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Thread: First Kiss - Exercise, very short

  1. #11
    Member LOLeah's Avatar
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    I was using prone as more of a synonym of vulnerable (which it is as far as I know) and not to describe her actual position. But if at least 2 minds were hung up on it I suppose there is a better word.


    ETA
    Prone seems to be one of those fickle words. It can mean apt, vulnerable or lying flat. Is my concession that a reader might be prone (I slay me) to inferring the position definition sufficient or do I have to literally edit the original post before you will critique the rest?
    Last edited by LeeC; April 22nd, 2015 at 08:35 PM. Reason: merged consecutive replies by OP
    "We all die. The goal is not to live forever, the goal is to create something that will." ~Chuck Palahniuk

  2. #12
    He's very assertive Yes . I agree . You've written a series of physical descriptions so naturally we assume that 'prone' is part of that... most common usage, etc.

  3. #13
    Member LOLeah's Avatar
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    I changed it. May as well use the word I was meaning in the first place. Important lesson here for me about avoiding those words if I am able.
    "We all die. The goal is not to live forever, the goal is to create something that will." ~Chuck Palahniuk

  4. #14
    or changing the context. If you'd said 'feeling prone'... but then would that be telling too much? Use it, don't use it? Choices, choices, and I thought this writing stuff was supposed to come easy.

  5. #15
    OK, back from vacation. Sorry for the delay.

    I think you clutter the scene with unneeded detail and clumsy wording. Also had some typos and misspellings. There are good parts to it, but that mincing detail really clogs the works. Learn how to present ideas and feelings more efficiently, and you'll do your readers a favor. Also, ending with a little poetry in a scene like this can't hurt. Little bit of POV problem in paragraphs 2 and 3. Something like this:

    Her last maneuver brought her in front of him, totally vulnerable. Suddenly, his right hand gripped her by the throat. She attempted to deflect it, but couldn’t, and he drove her violently backwards with an arm of iron, stopping his momentum just before her impact with the stone wall behind her. He pinned her gently but assertively against the wall, his fingers applying just enough pressure to display his complete dominance over her.

    She panted from the struggle. Hair veiled her face and sweat beaded on her brow while he barely breathed heavily. She leaned her head back against the wall and smiled sheepishly, raising one eyebrow. She hooked one hand on his outstretched arm and wiped the sweaty strands from her face with the other. What she saw in his eyes tingled her with a sensation not unlike fear.

    Her neck occupied him to distraction on more than one occasion. He was never before so captivated by this particular part of a woman. He admired the swell of breasts and the curve of hips under gowns, and imagined the rest in vulgar detail, but the smooth, white skin of a throat, or the delicate line of bones so innocently feminine never entranced him so. He relaxed his grip a bit, and stepped close, feeling the heat of her body. His hand descended and traced the ridges and hollows of her collarbone with his fingertips.

    She gazed at him with questioning and growing desire. He cupped her face with his hand and lightly brushed his thumb over her lips still parted with breathlessness, and with penetrating eyes, searched her soul for any sign of
    fear or uncertainty. Finding none, he drank of the lips that had enflamed his soul for months.
    John Oberon
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  6. #16
    Member LOLeah's Avatar
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    Clumsy wording and I don't know how to present ideas or feelings effectively. So basically I don't know how to write. Lol yikes. Thanks for taking the time to read and respond.
    Last edited by LOLeah; April 23rd, 2015 at 02:04 AM.
    "We all die. The goal is not to live forever, the goal is to create something that will." ~Chuck Palahniuk

  7. #17
    LOLeah,

    This was great stuff. It felt quite natural and gave me a warm and tingly. I enjoy a good romance. I find it hard for it to come off feeling natural so kudos to you (and your writing).

    I do think you need to choose a POV and stick with it at least for a scene. I've often seen romance novels where an entire event is told first in one POV and then in the other POV but they were separated into different scenes or chapters (and sometimes even books - one of the entire story in her point of view and one in his). Jumping back and forth within a scene (sometimes called headhopping) can be challenging to follow. I had to go back once I hit the third paragraph to refresh myself on whose point of view the first 2 were in. If may be a little harder to write the entire scene in one or the other but I would do it if it were mine.

    There is a book called 'Rivet Your Readers with Deep POV' by Jill Elizabeth Nelson that is a very good one on POV if you happen to like reading. I think Kyle R recommended it to me awhile back.

  8. #18
    Member LOLeah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TKent View Post
    LOLeah,

    This was great stuff. It felt quite natural and gave me a warm and tingly. I enjoy a good romance. I find it hard for it to come off feeling natural so kudos to you (and your writing).

    I do think you need to choose a POV and stick with it at least for a scene. I've often seen romance novels where an entire event is told first in one POV and then in the other POV but they were separated into different scenes or chapters (and sometimes even books - one of the entire story in her point of view and one in his). Jumping back and forth within a scene (sometimes called headhopping) can be challenging to follow. I had to go back once I hit the third paragraph to refresh myself on whose point of view the first 2 were in. If may be a little harder to write the entire scene in one or the other but I would do it if it were mine.

