Thursday, February 1, 2018

First Kiss #15

TITLE: Complex Solutions

Joe and Lexi walk along the beach, killing time, waiting for another friend to arrive so they can all search for Lexi's parents' lost research.

“I can’t let my parents down, let that stranger who’s stalking me get his hands on it. I mean, if that’s why he’s following me around.”

Joe stops and turns towards me. “We’re going to find it.”

“Sorry, it seems it’s all I ever talk about. I shouldn’t dump it all on you.”

“Why are you apologizing? I want to help, Lexi.” His jaw muscle pulses. He takes a step closer.

“You’ve already done so much.” I look him in the eye and hold his gaze. He’s so close, his eyes an ocean of endless green.

My heart is like a ticking time bomb, a spark about to ignite into a firestorm. Joe leans close and takes my face in his hands. His peppermint scented breath is warm on my face as he parts my lips with his. I close my eyes and kiss him back, a soft, gentle kiss that slowly deepens. He brushes my cheek with his thumb as his other arm winds around my waist tugging me to him, against the warmth of him. I place my hands on his sweatshirt and feel his heart thrum in his chest. He tastes so good, a mix of salt, soap and peppermint rushing through my veins, through every cell. This is so good, so right. I don’t want to stop.But I do.

Because I feel like a fraud, keeping my secret from him. He thinks I have it all together. He has no clue how messed up I am, addicted to the little knife in my pocket. Will he still want to kiss me when he discovers the truth? My head spins. I draw in a sharp gulp of air and jerk back.
Joe’s eyes widen. “Lexi, what’s wrong?”


  1. Oooh, there's so much going on here... I like it! I love the part about her heart being like a ticking time bomb. I love the fact that she's involved in the kiss but still can't stop thinking, especially about her secrets. The part with the kiss is visceral, engaging all my senses. But the paragraph after that is much more cerebral. I know that she's thinking those things about him not wanting to kiss her if he learns her secrets, but she's probably feeling them too, isn't she? I'd love to see you bring more emotion in there so I can feel it with her. Thanks for being brave and letting your work be posted like this!

  2. You have a lot of wonderful sensory details in that kissing scene - I love it! Great comparisons too. I like that she puts a stop to it because of her baggage and insecurities and it has me so curious about this story and her. Nicely done! The only thing nitpicky thing I found is some stilted choreography before the actual kiss happens--their coming together didn't flow as nicely as I would've liked it to--but other than that, I thought this was great!

  3. So the beginning of this segment is a bit forced as far as the conversation goes, but that might just be because we're thrown in the middle. (The conversation prior to this might be lovely! I can't say.)

    I love how they are walking on the beach and Lexi specifically compares his eyes to the ocean. It's a nice little tie in that may or may not be intentional.

    The real cream of this kiss scene is the depth of emotion. From the "This is so good, so right. I don’t want to stop. But I do." right to the "Because I feel like a fraud, keeping my secret from him. He thinks I have it all together. He has no clue how messed up I am, addicted to the little knife in my pocket. Will he still want to kiss me when he discovers the truth?"

    There is SO. MUCH. going on here and I love it. Lexi is not a "perfect" heroine. She's a young woman with flaws, just like so many of us. As someone who has had very close family members who have cut (and I assume that's why Lexi is addicted to the knife), I want to say 'good job' on putting Lexi's feelings out there because having those raw feelings pour out onto the page in the form of Lexi's thought process is REALLY important to the reader in order to know where Lexi is in her own mind. She's thrilled. She breathless and enamored and she adores Joe, BUT. She's still the same girl. And she's terrified of it. She's terrified that he can't understand and can't love the person she is and has always been.

    The actual kiss part of this scene and the emotions that flow as a result are really great. Nicely done!

  4. I like this! Sounds like a really interesting story. First, this line: “Sorry, it seems it’s all I ever talk about. I shouldn’t dump it all on you.” It feels a little stiff because of the "it seems" part, and it does use "all" twice pretty close together. (Nothing to do with the actual kiss yet, but it still stuck out to me!) I recommend "Sorry, it's all I ever talk about now. I shouldn't dump it on you."

    When he responds after that, the action tag was after his dialogue. To give some variety, take her next action and put it before her dialogue. I also think that will show them moving physically together better, showing how she's drawn in by him stepping closer. So it'd be:

    His jaw muscle pulses. He takes a step closer. I look him in the eye and hold his gaze. He’s so close, his eyes an ocean of endless green. “You’ve already done so much.”

    Obviously this is their first kiss, but is it the first time they've acknowledged their feelings for each other?
    If so, I'd like to hear a bit about that in her inner life. The actual kiss is very nicely written and has great sensory details, like the peppermint scented breath and the guy's heart thrumming. Nice job!

  5. I find it odd that there's no internal monologue until the very end of this. I think you need to spread it around so it doesn't feel like she just pops back into herself all of a sudden.

    I'd also suggest that you re-think the ticking time bomb metaphor. I don't think it works here. A ticking time bomb is something that's on the precipice of destroying everything, but I don't get this sense here. If you want to show her heart pounding (which is a little cliche) find another metaphor for something that pounds.


  6. Not every line of dialog needs a tag but it can help give us insight into which character POV we’re supposed to be in and whether the POV character as internal feelings that match or contrast with the dialog. IT can be very compelling.

    The internal thoughts at the end of the scene are great. Perhaps feather in a few hints in the opening dialog to let us know the POV character is uncertain or feeling a hint, a pang, of guilt.