Wednesday, February 11, 2015

First Kiss #9

TITLE: No One Named Tim
GENRE: Contemporary Fantasy

Joan divulges her boyfriend problems to her classmate Tim, so he writes the following story about Princess Joan’s developing friendship with Tim, the King’s librarian.

The next day Tim gave Joan a gift, a newly bound book.

“What’s this?” she asked, pleased.

“It’s for you. I’m hoping it will make you feel better.”

Joan opened the book to find it filled with stories.

“Are these…” she began uncertainly, but paused.

“They’re my stories.”

Joan was speechless. Before she knew what she was doing, she wrapped a hug around Tim.

“Thank you,” she said.

Tim surprised her when he kissed her lightly on the ear. Joan stepped back, shocked, with her hand cupped over her the side of her face.

“I know I’m not a prince,” Tim said awkwardly. “But my father is a Lord,” he added hopefully.

“I’m…” started Joan. “I mean…”

Unable to think clearly, she turned and walked away. The closer she got to the door the faster her steps whisked across the stone floor. She was almost running as she left the library.

Joan felt tortured for the rest of the day.

“How could he?” she asked herself. “He’s just a friend.”

“So his father is a lord,” she reasoned. “He doesn’t look like a prince should.”

The next day Joan arrived in the library with Tim’s book of stories. Tim was carrying a stack of loosely bound pages to his room to catalogue when Joan interrupted him.

“We need to talk,” she said. Tim put down his pile of paper.

“We can’t be together,” said Joan.

Tim nodded silently.

“I have to give this back.” Joan handed the book to Tim. “I shouldn’t read them.”


  1. There needs to be more description of Tim. How he looks, what she thinks he feels and more emotion from her. Just saying she was tortured all day isn't enough. We need to feel that she is tortured, yes?

  2. This is a tough one to evaluate, because is the whole thing a story that one character tells another character? But let's just say that it is, and that the real Tim is trying to convey something about his feelings, or some other truth, to the real Joan through this story. I can't tell what that thing is! Is there significance to the stories he gives to her? She's clearly touched by the gesture, but I need more to understand why. I could point to more passages that confuse me, but...

    I am sure that reading this in the context of the bigger story would answer a lot of my questions. But strictly examining the relationship of these characters within the story, I'd like to see language that conveys more of a connection between them. I absolutely need to feel the undercurrent of their relationship. And there are lapses of time here that make that even more important, so it doesn't feel choppy.

    It's very interesting, using a device like this. I really do wish I could see it in context better (unless I'm totally misunderstanding, and if so, I apologize)! Lots of luck with your story!

  3. So I can understand what others are saying about it being a little confusing, but the writing is excellent. This is not a genre I would ever read, and yet based on what's here I would definitely continue reading. The creative story line probably needs a little more description/clarification here but maybe you just didn't have the space here. Keep up the good work.

  4. I'm going with the assumption that this is a story within the story. This passage needs a few more details and some smoothing so that it doesn't feel choppy. Some of it reads like stage directions in a play. There needs to be more facial expressions and body language (similar to the part - "steps whisked across," which shows the reader that she is upset by what happened).

    Instead of saying "Joan was speechless," you can describe how her mouth opened but no words came out.

    You don't need "Joan felt tortured," since you state how she continues to think about the incident.

    "Wrapped a hug around Tim" is repetitive. Could say "she wrapped her arms around him and after a moment, his arms encircled her."

    The last four lines don't have any emotion. Is she upset to give the book back? Does he appear sad?

    There's a lot of potential here to show what seems like a case of forbidden love. You just need to pump up the emotion.

    Your choice of using this device of the book of stories is very interesting.

  5. I agree that the writing is excellent. The sentence "Tim surprised her when he kissed her lightly on the ear" should be reduced to "Tim kissed her lightly on the ear" since it follows with Joan beind shocked, which is much stronger.