Kissing Scene! (For Cupid’s Literary Connection Kissing Scene Competition)

The following is my entry for the Cupid’s Literary Connection Kissing Scene Competition. This contest is already over, and as you can see from the comments, I learned a lot! Thank you everyone!

Intro (added 2/7/13): South Carolina, 1864. With only a few months between their birthdays and a few miles between their homes, Kate and Ephraim grew up teasing each other at every picnic and wedding in the county. Then the war comes, and their fathers and older brothers leave to fight for the Confederacy. Kate and Ephraim become the eldest children at home; suddenly responsible for far too much, and no longer capable of getting along “capital”. Three years in, Kate meets a Yankee journalist with whom she just might run away from her father’s bankrupt farm. Ephraim has other plans.

Ephraim frowned, a pencil of light falling across his face. “The hell you say. I’m not going to let your sisters subsist on roots, Kate. I’ve more of a crop and less mouths to feed.”

The view of the hall likely grated on him. Throngs of women to the occasional fourteen-year-old boy, the air lacking  the comforting haze of cigar smoke. But there was something else. Something different.

“We shouldn’t be fighting. Not tonight.” Kate meant it.

This wasn’t goodbye, was it? Don’t enlist, Eph. You’re too young.

“Your Boston artist is here,” he said suddenly.

Kate just stood there in her only organza, wringing the fingers of her hand-crocheted gloves. Did he expect her to run to Graham? Now?

Ephraim strode back into the dark of the music room, a smirk on his tanned face. “Oh, he’s not missing you. Already besieged by several lonely arms.” He rolled his brandy around in the bottom of his glass, the man of the place. Sole owner of a worthless cotton kingdom.

He turned, close to her. Very close.

Kate backed away, bumped into the piano, her chest tight.

“Eph?”

He put a hand to the bare skin at her throat, bent her over the back of the grand, brought her shoulders down to the varnished wood, nudged her mouth open with a hesitation that was not like him. She struggled— briefly and half-heartedly— her fingers slipping on his waistcoat. A desperate feeling clamped down on her. And then it was last summer, making hay. His shirt off, sweat running down rivulets between the muscle. Too close. Too antagonistic. Too…

Deep. In hay, in water, in a sinking raft, in his arms as he lifted her out.

She pulled away, lips wet, a hand nervously going to the back of her head. Where his hand had been. Good God. I kissed him back, didn’t I. Her fingers were tingling from stroking his shirt. Just how hard had she pressed the fabric against his flesh?

His voice was ragged. “You’re not going to marry no damned Yankee.”

–Rachel O’Laughlin

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31 thoughts on “Kissing Scene! (For Cupid’s Literary Connection Kissing Scene Competition)

    • Thanks Eve! Haha, yes, this is a historical fiction MS I’ve been working on now and then for quite a few years. 100k, but it’s not in the final draft stages AT ALL. I’m so thrilled you liked it!

    • Thanks! Yeah, a lot of people said the action was hard to follow… I think I’ve learned my lesson: not to cut down a 1,000 word scene and try to cram it into 350!

  1. From those of us who know a bit of the story…. THIS IS NOT OKAY. YOU THINK IT’S FUN TO TAKE OUR HEARTS AND RIP THEM OUT AND STOMP ALL OVER THEM, HMM??? WELL IT’S NOT. IT IS IN NO WAY OKAY. I OBJECT.

  2. Very nice moments here. I felt a little disoriented with all the ins and outs of what’s happening in this scene–all the lead-in to the kiss. But that’s not any fault of your clean writing, more, I suspect, from being dropped in the middle of your novel. The kiss was HOT, and I loved all the conflict of the kiss, too. Kissing is always better with conflict! ;-) Very 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. :-)

    • Oh thank you so much! I agree, kissing is ALWAYS better with conflict! I’m realizing that I definitely tried to cram too much into this scene. I’m really attached to these characters and I was hanging on to some of the backstory too much. This competition was great, though. I’m learning a lot.

      I LOVED your kissing scene! It was adorable! And I got my scene up late as well, forgot to schedule it at all, ack!