    There is a book called 'Rivet Your Readers with Deep POV' by Jill Elizabeth Nelson that is a very good one on POV if you happen to like reading. I think Kyle R recommended it to me awhile back.
    I actually just learned this is called headhopping in the last few weeks (after I wrote and posted this) so now I can see why it's problematic. Even before I questioned it but I was so inclined to show what he was thinking. I will definitely check out this POV book, it's something I need a better grasp on. Thank you for kindness and advice.
    "We all die. The goal is not to live forever, the goal is to create something that will." ~Chuck Palahniuk

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by LOLeah View Post
    Clumsy wording and I don't know how to present ideas or feelings effectively. So basically I don't know how to write. Lol yikes. Thanks for taking the time to read and respond.
    No, that's not basically it at all. I did not say that you don't know how to write. I think you have a lot of potential. There are literally millions of ways to write your scene, and I presented you with just one that corrects the specific problems I saw in your writing. Also, I didn't say you don't know how to present ideas or feelings effectively. They were effective enough, given the responses you received. I said you need to learn to present them efficiently...as concisely as you can. Compare:

    He then pinned her gently but assertively and his fingers curled ever so slightly around her neck, applying just enough pressure to ascertain that in a real fight she would at this moment be defeated, unable to move without him crushing her windpipe.

    He pinned her gently but assertively against the wall, his fingers applying just enough pressure to display his complete dominance over her.

    You use 43 words. I use 22. In your version, you use "ascertain", like the man's testing to discover whether he can defeat this woman in a real fight. In my version, he already knows that, but wants her to know it. Which do you think has more credibility and enters the reader's brain more readily?

    I also think you're trying to present the male as some sort of man-child. He needs to test if he can defeat this girl, he doesn't know what he's doing, he needs encouragement, he's likely to lose his nerve. To heck with that crap, baby. Stop watering him down. Let's see the fire! As a male, I can say that from my earliest hormones, I knew exactly what I wanted, knew exactly what I was doing, needed zero encouragement, and sure, experienced nervousness about possible rejection from the girl and my performance as a novice, but zero nervousness about trying if I thought she liked me, lol. I don't think I'm at all unusual in that department.

    If you like to get into each character's mind, use third person omniscient.
    Last edited by John Oberon; April 23rd, 2015 at 05:01 PM.
    John Oberon
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  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Oberon View Post
    No, that's not basically it at all. I did not say that you don't know how to write. I think you have a lot of potential. There are literally millions of ways to write your scene, and I presented you with just one that corrects the specific problems I saw in your writing. Also, I didn't say you don't know how to present ideas or feelings effectively. They were effective enough, given the responses you received. I said you need to learn to present them efficiently...as concisely as you can. Compare:

    He then pinned her gently but assertively and his fingers curled ever so slightly around her neck, applying just enough pressure to ascertain that in a real fight she would at this moment be defeated, unable to move without him crushing her windpipe.

    He pinned her gently but assertively against the wall, his fingers applying just enough pressure to display his complete dominance over her.

    You use 43 words. I use 22. In your version, you use "ascertain", like the man's testing to discover whether he can defeat this woman in a real fight. In my version, he already knows that, but wants her to know it. Which do you think has more credibility and enters the reader's brain more readily?

    I also think you're trying to present the male as some sort of man-child. He needs to test if he can defeat this girl, he doesn't know what he's doing, he needs encouragement, he's likely to lose his nerve. To heck with that crap, baby. Stop watering him down. Let's see the fire! As a male, I can say that from my earliest hormones, I knew exactly what I wanted, knew exactly what I was doing, needed zero encouragement, and sure, experienced nervousness about possible rejection from the girl and my performance as a novice, but zero nervousness about trying if I thought she liked me, lol. I don't think I'm at all unusual in that department.

    If you like to get into each character's mind, use third person omniscient.
    You're right. I'm too verbose and I know efficiency is a problem, you're not the only person to note it and even if you were I am humble enough to see the truth in it. I was recently told by someone else to completely forget everything I think I know about adverbs. LOL As an amateur it just gets discouraging sometimes, when the list of things I don't know piles high. But we all have to start somewhere, right?

    The characters involved here are from a novel I'm working on...after months of research because it's historical fiction and I only have like 5k words so far and this scene is far ahead of me. I wanted to play around with the love story a bit and now I'm glad I did. But his uncertainty makes more sense with the rest of the story in place but now that you mention it, he really isn't that type of guy. SO since this scene is just an idea right now it will definitely be completely rewritten and I will be keeping your advice in mind.
    "We all die. The goal is not to live forever, the goal is to create something that will." ~Chuck Palahniuk

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