Tuesday, May 30, 2017

First Kiss #6

TITLE: Enchanter's Dawn
GENRE: YA Historical Fantasy

[William is heir to an English earldom, Eleanor is a French noble in exile. She has been learning English from him in secret. They first met at a Twelfth Night party. Story takes place in 1459.]

The gentle roar of the rain outside the barn made him feel as if he and she were alone in the world. Slowly, he leaned toward her. She turned her dark eyes up to his. In the gray, rain-filtered light, he noted every detail of her face, from her rosy lips to her fine eyebrows.

She said softly, “What did you say on Epiphany when you stood as king? You looked at me when you spoke, yet I could not understand you.”

William remembered how she looked that night, wearing a paper crown and a cloak decked with juniper and mistletoe. How he had longed for her then, and now he sat beside her, hand in hand. “I said, I hope that all of our wishes for this year come true.”

“And has your wish come true yet?” she asked.

“It is about to,” he whispered as he leaned in and kissed her. He had only meant to steal a brief kiss, but when her hand slid across his cheek and ran through his hair, he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her against him. Hungry as they were for each other, their lips parted as a desperate longing deepened their kiss.

“William!” Gregory’s booming voice seemed to shake the world. William jumped, his dream suddenly plunging into nightmare. His father seized him by the collar and yanked him to his feet.


  1. I like the way this first kiss turns into a disaster all at once. It's obvious that the Earl is not pleased by what he found.

    I'd suggest tightening the scene up a bit by eliminating a few of the modifiers and even a couple of dialogue tags.

    Overall, I like this scene very much, especially with the surprise at the end of it!

  2. Swoon! The punch at the end with Gregory entering was a fabulous way to rip the moment apart. High tension, great atmosphere with the barn and the rain. Loved this!

    A few notes:
    - There are four "ly" adverbs (slowly, softly, only, & suddenly) and I’d recommend getting rid of all of them, keep one at most. Especially the second two - it would eliminate the adverb & passive telling in the first and make the second feel more sudden (and switch “plunging” to “plunged” so it matches “jumped”) without labeling it.
    - There are a few filters (feel, remembered, seemed) that are distancing, it’d read stronger/deeper if reworked so they aren’t used. Example: “She wore a paper crown and a cloak decked with juniper and mistletoe that night. He longed for her then, and now…” Also “had” tends to be a sign of passive writing, deleting it will help make it more active.
    - Dialogue tag on the 5th paragraph technically all happens simultaneously, which I guess he could technically do, but I think it was supposed to be leaning in while whispering and then the kissing after he was done speaking.
    - The last sentence of the 5th paragraph spoiled the image, it was too much. Not that they can’t feel that way, but the wording is forced and hokey. I still want one more sentence here to revel with them a second longer, but not the current line.

    These are super nit-picky things, this scene worked for me as is, I wanted to keep reading ��

    1. Thanks for your detailed feedback, KP17! I really appreciate your suggestions. I (definitely) need to get rid of those filters and the adverbs. Making a few changes will really punch up the scene. Then I'm going to go over the entire ms with these criticisms in mind.

      I'll work on that last sentence and make it less hokey ;)

  3. Oh! I was floating away on their love, then wham! I definitely want to read more!

  4. I love this! The only suggestion I have is to replace some of the repetition of 'she' with her name. Very nice work though!

  5. Really nice. I was drawn in immediately. I agree with what KP17 noted and if you tweak using those few suggestions, it will sparkle! Awesome first kiss!