Wednesday, April 2, 2014

First Kiss #7

TITLE: The Myth of the Mermaid
GENRE: YA Romance

Hannah is fighting feelings for Roby, a new acquaintance who seems to have lots of female companionship. He's everything she rejects yet wants, all at once.

"I am going to kiss you. Eventually."

"Oh, really? You think so, huh?" Hannah restrained her eye roll. "Forgive me if I'm not holding my breath."

He hesitated with a quizzical frown. "I thought that's what you were asking."

A low, choppy wave of embarrassment rolled her stomach, the rapid blush rising to stain her cheeks. She refused to look at him. "I wasn't asking you to kiss me," she clarified, gritting her teeth. "I asked why you hadn't. There's a difference. I figured you'd kissed just about every other girl on the island, so ... whatever. I don't really care."

"You're not every other girl."

"Can we please just forget this?" Shaking her head, she turned away, having endured enough humiliation for one afternoon. "I have to go, anyway."

"Hannah ... wait." Roby lightly grasped her arm, and all her determined forward momentum sent her spinning back around. Suddenly, just like that, they were facing each other, barely an inch apart.

She lifted her eyes to his, uncertain of what she might find there. She had never been this close.

For a moment, neither moved a muscle, or even seemed to breathe. Then his hand came up to cup her face, his thumb tracing the curve of her cheek in a tender caress before gently tilting up her chin. Slowly, tentatively, he bowed his head.

Everything else disappeared, lost to the dizzying rush of anticipation. A brush of lips, so soft and warm. The tip of his tongue, slipping in on the invitation of her sigh. Melting in slow, sweet increments on the delicious slide of sensation, her heart pounded softly, the breathless thrill building.

Finally, he broke away, his husky whisper soothing her trembling lips.

"I am going to kiss you, Hannah. Just like that, every day."


  1. Some of the description in the first half seems overdone to me. In particular, "He hesitated with a quizzical frown," and "A low, choppy wave of embarrassment rolled her stomach..." You can lose some of that and let the dialogue stand on its own. I think the reader will be able to pick up on the subtext, particularly if this scene comes somewhere in the middle of the story.

    But later on, when the facial expressions and movements become more important, I like the phrases you use, particularly when she looks at his eyes and is "uncertain of what she might find there." Nice characterization and building of tension! And I mostly like the way you describe the kiss itself, though I feel like you could lose a word or two (perhaps either "sweet" or "delicious" in the next to last line of the paragraph) to tighten things up.

    I love a good YA romance. Good luck with this!

  2. Nailed it! This was awesome.

    I can sort of agree with some of the description being on the line of overreaching. "quizzical frown" isn't bad, but since it's a telling tag it could probably be rephrased anyway to something we are shown more clearly. (Though I get sometimes we write facial acrobatics that further confuse). As the other commenter suggested, it may be a case of where to place the empahsis on physical description. If it's not worth showing the quizzical frown, just say frown and move on, and save the better description for where there is deeper emotional impact.

    I loved the intimacy of the scene. This guy sounds hot and like he's proactive without seeming like a jerk. Probably because he is shown being very careful with her instead of aggressive, his cocky statements come off charming rather than creepy.

  3. Enjoyed this! Some easy fixes (if you choose):

    I'd delete "You think so, huh?" to tighten.

    If you're in close 3rd POV, the MC wouldn't be able to see the blush staining her cheeks.

    "She refused to look at him" implies that she hasn't been looking, but she would have had to look to see the quizzical frown. Maybe: She turned away, refusing to look...

    I'd use the invisible said instead of clarified.

    "Roby lightly grasped her arm, and all her determined forward momentum sent her spinning back around." This doesn't sound possible, physics-wise, unless he pulled her.

    "She had never been this close." To this guy, or any guy?

    "He bowed his head" makes it seem like he's going to say grace before he goes in for the kiss. :) (Ducked? Dipped? Lowered?)

    I like this! "The tip of his tongue, slipping in on the invitation of her sigh."

    Melting and increments/building seem contradictory, although I like that last sentence on the whole.

    Very realistically written!

  4. The ending is really sweet, but it comes out of nowhere. This sounds like a final scene in the novel, but you said in your note that they have just met. Why does he want to kiss her every day when she just said he was a player and meant he is going to pay with her too?
    Why would she roll her eyes when what she really wants is him to kiss her?
    Maybe change, "She has never been this close" by "They had never been this close" or just "She has never been this close to him."
    I think what is missing here is the explanation on how her resolve is pulverized. Why did she let him kiss her and maybe humiliate her more? Maybe she feels that he truly loves her or she sees sincerity in his eyes or maybe he proves to her that he cares. Something must break the last bridge between them. What is it?
    Maybe you've got to put a little bit more tension in here because she is fighting between desire and reason.
    Nice scene though.

  5. This drew me right in, and I love the last line. (Though I might change the punctuation: Just like that. Every day.) Don't we all wish to hear something like that after a kiss like that?

    A few suggestions to tighten:

    "Oh, really? What makes you think so?" Then give us some body language other than an eye roll and delete the holding her breath part.

    Consider: "I wasn't asking you to kiss me." She gritted her teeth. "I asked … difference. You've kissed every other girl on the island, so … forget I asked."

    Consider: "I said, forget it."

    I agree that if he lightly holds her arm, her swinging around with such momentum doesn't add up.

    Consider: Just like that, they faced each other, inches apart.

    Consider: She lifted his eyes to his, uncertain (or afraid of?) what she will find. She had never been this close (to him? to a boy? to what she wanted?)

    Consider: Neither moved a muscle, their breaths held in check. His had rose to cup her face and his thumb caressed the curve of her cheek. Slowly he lowered his face to hers.

    Rest assured that I make these suggestions because I was truly touched by this scene.

    Great job.

  6. Patricia NesbittApril 3, 2014 at 9:58 AM

    agree with earlier comments. I thought the dialogue was realistic for YA. And any YA girl reader would so identify with the longing and melt completely at the scene. Love that he is gentle, cupping her chin. And love his promise at the end. As a reader, I want to keep reading to see if that indeed comes true...the every day part.
    Great job. would like to read the rest of the novel now:)

  7. This is a very nice scene and done well. I liked the fact that even though this guy is supposed to be a player, he doesn't seem to be playing her. He seems to respect her.

    Perhaps cut 'with a quizzical frown.'

    I don't get why she's embarrassed because he thought she asked him to kiss her? If asking 'why haven't you kissed me' isn't embarrassing, (especially when his answer might be because she has bad breath, or he just doesn't like her that way) why would saying 'kiss me' be embarrassing?