  3. I. LOVED. This! As a fellow contestant and not a judge, your entry definitely gets my Get A Room award for the hottest kiss I’ve read so far. Wow! I would LOVE to read this whole MS! Good luck in the contest!

    • Wow, thank you! *blushes* I’m so thrilled that you liked it! I loved yours too, it was mmm sweet! I haven’t finished this MS yet and it may be awhile before I do, but I will put you down on a list of possible beta readers if you’d like…. :)

  4. Hi! I am one of Cupids Kissing Judges! I am so glad you got your entry up because I would like to grant you the COLOR ME RED AWARD.

    I wouldn’t say that your scene was necessarily embarassing, but it was definitely a little awkard for your MC. It caused her to question herself which is always a little blush-enducing.

    I agree with some of the previous comments that some of the descriptions of the physicality might need a little ironing out. It was hard to picture it all sometimes. (I was particularly curious about how limber she was to be bent 90 degrees backwards onto a piano, and how tall he’d have to be to lean over her and reach her face) But that isn’t as important as the STEAM factor which you had in spades.

    I hope this award is an encouragement to you, and I hope you have much success with this and future projects!

    • Oh wow, thank you so much! I am thrilled, as this moment was certainly supposed to be verrrry awkward (and even a little embarrassing, after the fact).

      I really appreciate your comments as well! I was hesitant myself on whether I could take out so much description and still bring their dynamic through (this was a little over 1,000 words before I trimmed it to 350 for the kissing contest). All of the feedback has been wonderful– a micro critique to help me spot problem areas in my writing.

      You’re awesome! Thanks again for the award, and for taking the time to read and comment! <3

  5. Fun scene! My favorite line was: Deep. In hay, in water, in a sinking raft, in his arms as he lifted her out. Of course, I’m wondering what hay, water and the raft are all about, but they make me want to read more, which is the whole point!
    And thanks for your comments on my entry.:)

    • Ahh! I’m glad you liked that line! I almost took it out, as it seemed random without all the backstory. (I should have written a blurb, I just wasn’t sure how to explain all their history without getting long winded).
      Yours was so sweet! And I just realized that you already made it into the agent round, that’s awesome!

  6. Definitely some heat…and on the piano?!? (did I read that right?) The moment she jumps back in her mind and sees him as he was…great way to let us get a sense of where her spark of desire sprang from.
    You have an excellent handle on creating the right cadence for the dialogue of your characters, and when I can “hear” them I know it’s a good sign. Your prose, I feel, is not as strong. The fragmented, disjointed style is great when used sparingly, but I feel like it was used too much here and as a reader, it prevented me from getting into the story.

    There some great stuff here though, and as you said, this is only a rough draft, so keep polishing!
    Melonie (#29)

    • Thank you, Melonie! I really appreciate the feedback (as in, appreciate tons and oodles and can I just hug you now?!).
      I’m getting a lot on the disjointedness, and I think my major lesson here is not to chop up a 1,000 word scene for a 350 word contest, or…? I should have chosen a less complicated couple, haha.
      I loved your entry! And again, thanks for the time you took to read and reply. I’m glad you liked it!

  7. I can tell this scene probably flows nicely with it’s missing parts in place! :) I like that this kiss evolves from a moment of desperation, but has roots in their past moments together. LOVED this:”Deep. In hay, in water, in a sinking raft, in his arms as he lifted her out.” I like how his kiss takes her back to those moments. The last line is perfect Good luck!! (#48)

    • Hehe, yes, it flowed much better with it’s missing parts included (I think). :) Thank you for the positivity! And I’m thrilled you liked the underlying tones. This is definitely encouraging me to finish this MS and get it to some CPs, because I would love to tell this story well.
      (Your story sounds very swoon-worthy. I can hardly wait to see it in the agent round!)

  8. I was so intrigued at what this referred to: “Deep. In hay, in water, in a sinking raft, in his arms as he lifted her out”. And I also liked your MC’s thoughts. I think “He said suddenly.” should be a tag and not it’s own sentence and also found some of it a little choppy, but since you said you cut a longer scene, that’s probably where it comes from.

    Best of luck!
    Laura, Kiss #33, BSD #112

  9. Pingback: So this is what I’ve decided. | Rachel O'Laughlin

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