Thursday, February 1, 2018

First Kiss #1

TITLE: Time Passages
GENRE: YA Contemporary Fantasy

Gemma really likes her friend Ben and has been trying to find the right time and place to tell him. Finally, they're at a party together and she decides it's now or never. But the only place they can find to be alone together is the laundry room.

I look up at him and flounder around for the right words, but can’t think of any. I push ahead anyway. “I like you, Ben. A lot.” His eyebrows rise, but I keep talking. “I think I’ve liked you forever. I'm sorry if it makes you uncomfortable, but I had to tell you. You don’t have to say anything back right now. I understand.”

I can’t meet his eyes, afraid of what I’ll see. Embarrassment? Horror? I stare at his throat and watch his Adam’s apple bob up and down, petrified I just ruined everything.

I glance up at his face and his lips are curved into a smile. “It doesn’t make me uncomfortable, Gemma. I like you too.”

“You do?”

“Yeah, but you were always with Kyle. So I didn’t think—”

“Kyle's not my boyfriend anymore. I'm breaking up with him. Tonight.”



He leans closer and touches my cheek. My heart pounds. His arms wrap around my waist, his head lowers and he kisses me. Softly at first, then long and deep, one hand slides up my back and laces through my hair. Kissing him is thrilling and sweet. I feel a little wobbly.

Our first kiss is nothing like the fantasy I had a few days ago—no beach, or crashing waves, or sunset sky. We stand under glaring fluorescent lights. Instead of a sea breeze, the air is filled with the overpowering smells of bleach and floral fabric softener. The rumble of a dryer is our soundtrack.

None of that matters.

Ben likes me.


  1. This was great! I only have nitpicks for you, so here you go: Who started the dryer? It's rumbling, but I doubt some teenager is going to throw a load in the dryer during the party. :)

    It wouldn't hurt to add it some sensory details during the kiss. Does he smell like a certain brand of cologne? Does his day old patchy stubble scrape against her skin as they kiss?

    Also, you could eliminate some "tell" and do more "show" by taking out the sentence "I feel a little wobbly" and instead describing what that does to her. Room spinning, knees weak, etc. Just a nitpick.

    Great way to close out the scene, how she realizes it's not the perfect first kiss, but that doesn't matter because he likes her back.

    1. HA! I wondered who started the dryer too, since the parents are supposed to be out of town. Maybe there's a hot tub and they splashed each other and got their clothes wet and had to throw them in the dryer to dry. Anyway, I can easily remove it, if it raises questions, and keep the other elements to make the point. I like the sensory details you suggest and will work to add some in. Thanks for your comments.

  2. This was nice. I agree with Kristin about the telling part. Instead of saying I feel a little wobbly, maybe, 'dizziness overtakes me' or 'my knees buckle', something like that, but that's a minor thing.
    I absolutely love how you close it out with the two short sentences, None of that matters. Ben likes me. Great way to end the scene. Well done!

  3. This is a really great first kiss scene! There's a nice balance of dialogue and action and sensory description. I do agree that I would like more on the actual kiss itself, and I would watch your passive verbs, but other than that, I really liked this one!

  4. I love the mix of action and dialog. I love how uncomfortable she is. In the sentence where you say, "Softly at first, then long and deep..." you start off by describing the kiss (I think) but then go to a description of what his hands are doing. I think it would work better if you start with the kiss, then in a different sentence describe what his hands are doing. I also love the two sentences at the end. I think it's perfect and lovely. Thanks for being brave and sharing this with everyone!

    1. That would make it clearer. Thanks for your comments, Doree.

  5. I like all of this except for a few things:
    1) I don't like that she's technically cheating on her boyfriend. It kills the romance for me.
    2) You are giving the action here to his body parts not him: "His arms wrap around my waist, his head lowers and he kisses me". Say, "He wraps his arms around my waist..." Otherwise, it sounds like his arms are acting without his will which is creepy.
    3) This may be because we don't have the lead-up, but it feels a little bit fast. They go from admitting their feelings without any hesitation to kissing on the next line. Romance is all about anticipation so the longer you can drag that out, the better.


    1. Yes, I see what you're saying about the body parts. I like how much stronger the imagery becomes by changing it as you suggested.

      This scene comes at the end of the second act, so hopefully there has been enough build up by the time we get to this part of the story. I see what you mean about Gemma cheating, but there's some subtext going that's not apparent in this short excerpt, concerning her relationship with her boyfriend and the time travel aspects of the story. Thanks so much for your comments.

  6. Interesting I was bothered by the same thing Holly mentioned, the "I'm breaking up with my boyfriend tonight" thing. It kind of stopped me in my tracks because I'm thinking, wait, why not break up with the boyfriend first before making moves on the next guy? Is she a coward and just making sure she has a guy in the wings before she has the guts to break up with Kyle?

    I know that's not fair and if I knew more about the character & story it might not bother me at all. But as it stands, I found your characters unlikeable because of this and so didn't really get into it.

    1. By the time the reader gets to this part of the story, she should have an clear understanding of why Gemma is doing this. Hopefully anyway. Thanks for your comments, Amy.

  7. I had fun reading this scene! Thanks for sharing it. I liked how she blurts her confession of liking him. Her words are the perfect mix of truth and awkwardness. I agree with the previous comments to slow down the moment after the omission and before the kiss. Maybe from “you do” to “yeah” you could pepper in information about what is going on beyond the laundry room. Is it a loud party? Why was the laundry room the only room free? How can you show their awareness of their privacy and nearness?

    Seems like a fun book! Great job.

    1. Good suggestions. Thanks for your comments, Ellie.