Monday, February 4, 2013

CLC Kissing Scene Competition

This is my Kissing Scene Competition Entry as part of Cupid's Literary Connection Blind Speed Dating Event.


Kissing Scene Intro: 
This scene is from my Upper Middle Grade Science Fiction. After being abducted by aliens, thirteen-year-old Gary was gifted the power of telekinesis. In this scene, he is working with his teenaged, alien trainer, Esther, to hone his ability. She tasks him with using his ability to retrieve a small pillow that is tucked tightly inside her fist.

Kissing Scene
Scrunching his face, Gary's eyes narrowed to small slits. After a few moments the white ruffles pulled between Esther’s fingers. She tightened her grip and he focused harder, imaging the pillow, and ignoring her hand wrapped around it. Once he had a clear image, he let his mind find a steady drumbeat. Slow and methodical. THUD, THUD, THUD, it pounded in his head. When he mastered the rhythm, he yanked with his mind and the pillow flew between her fingers. He reached out and caught it before it whizzed by.

Esther sucked in a breath, opened her hand, and stared at the red burn mark on her palm.
Before she could say anything, Gary spoke up, “Sorry, I didn’t mean to be so rough.” He took her wrist and inspected the red marks in her palm. With his free hand he touched the tips of his fingers to his lips then laid them gently in her palm. He folded her fingers over his and gazed into her eyes. “All better.” He smiled.

Esther blinked, a look of surprise forming on her face. “Yes, that feels much better now.” Her shimmering lips curled upward causing a dimple to appear on her right cheek.

Her happiness made Gary feel like he was floating, like nothing bad could ever change this one moment. Though he didn't know why, he leaned in closer and closer, time crawling by. Her exotic, floral scent filled his nose and intoxicated him. His mouth went dry as he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.

When Gary regained control of his frozen muscles, he pulled back immediately and looked away from Esther, cheeks burning. His stomach knotted with regret. Did I just ruin our friendship?

Her hand lightly touched his shoulder. Calm washed over him, his nerves eased, and the knot in his stomach untwisted. He turned to her, surprised to see her still smiling. It was infectious. He tried to hide the giant grin erupting. She's happy, so maybe I didn't mess anything up. What does this mean?

30 comments:

  1. Hi, Jamie. This is Kari from #20 (ignore the misleading sign-in name).

    I'm intrigued by your basic situation here; there seems to be a lot of potential in it. I do wish I knew more about the relationship between the characters (a common hazard of the 350-word excerpt, I guess). I can't quite get a sense of Gary here. He's a thirteen-year-old boy confident enough to heal with a pseudo-kiss and then go in for a real kiss, and yet the real kiss makes him seem to morph into a different, much less confident character. The "He didn't know why he'd done it" line comes close to contradicting what we've just seen (he did it because her happiness made him happy too). It's as if he's following a standard "kissing scene" script that doesn't really suit his personality. Then again, this small glimpse of the story may be misleading, as I'm sure many of the posted kissing scenes are.

    The writing is also occasionally awkward, albeit only to a minor degree. For instance, "Her lips curled upward" is a rather ugly description of a beautiful smile (by which I mean that it doesn't capture the loveliness of a smile capable of making Gary act as he does). All in all, however, the scene is promising, and the marginally clunky bits should be easy to fix.

    Thanks for your comments on my scene, and good luck!

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    1. Thanks so much for your comments! I totally agree that it's hard to setup a 350 word scene from the middle of a novel without it being a bit confusing. I wanted this scene to be the nervous first kiss kind of scene, the it felt right in the moment cause the hormones are raging but the minute it ended it's the oh maybe I shouldn't have done that embarrassment, if that helps the reference a little bit.

      Anyways, I really appreciate the feedback. It helps a lot!

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  2. Gary completely won me over with his healing "kiss' on Esther's palm, his confident kiss and then his utter lack of confidence after the fact. That felt completely believable to me.

    Good luck!

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  3. I do like that Gary has the confidence to kiss his fingers and then bring them to Esther's hand. That was very sweet and pretty mature for a thirteen-year-old, but I don't know Gary up until this point (goes with the territory of what we are doing). I can get why he'd be more confident with the hand and then freeze up a bit with the real kiss, but I can also see how you might want a clearer transition from confidence to awkwardness. I love the telekinesis concept. Good luck!
    --Amy (#5)

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    1. Yes, I agree setup is hard in this kind of situation. Thanks for you comments.

