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Thread: First Kiss - Exercise, very short

  1. #41
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    I'm a romance writer, reluctantly so, and what i've read is really very good. As others have mentioned in various comments, the heat is there. The fact that you've written from both your characters P'sOV is barely noticeable and in no way comes across confusing. But if you did want to stick to one - his mind is the one i'd want to hear, where as her feelings could easily be observed in her body language, facial expressions and the actions in the scene.

    I'm so new and only hope this helps.

  2. #42
    This is an emotional moment, but it reads like a report, because you're focusing on explaining the story, event by event. Informative, yes. But story doesn't lie in making the reader know the progression of events, as related by the dispassionate voice of a narrator we can't hear or see. A reader doesn't want to know what happened to her, they want to be her and live the story, not learn it. In short, they want to be entertained, not informed.

    It's not that you're doing something wrong, or a matter of talent and potential, it's that you're using an approach more suited to nonfiction, author-centric and fact-based: "This happened...then that happened...he did this...then she did that...and after that..."

    When you read it, knowing the people, the situation, and the emotions involved it reads with emotion and excitement. Mentally, you fill in the scene, and become her. But for the reader, who can only guess at how you would read it, and who has no idea of what the setting is like, look at the questions the text raises:
    Her last manuever brought her in front of him, totally vulnerable, and without his quickness of reflexes to stop what she knew was coming.
    What's the subject of this sentence? Is it where she is? That she's vulnerable? What she knows is coming? That she has slower reflexes? In general, a sentence needs a defined subject. But more than that, this is a report, given by an invisible narrator. She may be the focus character, but unless we know how she feels, and what she knows we can't know her emotional state. And if we don't, we can't form an empathetic bond with her, and thus care what happens. And making her feel takes a writing skill-set that's emotion based and character-centric.

    History, which is what you're presenting, is immutable. It's a series of facts with no uncertainty. But if you place the reader into her "now," and keep them there as time flows, we know what matters to her, what she's trying to achieve, and what she thinks her chances are o accomplishing that. We believe what she believes, even if she's mistaken, and so will want to know what's going to happen.

    The best complement a reader can pay is, "I don't know where this is going, but it's interesting, so screw going to bed. I'll read just one more chapter." And to make them say that you have to involve, not inform the reader. And none of the writing techniques we learn in our school days have that ability, because while they're great for essays and reports, they suck at entertaining.

    So it's not about good or bad writing, it's that you need a few of the tricks the pros take for granted, like knowing how to make the scene-goal work for you, the three questions a reader wants answered quickly, and so on. For all we know you have talent oozing from every pore. But talent is only potential. Training that talent is what gives it the tools to take wing. And don't you owe it to the story to present it in the best setting?

    So if you can, put a bit of time aside to train your talent. You might check the local library system's fiction writing section. There are books by editors, agents, publishers, teachers, and successful writers. Given your current level, I'd suggest you pick up a copy of Debra Dixon's, GMC: Goal Motivation & Conflict. It's a great first book, and will give you a grounding in the structure and writing issues that will place the reader into the story as the protagonist. You can download it from any bookseller, or get a hard copy from Deb's site.

    Sorry my news isn't better. I wish there was a more gentle means of breaking such news. But I thought you would want to know.

    But whatever you do, hang in there, and keep on Writing.
    Jay Greenstein
    My articles on writing.
    The goal isn't to tell the reader that the protagonist is terrified, it's to terrorize our reader.

  3. #43
    I liked this one.

    I don't typically write in the romance genre, but if I do, there are some darker undertones similar to what you've laid out. This story could have easily gone in a different direction of he decided to embrace the fascination of a woman's throat and continue to do what he was doing. Then she could either go along with it or refuse, either way resulting in a pretty hot scene.

  4. #44
    Member LadyF's Avatar
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    It's an incredible scene, incredible to the point of giving me goosebumps, and the last sentence felt so large. Wow

  5. #45
    This is wonderful! As a romance writer myself I always love to read other people's approach to first kiss scenes. This was really well done, and had me submerged in their relationship despite the fact that I've never read about the characters before! I was able to pull a vision of the characters appearance and mannerisms from the way you described them and the way you described their thought process. I think that some of the description is a little rough, as if you were kind of hesitant in writing the pace that they're moving, if that makes sense. But I think that's something that gets better the more you write these kinds of things. I can tell you really sunk yourself into this.
    Overall it was wonderful!

  6. #46
    To be honest this Ďfirst kissí comes across as more of an assault. If your intention was to explore the tenderness of a first kiss between two young people, then I think you need another approach. It depends on how you want the kiss to be seen by your readers. Reading the text I gather the male is older and far more experienced than the female. He would be well aware of her innocence and her unease and so his approach would be very gentle and probably very brief, the last thing he wants is to frighten her.

    To be honest I canít see how she would react to a physical assault by giving him a sheepish half smile afterwards, that would take a great leap of imagination.
    Then he undergoes a complete change in his original intentions (I think itís easy to guess what they were) and is totally immured by the visible, smooth, white skin, always assuming he hadnít noticed it before.

    But dismiss all I have said above if you are writing a sexual fantasy because thatís a fantasy i.e. not in anyway intended to be real life.

    A few men, for some weird reason, will be eager to tell their mates that they married a virgin; which is amusing especially when you have unquestionable evidence that it was not so.

    Regards
    John.

  7. #47
    Member LOLeah's Avatar
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    I'm really surprised but pleased this is still getting feedback. Even though a lot of it is constructive criticism, it's encouraging that is has generated so many comments. Perhaps it's only because I promised everyone it was short lol.

    Thank you to all who contributed and please know I read and considered each of your tips. I feel my writing has grown a lot since I wrote this, in part to opening myself up and then actually taking the advice so I'm certainly glad I did it.

    I will be posting another scene from this novel soon and I hope you all will read it and provide more great feedback.
    "We all die. The goal is not to live forever, the goal is to create something that will." ~Chuck Palahniuk

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