Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Kissing an Alien
Think of the planet Earth. Think about kissing on the planet Earth. There are almost 200 countries on this planet and each one has different attitudes and approaches to kissing. Kissing in public ranges from being very common, to absolutely illegal. So how should you handle it in your science fiction? Any way you want – but make it interesting. Kissing is a great opportunity for world building. If you're writing a first contact story, who is the first to try kissing the new alien species? What happens and what are the consequences? The person could die by toxin, or because they broke some law. Or maybe an alien kiss is the greatest high ever and it becomes a challenge to see how many aliens you can get to kiss you. Maybe the person is ostracized, or maybe just teased. These things give you the chance to not only display your society, but your character's true nature as well. And this works both ways. You can tell the story from the alien's pov as well. If you were an alien, what would it be like smooching a human for the first time? Even if it's not a first time, there's a huge realm of possibilities. Alien A loves Alien B but their pieces don't fit together, even for kissing. Maybe kissing causes the alien to teleport. Wouldn't that be a bummer? A society could have an entire cleansing ritual before kissing was allowed. Take a bath? No problem – except the bath is in sulfuric acid. An alien's kiss could be addictive. Imagine a whole slave trade where the slaves are kept in line because they're dying for a kiss from their master. Or those aliens are simply the most successful drug lords ever. Flip the idea and you have aliens being kidnapped and held prisoner for the narcotic effects of their kiss. The consequence of kissing aliens doesn't have to be the entire focus of your story, but it can add a unique layer of conflict and possibility. It will add richness to your society and can be one more hurdle you throw in the path of your protagonist. So don't waste an opportunity. Make your kissing scenes with aliens exciting, or dangerous, or funny. Above all, make them interesting.