Saturday, October 13, 2007

A kiss... or something more?

We all know the song, Casablanca is a classic in all ways. But, when writing all this romance, how do you approach the simple yet crucial aspect of a kiss and what it means? How critical is that first sweet touch to your story, your relationship, and your mood?

We’ve watched, those of us who love classic movies or are old enough to remember it, the evolution of this special moment over the years. From the romance novels we love to read and write, to the movies that have become so entrenched in our minds that they’re part of our culture.

Remember Gone With The Wind? What was more risqué than the sight of Clark Gable whisking Vivien Leigh into his arms and climbing that staircase with more passion than many more explicit scenes could ever evoke. And on the bridge, before he leaves her to the Yankees in the last days of the Civil War — isn’t that image, that kiss, burned into our memories as a kind of iconic representation of romance at its best?

Casablanca has its share of passion and romance, too. What new movies do you think come close to these in the embodiment of what we dream about, sigh about, and mostly just wish for in our private hearts?What about our books? At what point, do you think, a book crosses the link from romance to erotica, and can the two really merge and blend well without treading into the area of language so explicit it takes away rather than enhances? And, again, what about that crucial kiss?

Do you like the first kiss to be a tender discovery of passion that’s hinted at and now coming to the surface? Or do you prefer a smoldering clash of emotions and raw need? Is it the mood of the story that’s altered and shifted over the years do you think, or the perceptions of a society that’s become somewhat desensitized to gentler and more subtle interpretations of love and passion? Our books leave little or nothing to the imagination. No more fade to black after a passionate, lingering kiss between the hero and his love. Is that, do you think, a good thing, or something that leaves the reader with nothing to contemplate when the book reaches its end?

Music is explicit, movies are intensely so, and books tread ground that would make angels cower in terror at times. So, what are your thoughts on this diverse and somewhat controversial subject? What constitutes too much, and why?

Anyone recognize the guy in the picture? He's The New Voice of Romance.... If you'd like to be enchanted, click on his image and you'll discover something rather magical in this man's voice....

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