Wednesday, April 2, 2014

First Kiss #9

TITLE: Fourth and Goal
GENRE: YA Fiction

Trey and Trinity have just finished opening night of their high school's musical. They find themselves alone in the makeup room after curtain.

“Yeah?” She stepped up towards him. He took a polite step back and found that he couldn’t go any further: the counter dug into his lower back. She very carefully placed her hands on his shoulders and her touch burned through his shirt. A long, long second stretched into eternity while they stared at each other from mere inches away. His mind raced through about eighty million things in that second: what Michelle said earlier that day, the disastrous makeup room meeting of yesterday, the extremely real possibility that they were about to kiss unless he did something very, very stupid like yesterday and even now, even now the insidious doubt that somehow, some way, he’d managed to read everything hideously wrong even though she started to lean in a little—should he ask? Would that be polite? At least that way he could clear the air once and for—

His brain whited out completely as they both finally closed the gap and her lips slid against his.

It was over as soon as he had the chance to register that it happened.

“Is—um. Okay?” she whispered, and wow, was she crazy? How could this ever be anything but okay?

“Yeah,” he managed breathlessly and they surged forward once more. This time, he had the brain capacity to notice a few things: her lips were slightly chapped from singing all night, but were still pliable enough against his; her body radiated warmth and he was acutely aware of everywhere it met his; his back sort of hurt from where she pressed him against the counter but he honestly couldn’t be bothered enough to move; his hands clutched the edge of the counter as though it kept him living but there were so many better places for them to be.

8 comments:

  1. I like your use of close 3rd person POV. The stream-of-consciousness paragraph at the top mostly works for me, but it could use a little tightening -- look at your use of "very" and "extremely" and other adjectives and adverbs. I think you'll be able to cut a few of them without losing the sense of racing thoughts you're going for.

    Same with that next sentence. How about, "His brain whited out as they closed the gap and her lips slid against his." It loses bulk but puts more emphasis on the phrase "whited out," which I thought was a really nice turn of phrase.

    I love the details Trey notices at the end. And the last line -- great! I would love to read more of this one.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like this one a lot! I agree about cutting back on some adverbs. My only other critique is "pliable" to describe her lips. Doesn't seem very romantic.

    I would read on :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I like the setting; I would expect a kiss scene backstage in a setting with a high school musical :)

    I like the phrase "brain capacity" and how he hopes he doesn't do something very, very stupid to ruin the moment; a great snippet of voice.

    The larger paragraph would read a little easier if broken up a bit. Think of the flow, and what you want to stand out, since some aspects get lost.

    The physical movement descriptions can be pared down a bit. What is most essential to show as to where they stand and how they move? I see quite a few unneccessary words. Imagine you have to cut this scene in half by wordcount. What stays and what goes? Find stronger verbs that elimate the need for adverbs, any filler words like of (you can usually rephrase) or details that crowd out the scene.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Of course there are no "of" phrases now that I look again. That and very are a few that can be eliminated, and just extra words in general.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is really good, but I just want to comment on a few format things that you might want to think about. Those big paragraphs are an instant turn off to me as a reader, and also, you over usage of colons and semi-colons. There's three of each just within this segment. Hope this helps!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yes. Backstage is a perfect place for a kiss, after the adrenaline of performing! (All we need now is for the curtain to open while they're kissing!)

    Quite a long sentence in the first paragraph. I always read things out loud, and I ran out of breath! But I understand it represents his jumble of thoughts. Think you could use a period instead of that first dash.

    Since you use the second dash to cut off his thoughts, it might makes more sense for the lips to be what cut his thought off, and then the brain to white out.

    "Surge toward each other" is more exact.

    "...but there were so many better places for them to be" perfectly expresses his emotion!

    ReplyDelete
  7. A really nice scene that's works well and totally believable.
    There is a lot here, though,that you don't need, and you might get rid of the colons and semi-colons and replace them with periods and commas.

    He took a polite step back and found that he couldn’t go any further: the counter dug into his lower back. -- Replace 'and found he couldn't go any further' with 'until.'

    She very carefully placed her hands on his shoulders and her touch burned through his shirt. -- Replace 'very carefully placed her hands on' with 'took.'

    A long, long second stretched into eternity while they stared at each other from mere inches away. -- cut 'from mere inches away.'

    His brain whited out completely as they both finally closed the gap and her lips slid against his. -- cut everything except 'her lips slid against his.'

    This time, he had the brain capacity to notice a few things: -- Perhaps, 'This time, he noticed her lips were slightly chapped from singing all night,

    CUt - but were still pliable enough against his;

    his back sort of hurt from where she pressed him against the counter but he honestly couldn’t be bothered enough to move; -- cut

    as though it kept him living but there were so many better places for them to be. -- cut.

    ReplyDelete