Llately I have been on the alert for great kiss scenes because I knew I needed my Austenpunk fantasy to have a kiss scene that left everything up to the imagination. No descriptions of lip softness, no tongueplay, no visceral descriptions of passionate feelings, as I did in The Sevenfold Spell. It totally does not belong in this Austen-inspired fantasy.

And I found my example in the unlikeliest of places–a country music song.

Toby-Keith-16549809-1-402Toby Keith usually writes songs that are either in-your-face, irreverent, humorous, fiercely patriotic, or all of the above. He is probably the last singer you would expect to write and croon an incredibly romantic song.

But he did so with a love song that has these lines:

You shouldn’t kiss me like this
Unless you mean it like that
Cause I’ll just close my eyes
And I won’t know where I’m at
We’ll get lost on this dance floor
Spinnin’ around
And around
And around
And around

If you have never heard the song, here is the video. I didn’t like the video. The hero is cheesy and it does not at all tell the story in the song.

YouTube Video

Anyway, let’s analyze this and see why, for this listener, it worked so well.

You shouldn’t kiss me like this
Unless you mean it like that

There’s no description, here. Like this? Like that? It’s simplistic. However. If you’ve ever been kissed like that, you know exactly what he means. He leaves it up to the reader to remember how it is. And if you never have been kissed like that, you can’t help but to wonder what it means.

Cause I’ll just close my eyes
And I won’t know where I’m at

Again, simple. There is no description of what he is feeling. Instead, he shows you what is going on inside him. He’s totally lost track of the fact that he is on a dance floor. At this point, it has all gone away for him. And for the listener, it does as well.

We’ll get lost on this dance floor
Spinnin’ around
And around
And around
And around

He continues the above, but now he brings her into it. It’s impossible to get lost on a dance floor, but they are. They are a unit, feeling it together.

In subsequent verses, he becomes aware of the people around him, and wonders what they’re thinking while watching them fall in love. The best  descriptions start in like this–they start inward and work their way out. And when they start inward, they are actually in the skin of the point-of-view character, feeling what is to be felt with descriptions that use verbs that are as active as possible.

I find that songs often make excellent examples of writing skills. Songs only use a couple hundred words at most to pack as powerful a punch as possible. They rely on the melody and the skill of the performer as well, but there is still much to learn from the lyrics alone.

My kiss scene is coming along nicely, but help me out here with some more examples–what is your favorite kiss in fiction, movies or music?