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  4. Gary seems incredibly sweet to me. I think the hand kiss/healing would be effective if he was echoing something done by someone special, such as his mother. Then following that up with the shy kiss on the cheek would be lovely. Thanks for sharing this scene, and best of luck to you!
    --Barb (#38)

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    1. Thanks for the comments, they sparked a great idea that I might have to incorporate into this! As for Gary, he definitely has his moments ;)

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  5. I love this scene. I'm totally getting a feel of the young-awkward-love story in Moonrise Kingdom. Have you seen it?

    On that note I'm wondering if like Barb mentioned, it might work well to have the pacing the other way around, where instead of a slow deliberate kiss to the hand, it's just a quick instinctual "here let me kiss your hand" thing, followed by embarrassment and then the second kiss? Just a thought tho!

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    1. I have not heard of Moonrise Kingdom but I will have to check it out now. Thanks for you comments, I hadn't pictured the kiss on the hand that drawn out but you make an interesting point. Thanks for the suggestion.

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  6. Hmm, I like Carissa's thoughts above. I know we're supposed to focus on the kissing here, but I wanted to compliment you on how well you staged/explained the telekinesis with the pillow stuffed in the hand, etc. It was clear, and I visualized it very well. Also, I thought the kiss was sweet and showed the other side of Gary, the not-so-confident side. For some reason, I also really liked the detail of the dry lips. That made the kiss feel more authentic. Nice work!

    --Kathryn #18
    (I set my blog post to auto-publish this morning, and it failed. It's published now if you missed it. :-)

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    1. Thank you for all your comments, including the bits about the telekinesis! I really appreciate it :)

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  7. I agree with Carissa's mention of Moonrise Kingdom. Totally felt like that. Or my own memories of starting to take an interest in boys at that age. Those early-teen attempts at intimacy are always so awkward. Really sweet. :) --Saybe (Kissing Scene #23)

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    1. Thanks! Looks like I definitely need to check out Moonrise Kingdom. I'm glad you found it authentic :)

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  8. HI! I am one of the kissing judges, and I would like to grant you a special award for this wonderfully sweet scene!

    You've earned my SUGAR LIPS AWARD! I hope you find this encouraging, and I wish you the very best of luck as you continue with your projects! Thank you for sharing!

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    1. THANK YOU!!! I'm still bouncing off the walls after seeing this the next morning :) Much appreciated.

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  9. Ah, yes...I remember those horrible yet wonderful moments of young love that your not sure is love but maybe it could be but what if it isn't? ;)
    Nice work combining the elements of the fantasy plot with a more emotional/character development scene.

    Good Luck!
    Melonie (#29)

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  10. Are MG kiss scenes harder to write than YA? I don't read MG, so I don't know much about it. I would imagine it can't be as intense as YA, obviously.

    I think you did a good job though and I like how he gets worried right at the end, of losing her friendship.

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    1. I guess it depends on your perspective in terms of as to whether or not MG is harder to write. For someone that's used to writing steamy scenes, yes I'd imagine they would be. MG is a lot more innocent in most cases. It's hormones, confusion, and new feelings. It's more of a I like this person situation but it's hard to identify if the feelings they are having is just friends or something more. It's all new. So the tension arises from confusion, new feelings, new experiences and new ways of looking at the opposite sex rather than true sexual tension. I look at MG more as a platform to launch a YA kissing scene off of. It has to start somewhere.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting :)

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  11. Aw! This one is so sweet! I love MG kisses. Nicely done!

    Larissa (#47)

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  12. I really liked this scene. You did a perfect job at describing the telekinesis training. In the paragraph starting with "Her happiness..." I would have expected a tiny bit more hesitance, since my impression from the intro was that she was older than he was. If I got that wrong, then no worries. Very sweet!
    Laura, Kiss #33, BSD #112

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    1. I never really specified but she is within a year of Gary. So only slightly older. She is just a little bit more mature and knowledgeable about certain things cause she's an alien ;) Thanks for your comments and for stopping by.

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  13. I love, love that this is upper middle grade! This is awesome, and I've read it before, and couldn't believe I hadn't commented! Fantastic work and I think it is so romantic that he healed her...so sweet! "Sugar Lips" for sure!!!

    Virginia #7

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  14. As a "Kissing Expert," I just have to give this a Cutest Couple Award! It was also in the running for Sugar Lips and even a little bit Color Me Red. Gary is so sweet, so awkward, he and Esther are absolutely adorable! I have ????? floating over my head wondering how one of Gary's abductors came to be his friend and sweetie. I have to say, I am mightily impressed with how you describe telekinesis - more aerospace engineers should write science fiction!

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    1. Wow! Thank you so much! I'm totally grinning from ear to ear! You made my day!

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