Tuesday, May 7, 2013

First Kiss #8

TITLE: Replacement
GENRE: YA Light Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Sam(Samantha) says goodbye to Aiden before going on a mission to try to save herself. If her mission fails, she won't remember anyone from her past.

I turn to Aiden and I don't know what to say. Ever since I met him we've fought. Over little things. Over big things. But we've always been there for each other in some weird almost family kind of way. I almost feel like our relationship is one big game board, with the spinner constantly identifying the status of our relationship.

I'm relieved when Aiden talks first.

"Be safe, Sam. Fight. " He says.

I just nod, and take a step towards him to give him a hug, even if it is just an awkward, weird, not sure what I want to do hug.

He pulls me in, bringing me closer to him than I want. Then he takes my chin in his hand and pulls my lips closer, stopping when his lips hit mine. I realize he's going to kiss me when it is too late.

For a minute my lips just stay, pressed against his, as though they too are in a state of shock. Too shocked to move away.

I'm angry, furious even. He wasn't supposed to be my first kiss, I think. This isn't supposed to be how it was supposed to happen either. My whole body is shaking.

With one firm movement I take my hand and slap him hard across his cheek because I'm not sure what else to do.

"What the heck was that?" I scream.

Aiden shifts his feet and avoids looking me in the eyes. "Nothing." He says.

"You're right," I say. "That was nothing. Forget it!"


  1. I really enjoyed this bit. The only critique I might add would be to maybe reveal how she DID imagine her first kiss to be, as a contrast to what it wasn't supposed to be like.

    I love how he backed off immediately, too. I would read more, to see how future interactions are between them, if she ends up keeping her memory, that is!

  2. You set up the undefined nature of their relationship very well right from the beginning of the scene. I get the impression that the characters have known each other a long time, so I was surprised when she slapped him. I can see her shoving him back, or punching him in the arm, maybe. To me, a slap should be reserved for a guy you barely know.

    At the end of the scene, I wonder if you could play up the parallel between her telling him to forget the kiss, and the fact that she may forget her entire history if her mission fails. It could add extra gravity to the scene, but I don't know if it would work with what follows.

    Overall, I think you did an admirable job capturing both the initial awkwardness and Sam's rage at Aiden for stealing the opportunity for her first kiss to be what she wanted it to be.

  3. I dig Sam's voice, which is important in first person YA.

    I really like the game board metaphor. I think you can make this stand out even more by describing it with more certainty, if that makes sense.

    Our relationship has been one big game board. The spinner constantly identifies our relationship status.

    The sentence: "This isn't supposed to be how it was supposed to happen either" is pretty awkward.

    I kind of found the slap to be awkward, too. I think b/c I don't know what she's thinking. Why is she so angry all of a sudden?

  4. I agree with the above posters. It seems like a slap is an overreaction, particularly for a friend.

    "Then he takes my chin in his hand and pulls my lips closer, stopping when his lips hit mine. I realize he's going to kiss me when it is too late."

    I feel like this ought be reordered a bit. He is already kissing her when we get to the sentence saying that she realises he is going to kiss her. I think I understand what you want to say here, but I think the realisation should come before they are actually kissing, if only just.

  5. I was really pulled into your excerpt. I like how you set up their awkward relationship at the beginning. Great analogy to a game.

    Her lips are pressed against his for a minute and she's shocked and then furious. But I wanted her to have a moment when she almost went with the kiss. Like her body responded to him without her thinking.

    Delete "I think" from the first kiss line. Reword "This isn't supposed . . ." to "This isn't how it was supposed to happen."

    You have her slap him but you don't show her pulling out of the kiss first.

    Does she slap him because she doesn't want to feel anything romantic for him? I want there to be more behind the slap than not knowing what else to do.

    Don't need the tag after his "Nothing."

    Do you need "forget it" at the end? I wonder if she has to tell herself to forget it. Some interior thought could be good here. Perhaps it's in the next lines. :)

  6. I really liked this excerpt--clean writing, just enough dialogue to keep things interesting . . .

    I agree with the other comments that slapping seems like an excessive reaction for an old friend. I did love, though, that she's upset by the kiss, which is a nice way to unsettle expectations for a kissing scene.

    One small thing: the line "I realize he's going to kiss me when it is too late" threw me a little, because in the scene he's already kissed her (so the "going to" feels too after the fact). Maybe shift the line earlier, to just before their lips touch, or take it out?

  7. I like this a lot. I love the game board metaphor for their relationship. You've done a great job showing the awkwardness and uncertain nature of the relationship between Sam and Aidan.


    I don't think you need to out and out say "I'm angry, furious even." You could show that by her actions, which you go on to do with her body shaking and the slap. (Although I will agree with others who have said maybe the slap is a bit over the top for old friends. A shove would work just as well and might be more relatable in this situation.) Also, the slap coupled with her screaming kind of sends the scene over the top, but that could just be me. :)

    Great job!