tell you to go out and start kissing people. But I am telling you to read some great kissing scenes. Reading how other authors describe it can often help when writing your own, and really, who doesn’t like to read a great kiss? Some of my favorites are: Pretty much all of them between Aria and Perry in UNDER THE NEVER SKY by Veronica Rossi, the kiss at the frat party between Sydney and Adrian in THE INDIGO SPELL by Richelle Mead, and perhaps one of the best kisses of all time is the one between Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler in GONE WITH THE WIND by Margaret MitchellHe bent back her head across his arm and kissed her, softly at first, and then with a swift gradation of intensity that made her cling to him as the only solid thing in a dizzy swaying world. His insistent mouth was parting her shaking lips, sending wild tremors along her nerves, evoking from her sensations she had never known she was capable of feeling. And before a swimming giddiness spun her round and round, she knew that she was kissing him back.

If that doesn’t help in writing a great kissing scene, I don’t know what will. Well, except maybe a great kissing song. My favorite is Kiss Me by Ed Sheeran.

Thanks so much for visiting with me today and if you’d like to see what else I’m working on, you can find me on the web, Facebook or Twitter.

All the best, Laura


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  1. Thanks again for having me here on The YA Bookcase and I'd love to know what some of your favorite kissing scenes are :)

  2. Great post. Kissing scenes are always the best to read and write.


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