Thursday, February 1, 2018

First Kiss #11

TITLE: Evren
GENRE: YA Fantasy

Evren and Sa'av faced the villain together and Sa'av was hurt. Things are coming to a head.

His sapphire eyes were dilated, his breathing shallow. "What happened?"

"They pierced me. In the chest."

Evren swore under her breath as he lifted the torn tunic and she saw the wound pooling with blood and liquid.

"Will you let me?"

His eyes flickered up towards her, hazy with pain. "Please, Evren."

Swallowing the lump that had risen in her throat, she kneeled down, the violet silk pooling around her. The tightness in her chest wouldn't leave. This was goodbye.

Tipping her head down so he wouldn't see the tears, she went to work, binding the wound. He inhaled sharply when her hands touched his waist. Glancing up, she opened her mouth to apologize for hurting him.

But was surprised when his mocha hand came to her chin and tipped her towards him.

Their lips met together and a volcano of heat flushed around her face down her neck. Evren bit his bottom lip gently, her eyes fluttering closed. Heat swarmed other places of her body and she pressed into his chest, careful to avoid his cut.

Tipping her face away from his searching lips, she rested her face in the nape of his neck.

"Evren," His tone was hoarse, "Please - "

"I have to leave, Sa'av."

She felt him slump down, his body quaking with disappointment. Tears threatened to slip down her cheeks. Biting down hard on her lip, Evren leaned back so he could see her face. The orange and violet dust particles continued to fall around them. They were in their own messed up fairytale world for that moment.


  1. I love the built in tension of the scene. This being a passage, it was hard to get a grasp on who was speaking at first. Sa'av is hurt, but Evren says "they pierced me in the chest."

    The details of the wound really add to the direness of the situation, plus when she says "this is goodbye," it seems as if she believes he might die of his wounds. The kiss caught me off guard because he's dying and in pain, blood pooling, and there's nothing romantic or telling to lead up to it. She touches his waist, but does that evoke feelings within her? And does his sharp inhale mean more than he's just in pain? Perhaps add in some details to lead into the kiss.
    The kiss itself was passionate and well done, but I couldn't help but be distracted by the thought that he's possibly dying from some terrible wound while she is getting heated from their passionate kiss. That might be an out of context assumption, so sorry if that's the case.

  2. The kiss is steamy and well done. However, I was distracted by wondering why she's so into the kiss when she thinks he might die. I know this is a passage, and we only have a tiny bit of your entire manuscript, but from this excerpt, I don't have any sense if this kiss has been a long time in coming or if it's a surprise to either of them. I'm not sure what Evren is feeling while this is going on, other than lust. Is she happy about it? Sad? Conflicted? Surprised? I do love your last line: "They were in their own messed up fairytale world for that moment." It seems to say a lot. Thanks for being brave and letting your work be posted like this!

  3. As with the other two commenters here, I will agree that I was very confused as to why we're kissing when we're worried someone is about to die. It's not clear why this would be an action one would take. Maybe a light kiss filled with regret that they haven't had the chance to do more, but a steamy kiss when she thinks he's about to die? My head was kind of left spinning and I'm not sure that's what you were going for.

    So I think after a few reads I may have figured it out. She was leaving anyway and it had nothing to do with the wound... (I think.) That's probably more clear with the pages before and after this one. Just be aware how you describe the wound because you mention that he's been pierced in the chest, there's pooling blood, that it needs to bound, and then you just call it a cut later. It's certainly more than a cut.

    "But was surprised when his mocha hand came to her chin and tipped her towards him." Careful here. Generally speaking, writers should stay away from foods when describing skin color. (Eye color is okay.) No mocha or caramel or chocolate... People are not food and there are plenty of ways to describe skin tone without using food. His bronzed hand, his dark hand, his sun-kissed hand, etc. This site actually lists a whole LOT of descriptors for skin tone. Maybe try one of these instead?

    I wish I knew more about what was happening before and after this scene. I think it would be stronger with more set-up. I don't feel invested in the characters as it stands, but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't take much to change that. Show what's at stake, what they're feeling, rather than telling us about it. In the very last sentence, you flat out say that they are in their own messed fairy tale. What if one of them were to think:

    This wasn't the ending my fairy tale was supposed to have.


    This fairy tale has the most messed up ending of any I've heard.

    or (if you don't want to slip directly into her head)

    This wasn't the fairy tale ending she'd imagined she'd have someday for sure. It was...messed up.

    If she's thinking it, you're giving us a window into her thoughts AND you're still getting the idea across. But you're doing it on a more emotional level as opposed to telling your reader that you want them to think this is a messed up fairy tale.

    I had a lot to say on this one and I hope you don't take it the wrong way. YA fantasy is one of my very favorite genres! (Actually, I think it *is* my very favorite!) And I love the world you've built in this one. Even in this tiny snippet, I can see that you've created a very complete world. I'd love to read more! Great job!

  4. Okay, piggybacking off what others have mentioned so I won’t rehash those things. I’m also confused about the characters gender in the first paragraph. I think it’s just the way you worded it. Coming into the story at what feels to be the falling climax, it’s possible this could just be the way I’m reading this. Still I’d take a look at the first paragraph for clarification purposes. Maybe I’m wrong about that though. I do feel that your readers might be upset if you build up to this kiss in the beginning and then someone dies. Of course, I could have this all wrong. Good luck with it!

  5. Put a character's dialogue and action together so readers can keep up with who is saying and doing what. This isn't an absolute rule that must always followed, but it is a good rule of thumb :)

    So you'd have:

    His sapphire eyes were dilated, his breathing shallow.

    "What happened?" she asked.

    "They pierced me. In the chest."

    Evren swore under her breath as he lifted the torn tunic and she saw the wound pooling with blood and liquid. "Will you let me?"

    Once I got to the "this is goodbye" part, I was a little lost. I wasn't sure if he was dying or what. Go ahead and provide more clarity through Evren's inner life; let us know what she knows. I liked how he initiated the kiss and I think it's an interesting tension between conflict and passion. Since he is injured, though, I did want more of her feelings/thoughts about that as they kiss. If she's worried about his health she might not bite his lip and press up against him. Or if she does, it would definitely be combined with her thinking about how she doesn't want to lose him. So if you play with that a little, it could create a really emotional scene.

    I loved the imagery this line created: The orange and violet dust particles continued to fall around them.

    I wasn't fond of the ending line (They were in their own messed up fairytale world for that moment.). If I read more, I might think otherwise, but at this point, the voice/tone seems really different from the rest of the excerpt. Overall, good emotion and obvious conflict!

  6. A few things:
    1) Don't give his eye color unless she's noticing it for the first time or has a good reason to think of the color. Same thing about skin (also don't use food to describe skin color!)
    2) This is her POV so she can't know how he's breathing. You need to show us what she sees rather than what he's doing (meaning, she can see him pant or see him out of breath but she can't see HOW he is breathing).
    3) She can't know that his body is quaking with disappointment. This is also out of her POV. She can guess or wonder what he's feeling, but never know it.
    4) You mention her fighting tears twice. You need to remove at least one of these although I'd remove both. It's too obvious and almost telling.
    5) "Their lips met together" > This sounds like the narrator's POV. We need to be in hers which means we see this from what SHE feels not what you (the writer) would see.


  7. Thank you to everyone who has commented! I have some work to do on this scene and I so appreciate all your help. <3 Loie