Monday, December 21, 2009

Posted by Laurel Garver on Monday, December 21, 2009 17 comments
In honor of mistletoe, a group of writer bloggers are participating in a Kissing Day Blogfest. To sign up, stop by Sherrinda's blog, A Writer Wannabe.

Kissing scenes are not the easiest to write. In first draft, I find that I tend to err on the side of steaminess that doesn't gibe with the characters. My WIP-1’s one and only kissing scene has gone through a good eight permutations, varying in intensity from yikes to yawn. It has finally landed at a spot that focuses far more on the emotional meaning to the characters than on the physical act. And sorry, I won’t post the steamiest draft from the cutting room floor. Too, too embarrassing!

With WIP-2, I’m still trying to figure out how to approach a long-term teen relationship in which the guy in particular is concerned about going too far. This is an excerpt from a backstory scene I may or may not use, written from the female MC’s point of view:

Two stupid sophomores kept flubbing their scene, one thing after another—blocking, lines, delivery. I was just trying to stay awake back in the fly gallery, waiting for the next cue to reel the scenic drops in and out of the stage area. About the time the director switched from annoyed to huffy, Theo slinked over to me, snaked an arm around my waist, switched off my headset. He nuzzled my neck, my hair; nipped the soft tip of my earlobe. Something inside me snapped: the careful cords that held in place my public persona.

My mouth found his in the dark and we sort of melted into each other. We stumbled over pulleys and fell onto the steel stairs to the catwalks. The metal seemed to ring beneath us. His breath was mine and mine was his and we were one intertwined mess of sweetness and sensation and hunger. There were fingers fumbling on buttons, a lot of missed cues and entrances. Then a flashlight in the face and Callie the stage manager, hissing “I should’ve known. Mating season for the Jesus freaks.”

When it’s the guy who runs off to the bathroom crying, you know you’ve got serious problems.
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17 comments:

  1. Hey! How come you don't share the fun stuff with the crit group? I shared mine!

    I kid, I kid. I like it, though. (Perhaps 'cause I had a couple of backstage makeout sessions with my high school girlfriend too. Ah, memories...) :)

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  2. Your last line rocked! Thank you for sharing!

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  3. I could see them stumbling over pulleys and missing cues; their breath becoming one and then the flashlight in the face. Great, vivid scene and a killer last line. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. Ha! So funny, and great scene. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. That last line makes it -- but I love the rest, too!

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  6. Funny and steamy! I love the backstage kiss--so awkward.

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  7. Wow, very nice!! Love the pacing of it...flows well with the passion that sparks between the two. Nice tension. Sad sort of end to such a lightning beginning--great contrast. Nicely done.

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  8. Thanks for the encouraging feedback, everyone, and welcome to my new visitors and followers! I almost didn't participate in the blogland snogfest because I know relatives read this. Then I realized I need to get past the fear of exposing of the contents of my imagination or give up writing.

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  9. I love the voice! It sounds so high school and feels so frantic and irresistible. Perfect! :)

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  10. Wonderful tone! And possibly the best last line I've read all day!! (I'm glad you got past the fear of exposing your imagination!!)

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  11. I love that last line.

    I know what you mean with the struggle in these scenes, balancing the emotion to the physical description. I think I've come to the conclusion that less is more, as far as the physicality goes. I really like what you did in this moment. Great Scene!

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  12. Nice! You definitely captured the YA voice! Thanks for joining in on the kissing party! You made my day!

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  13. LOL! Love the ending! Halarious! And very steamy.

    Jenni James

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  14. Left a little something for you on my blog! Check it out! http://carol-in-print.blogspot.com/2009/12/have-blog-will-follow.html

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  15. Hi Laurel...

    Emmalee is completed & I'll be revising again soon--its 6th revision! I'm always looking for new reviewers/proof readers before i send to my publishers, if you're interested?

    LOL! Yes, I'm crazy, and completely trusting... But i can't resist a *true* austen fan. most of my proofers are girls/women who love my books, but don't know austen.

    To get a feel of how I'm recreating each one, I have Persuaded up on http://authonomy.com under Jenni_James. You can read the whole book. Yikes!--Even though the chapters are a bit out of order, thanks to their loading system. Anyway, northanger is extremely funny, P&P is tension filled and humurous, and persuaded is just plain gut wrenching tension and drama. Kind of like the books are... I've written 4 1/2 of the 6 so far.

    Anyway, if you're up for it. Contact me.
    Thanks.
    Jenni

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  16. Hi Sara, Amalia, Jenni, Sherrinda, thanks for stopping by! I'm glad to hear so many think my YA voice is accurate. I have a real problem with dropping in the $10 words. Hard not to after copy editing heady lit-crit all day. So thanks for the encouragement!

    Carolina: Many thanks! I plan to do a series of thanks for the awards posts after Christmas.

    Jenni again: sounds really fun. You are trusting! I'm not an easy critiquer, but I do go deep. My schedule opens up considerably in late January. I'll drop you a line when I'm not so swamped.

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