Part One. The Smooch
Read the following sentence.
Kiss A: “They French-kissed with enthusiasm, because they liked each other and it was enjoyable to do so.”
Technically this sentence is correct, yet it does not assure us of the dead serious nature of romantic-novel kissing. Romantic-novel kissing requires many more metaphors than this, and repeated confirmation that the smooch is life-altering, and possibly contractually binding.
Now observe the difference when applying carefully selected substitutions:
Kiss B: “Their mouths melded in a whirlwind of hunger, mutual desire burning between them and igniting their passions.”
This is better romantic-novel kissing, though it states basically the same premise. Kiss B employs these important traits for the romance novel smooch:
- Meteorology. Sex and related foreplay activities must be tumultuous and disorienting, like having your roof blown off, only not as hard on your insurance rates. The participants are ideally caught in a maelstrom, in a tempest, or in the aforementioned whirlwind of passion.
- Hunger. Our couple needs to be starving for each other, ravenous, insatiable. Refrain from using actual foods to describe their desire, except in the case of fruits, or honey, and the female body. She may have lips like cherries, breasts like peaches, and a mouth like a honeyed cavern. She should not, however, “look as delectable as a rack of ribs” and he should not resemble food in any way because that’s not romance, that’s comedy. ("She wanted to eat him like a foot-long hoagie." No, no! That is a different story, altogether!)
- Heat. The temperature of their exchange must be repeatedly confirmed as being a heated, burning, fiery, raging, roaring, sparking, crackling, flaming, scorching, scalding inferno. Imagine that the lovers both have caught malaria and are in the terminal throes of fever.
Kiss B(1) states at least three times that the couple is kissing, and employs various metaphors, a meteorological event, hunger, heat, and one allusion to the works of Charles Dickens. Thus the reader is convinced it is a romantic-novel kiss. Follow up sentences should support the seriousness by confirming:
Repeated confirmation: An important step! Declaring only once that an action has taken place might be insufficient to convince a reader that this is a serious smooch. Employ the thesaurus yet again to reiterate the importance of the smooch.
Kiss B(1): “Their mouths melded in a whirlwind of hunger, their mutual desire burning between them and igniting their passions. Their lips bonded, parting in a maelstrom of need and their tongues dueled in delighted fervor, her mouth a honeyed cavern for his ravenous exploration.”
- The difficulty of breathing (due to excitement, though, and not something like anaphylactic shock).
- The response of various other body parts (beating hearts, trembling hands, whirling head, weakened knees). Avoid describing disgusting body parts (intestines) and unflattering reactions (gas, nausea, palsy).
- The promise of delights to come. Use the word promise. “Their passionate kiss was a promise of the delights to come.”
Finally, when using the thesaurus to embellish the serious romantic-novel kiss, be wary of straying too far from the original idea. Read the following sentence and see if you can spot the error.
Kiss C. “Their maws bonded in a cyclone of crazed zeal, their hankering stinging between them and putting a match to their campaigning.”
Answer: One should not refer to mouths as maws, as this sounds unflattering.
The next installment of “Writing the Serious Romantic Love Scene” will deal with the importance of talking about hooters.
 The honeyed cavern and exploration are a euphemism for at least fourteen different kinds of intimacy, but one is cautioned against employing the term “spelunking” when using it.
 One should not refer to breasts as hooters, as this sounds unflattering.