Tuesday, May 7, 2013

First Kiss #1

TITLE: Maiden of the Underworld
GENRE: YA Fantasy

Persephone (Effy) was taken to the Underworld by Hades. It is the day after Hades revealed her Godly lineage, and recent engagement to him.

“Would you mind if I dashed off to the office? Or would you like for me to stay until the attendant gets here? He should be over in a few minutes.”

“I should be fine, thank you.” She watched Cerberus follow Hades around the room as he got ready to leave.

“Feel free to take Cerby with you wherever you go. He likes walks, and scaring souls.” As Hades scratched the heads, three smiles appeared.

Effy chuckled. “Very well, then. Thank you for the guard dog.”

Her heart raced as he walked over to the table, leaning into her face. She pulled away, knowing that unmarried women do not kiss unmarried men. She met his bright blue eyes with trepidation, realizing he was no ordinary unmarried man. She turned her head to the side, accepting a kiss on the cheek.

“You’re so beautiful.” He whispered. “I can’t wait until things are official.” Effy could feel her cheeks turning several shades of red.

She looked into his eyes for a moment before he turned away to leave, intrigued and scared of the God who kissed her.

“Persephone, I hope that you will get to know me and hopefully have the reciprocating feelings.” He stood up.

Effy looked down, trying to find the most polite and proper words she could. “I certainly feel like that’s a very real possibility,” She gulped. “Hades.” She felt odd referring to a man by their first name, but she didn’t know his last name.


  1. I loved this almost kiss. I want to read the rest of the story :)

  2. I enjoyed the humor in the first few lines -- Hades dashing off to the office, a dog who likes walks and scaring souls.

    I'm not sure how long Effy has been in the underworld, but she seems very at ease with her surroundings. Is that intentional?

    As for the critical moment, the kiss happens suddenly, without any build-up. Some earlier sign of nervousness on Effy's part might help the reader anticipate what's coming. Also, for me, any tension in the moment was sapped by repetitious phrasing(three sentences starting with "she," the word "unmarried" used three times). I would look for ways to vary the sentence structure and try to draw the moment out a little more.

    There's also a lot of telling here. "She met his... eyes with trepidation," and later, she was "intrigued and scared." Try to show her fear through body language. For example, you might show trepidation as, "she slowly lifted her gaze and quickly looked down again when she saw his bright blue eyes boring into her."

    Good luck with this!

  3. I found myself wondering why Effy wasn't more unsettled by her surroundings. Even if Hades is a total charmer, wouldn't it be a little frightening to have just been told that she has godly lineage AND she's engaged to him?

    I agree with the previous commenter, who pointed out a couple of places you could show more of what Effy is feeling. Show us intrigued and scared. Do her hands tremble? Does her heart pound?

  4. I agree with the first few comments. I wanted a bit more in terms of what Effy was feeling. Good luck!

  5. Thanks for the comments! I will certainly take them to heart.

  6. This normally isn't my type of story but I loved this little bit. I liked the beginning banter, the middle feelings, and the ending line of this. With the limitations it's tough but I am so intrigued to know what both characters are truly feeling. good job. I giggled with the bit about the dog too.

  7. I thought this was sweet and enjoyed the humor with the dog. Overall I felt it was well-written, but the end gave me some issues.

    It's obvious if they are going to be married that she should get to know him, so that might be better if he said 'when' you get to know me rather than 'will'.

    The other thing that bothered me was the last line. Man is singular and their is plural. It should read "referring to a man by his first name. Just a nitpick, I know.

  8. I agree with all of the above and think this could be turned up a few notches. Having these 2 characters together should be more tense. I don't know what her character is supposed to be like but she seems a bit flat...maybe because we need a better description of her fear and/or excitement. Her language seems a bit stiff and formal. What about Hades specifically is really scary, what is really intriguing? Can you describe him a bit more or show his personality more in this scene. Is he manipulative? Sly? Charming? What are the stakes here of accepting a kiss from him? Will she lose her soul if she gives in? Is he worth that? Great premise. Just want more intensity!

  9. I agree with a lot of the earlier comments--I like the humor, and the unexpected take on the underworld. The almost kiss did seem sudden to me as well, mostly because the opening lines gave me the impression that Hades was leaving, so I didn't have any expectation that he would walk back over to her and lean in.

    Also, if Effy has never kissed a man, would she automatically know/assume that Hades meant to kiss her when he leans in? Maybe she can have a physical reaction (heart beating, flushing, etc.) that she doesn't quite know what to do with . . .

    Good luck!