Wednesday, April 2, 2014

First Kiss #17

GENRE: YA Modern Fantasy

April and Travis are partners in a magic-based sport, about to face a game that might get them killed. April is deaf; Travis is hearing.

"Is this the part where you say, 'that's why I totally understand how you feel'?" I asked.

"No, because I don't understand how you feel, and saying I do would make me a moron. I just wanted to tell you that… that I admire how you won't run away."

So help me, after all the emotional roller coasters I'd ridden around Travis, I didn't think that line would be the one I broke down crying on. But I did. Not like a waterfall or anything but enough that it felt like a line of ice on my cheek when the wind blew.

"It's my fault," I signed. "It's my fault no one responded to Gabe's text for help."

"You don't know--"

I slapped his hand away. "Of course I know. How else do you explain everything?"

Travis lifted his hands. Whether to sign something or just put his arms around me, I couldn't tell. Whichever it was, he thought the better of it and put them back down. My tears kept coming. "I don't get it," I signed. "Why do I get things so insanely wrong all the time?"

"Because you're a human being is why," Travis signed. "If you suddenly become an all-knowing, all-powerful, non-human being, it would be a different conversation."

I rubbed my eyes, although all it really accomplished was spreading more cold across my skin. "Hope that never happens. I couldn't handle the responsibility."

"Yeah. Me neither." He started to lean towards me again, lips slightly parted, but suddenly he looked out at the street. His gaze landed on a surprisingly clean yellow taxi that had just pulled up to the hotel. Guess our heart-warming moment had to wait. Our game was on.


  1. No kiss? You tease!

    Ok, just my opinion, but I didn't feel a kiss coming on like Travis did. And, I don't know if what she says in the last paragraph is just her personality, but she doesn't really sound like she's into kissing this dude, either. And that kind of ruins the whole moment for me. He goes from changing his mind about hugging her to trying to kiss her. And she slaps his hand like she doesn't want him touching her. I don't feel the chemistry at all.

    That being said, a few adjustments could totally fix that. We're hearing her thoughts, so you can tell the reader things without April giving any of that emotion away to Travis. Maybe she doesn't want him to know. Either way, SOMEONE has to know, otherwise it's just some douche trying to kiss a girl who doesn't want it, and that doesn't make me want to continue following his story.

  2. I agree with the comment above. I didn't feel the tension. The roller coaster paragraph needed some tightening, including how do you ride a roller coaster around someone? Is that a typo or a different way of using the analogy? That said, I liked the tear as a line of ice. Different way of describing the act of crying. Must be absolutely freezing where they are.
    When she slaps his hand away I way kind of thrown until I realized he was signing too. I'm sure if I'd read the whole ms up until this point it wouldn't have thrown me but at first I just assumed she was reading his lips.
    Even though I didn't feel the tension, I'm intrigued and would like to read more to find out if she really does want to be kissed by this guy.

  3. I'm intrigued by a deaf/hearing relationship. If they've never gotten to the point where they've kissed, I'm curious as to why Travis knows sign language. It's probably explained already (someone in his family is deaf??) but it's definitely a question that needs to be answered.

    I agree the tension could be upped, both in their relationship (if she'd been on a roller coaster, I'd expect more emotion when he doesn't kiss her) and about the game that might get them killed. Seems like the kiss would be even more important going into a fight like that.

    I, also, like the "line of ice" description.

  4. I have to agree with the others. There's no sexual tension here, not did I get the sense that Travis wanted to kiss her, or that she wanted to be kissed.

    Coming in in the middle makes it hard to know what's really going on, but going by the blurb, and what's here, it seems they're about to take part in some competition in which one, or both, of them may die, and I would expect to feel the tension of that, along with their feelings for each other, their fear of dying, and/or their fear of the other one dying, their need to say the things they should have said to each other, all of which is conducive to a first kiss.

    But they seem to be talking about something else altogether, a situation where she tried to help someone and failed, and now she's doing the 'I shoulda done this or that' thing. So you've stuck them in a situation that is all about her, rather than 'them,' which takes away from the shared energy of the moment.

    This could work, but Travis would need a stronger personality and take charge of the situation, and he doesn't do that. FRom what I've seen, he doesn't seem the type. It seems April is the stronger personality here, and if there was any attempt at a kiss, I would expect her to take the initiative.

    My suggestion would be to let them have this conversation somewhere else and instead, let them be more concerned with each other, rather than themselves, and that will create the emotion you need here.