Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Why Kissing is Good - For You And Your Characters

But you knew that already, right? There's nothing like a smooch with the love of your life, whether new or old, to make you feel wonderful. To make you feel loved and wanted, and maybe even more. And the same is true with your characters. If they've been building up to that kiss for pages and pages, keeping you waiting, it creates great tension. Or maybe more conflict when it does happen. After all, one of them might not be so keen on the kiss!

And of course, there's some good old science as to why kissing is beneficial, aside from stirring up your libido. So let's look at some of the reasons why it not only makes you feel great, but is very, very good for you indeed. And for your characters too.

1. Kissing is excellent for the health of your heart. Not just emotionally, but physically too. Kissing can help stabilize your cardiovascular activity, decrease blood pressure AND decrease that nasty cholesterol doctors are always warning us about. And all without eating all those fancy special butter-substitue spreads and yoghurts. Which would you prefer?

2. Instead of dieting and slogging your guts out at the gym, three passionate kisses a day can double your metabolic rate, helping you lose up to a pound in weight. I think I know which workout I'd prefer. And writing those kisses will make your readers happy too.

3. This may be a little more off-putting (the thought, not the act) but during a kiss, your body secretes natural antibiotics in your saliva. There's also a natural anaesthetic in saliva that helps relieve pain. So, if you're writing an action scene, all the more reason for your heroine/hero to give their injured love interest a big smooch. And good reason for them being more willing and able to carry on the fight - or whatever else the kiss may lead to.

4. Going a bit further now. Often kissing leads to something more intense, and I don't need to tell you how good that is for you, your characters and your readers. But as an added bonus oxytocin is released during sex - a natural painkiller that can help fight headaches and PMS symptoms. So even if your hero/heroine has been hurt, this could be a great remedy for them.

5. Being in love can literally make you high and cause a state of euphoria, due to the chemicals released by the brain. This could get your characters into a lot of trouble if it leads them to doing something rash or out of character, but then conflict makes for a good story. And of course, they get to kiss and make up.

So there you go. Five excellent health benefits to a good snog, as if you needed the excuse. And five good story reasons for your characters to do the same.


Tethered is back! It got the thumbs up from my freelance editor and some suggested edits, which I've been working on for the last week along with the synopsis and query. I'm hoping it'll be out on submission soon, and Gethyon's edits will then keep me nicely distracted while I wait on a response. I'm also working on another short story, this time for an in-house submission call for my publisher Champagne Books. It's a straight scifi, currently under the title of Flaming Angel. Along with my SFR Brigade anthology short and finally completing Samaritan - a short tale from my Traveller Universe - I could have a total of four titles out over the next year! Fingers and toes crossed.

There's also good news on the health front. Turns out my scary symptoms were just down to chronic anaemia, and while that's no fun it's a simple fix - hopefully. 

With Gethyon now due out this year, I've already started thinking about the blog tour, promotional venues and swag. This weekend I worked on some new bookmark designs. What do you think?


Keir's cover is up in the You Gotta Read Cover Contest here at number 14. Voting hasn't started yet, but if you like a man with tattoos, please stop by and give him your vote! I know he'd appreciate it. ;)

The Happy Ending Blog Hop starts on Saturday and runs for a whole week. Join in here for your chance to win some fabulous prizes.

The SFR Brigade anthology deadline is fast approaching! It ends the 31st January, so get your submission in quick.

The SFR Galaxy Awards are coming! On the 31st January, the awards will be posted here.

Next week I'll be posting final(ish) details of the proposed Brigade version of Six Sentence Sunday. Just to clarify, this is open to ANY Brigade members whether published or not. For those still aspiring, this is a great way to start building that all important readership. You will not be excluded because you don't have a published work. 'Kay? :)

Ping Pong

Donna - I read the post on story length with interest - and some trepidation. While my Keir series of books are all standing at 65K and above for the three that are written (Keir itself was 105K and cut to 100K during edits at the publisher's request), most of my titles lately have been more in the novella length category. Maybe it's writing all these short stories that's done it. Maybe I've just learned to be more succint. But Tethered stands at 43K and I still feel the world building has depth to it. So I have to say I'm torn. I'd like to get back to writing some longer stuff for my own personal satisfaction! As for publishers - is it them or the readers driving for shorter stories? I see plenty of complaints by authors that a review has marked them down for  being too short. I think clearer labelling might help, but both my publishers and those I hope to submit to are open to word counts up around the 100K mark. Maybe part of the preference for writing novellas is also down to authors wanting to create a bigger backlist faster. They do say that writing the next book is the best marketing plan. I just hope I haven't made my novella too sketchy...

Laurie - great endings. I honestly could not think of a single book that had a spectacular ending. I think that's more down to my poor memory than never having come across one. Usually if I've enjoyed a book, the ending is always bad - because I don't want the story to finish, so no ending gives me the finale I crave for!


  1. Wow - that was actually fascinating! You know what a biology nerd I am :)

  2. I LOVE the sciencey stuff. I did a post on the chemistry behind romance for a Valentine event once - I'll have to dig that out!

  3. Ah kissing - very interesting post, Pippa! I like reading about kisses but you know, not many authors go into a lot of detail about the kiss but that rush, that first heady rush - well it sets the scene for what is to come!
    As for length - yep, I think short seems to be popular. It might be on price. But I've given up trying to second guess!

  4. I loved writing my characters first kiss in Keir, because I knew what a revelation it would be to both of them. But it's good to know it had added benefits too!
    Yes, I think price has a lot to do with choice of story length these days, and even the amount of editing that would go into the book before hand. Then again, I see a lot of bias against short stories by reviewers, and novellas in contests. The advent of ereaders means that shorts and short novellas can be published separately now rather than having to go into a print anthology. perhaps self publishing has also had an impact there.

  5. Late to chime in but I LOVED your post, Pippa. It sure gave me a lot to think about when writing my next romantic scene.


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