Thursday, February 1, 2018

First Kiss #12

TITLE: Not Dead Enough
GENRE: YA Horror

Charlotte is being stalked by someone claiming to be her dead boyfriend. Nate has been helping her try to find out who it is. Charlotte isn't sure if Nate is just a nice guy or if he actually likes her. They have just arrived at a school dance together.

Maybe I’d misinterpreted what tonight meant. Maybe he was going to tell me that he just wanted to be friends, that it didn’t mean anything that we were here together.

I waited, wanting him to just get it over with. When the song ended, he shifted in his seat so he was facing me. “I’m sure you’ve already figured this out, but I really like you.”

The butterflies in my stomach seemed to have grown, and everything inside me fluttered. I cleared my throat, hoping my voice wouldn’t squeak. “I really like you too.”

Nate grinned, then the grin faded, and he leaned toward me. I shifted in my seat, leaning toward him. He put his hand on the side of my face, and together, we closed that last inch. His lips were warm and soft, and the butterflies in my stomach were so agitated that they almost felt uncomfortable.

He kissed me as if he wasn’t thinking of anything but me. He kissed me as if he couldn’t get enough of me. I couldn’t get enough of him. It felt dangerous and real and too good to be true. There wasn’t enough air in the car, but I didn’t need to breathe ever again. Everything felt too warm, as if we might burst into flames.

When we broke the kiss and sat back slightly, I couldn’t help grinning like an idiot, the same grin that was on Nate’s face. “This is the best dance ever,” Nate said, then laughed.


  1. The set-up for this is cute. I like the way they just pull up to the dance and they're both kind of hesitant. I wonder if they should say something other than "I like." Perhaps something along the lines of, "I haven't been able to get you out of my head" or "I can't stop thinking of you" or "I've had a crush on you forever." Not that there's anything wrong with "I like you," but I do feel like there's a deeper emotion here than just two teens saying that they "like" each other.

    The only other thing I would change is when you say "He kissed me as if he wasn't thinking of anything but me. He kissed me as if he couldn't get enough of me." The only problem with this statement is that she can't possibly know that he's feeling this way and so there's sort of an implication that she somehow 'knows.' But teens (and heck, even a lot of adults) are uncertain on that first kiss. I get that it's passionate and that's good. Maybe go on that and swap those two lines for something like, "He kissed me as though I was the only one he wanted." It's still not something she can technically 'know,' but it's something she's much more likely to feel as opposed to feeling his thoughts, if that makes any sense.

    Just my opinion of course! I think this is a cute segment and I never had a high school dance that successful! ;-) Nicely done!

  2. I enjoyed the passage. The one thing that pulled me out of the story was the setting. I thought they were already at the dance. I think it might just be because it’s only 250 words. Or I just read your lead in wrong. Anywho. The only other thing I think would strengthen this is better dialogue. Great job! Good luck with it.

  3. I love this whole excerpt, but I especially love the paragraph about HOW he kissed her like he couldn't get enough... That was great! The only little thing I have is about the cliche butterflies and how often they're mentioned, but that could just be me. Otherwise, I thought this was great and your lead-in has me really wanting to read this!!!

  4. Story concept sounds really cool. That's definitely something I'd pick up. My favorite line is "together, we closed that last inch."

    I was also confused on where they were at first. I'm sure it would be obvious with the full text, but even so, you could add in some more setting details to make the world around them seem more real. So you might mention the AC or heater depending on the time of the year, seeing other students head in from the parking lot, whether it's getting dark outside, etc.

    I also wasn't a fan of the "kissed me like he wasn't thinking of anything but me." It's more abstract so it doesn't actually tell us much about the kiss. Also, not thinking of other things when you're kissing someone is a pretty basic requirement for the kiss to be good, so I think you could go deeper than that. Maybe show some more of the "action" within the kiss to help readers feel the same feelings they are. Like, where does she put her hands? And maybe he runs his through her hair, etc. I really like the ending!

    1) You use shifting in a seat twice in a short passage. I'd remove one.
    2) I wouldn't use butterflies twice and fluttering in addition. It's too much butterfly. Find another reaction that isn't in her stomach.
    3) The way you say "grinning like an idiot" makes it sound like she can see her own face which she can't. She has to assume she looks like an idiot.


  6. A lot of people could identify with the start of this scene. I had a moment of sympathy because I’ve definitely felt this way.

    I was also expecting a little ping of shock after Nate tells Charlotte he likes her. She was expecting the opposite. I’d been expecting her to take a moment to shift gears and absorb what he’d said. Instead she smoothly transitions into fluttering. Maybe give her a beat to realize what he’s said and react to it internally?

    Also, I suggest picking where butterflies would have the most impact and remove the other instance. A great phrase has better impact when used sparingly.

    Nate’s grin faded and just that alone makes it seem as if he’s gone sad or serious. Perhaps add a touch of detail to tell the reader that his grin faded to a more intent expression of some sort to lead into his intention to kiss her?

    This is a sweet scene and I’d love to see you wrap us up in the tension even more so when Nate says it’s the best dance ever, the tension breaks for the reader the same way it does for your characters.