Yup, three words to describe the result when I try to write a love scene.
And no, I'm not even talking about one of those 'roll-in-the-sheets' kind of love scenes, I mean anything that borders on romantic.
Somehow, no matter how good my intentions, what ends up on the page is more 'Napoleon Dynamite' than 'A Walk to Remember'.*
I'm not really in the habit of asking people what their first kiss was like, but isn't clumsy/awkward kind of the norm?
Or do people out there actually have experiences that didn't involve accidentally banging teeth and cutting a lip, getting your nose slobbered on, having your neck touched by really clammy hands, or realizing too late that an apple flavoured Jolly Rancher isn't nearly enough to mask disturbingly awful stale-coffee-breath?**
I get that a lot of YA books are about the sweet first love, that perfect first kiss, and all the other 'firsts', but where is a good line between 'properly/realistically awkward' and 'this will make the reader burst out laughing***'?
To throw out any illusions or misconceptions, I have not (yet?) written a first kiss scene with Jay & Kell, or even decided if there is going to be one or not. What I have been writing is an important scene that happens... hmmm, maybe about 1/3 of the way through the story.
It's not even so much a romantic scene, but one of minor revelation for the extremely cynical Jay.
In a way, it's the "I win" moment, but it's also the "I lose" moment 'cause very soon after, everything is going to spiral down the figurative crapper.
What it does do (hopefully?) is capture some of those awkward & clumsy fumblings that are so reminiscent of 'first times'.
...and I can tell you already I'm scared to death of anyone looking at this particular bit of writing... but I can't even nail down why that is...
I'm not embarrassed. I don't think it's sub-par writing. There isn't anything racy or creepy about the scene, but something about writing this 'moment' weirds me out a little**** and makes me want to dig a deep, dark hole out in the middle of nowhere and hide it where it won't ever be found.
Totally irrational, yeah, I get that. But, I figure if I'm getting that strong a reaction from my own writing... then it's probably accomplishing at least a smidgen of what I'm intending it to.
So, what do you guys think of first-kisses and that kind of thing... Awkward? Clumsy? Strange? How far is too far, and can you give me any good examples of where it's been done right?
By the way, I'm thinking of crawling out of my warm, comfy, anonymous shell and re-vamping my blog a little. Not today, not tomorrow, but sometime relatively soon. Among other things, I'm toying with the notion of re-doing my 'Contact' page to include my actual name, or making an 'About' page, and there's even the terrifying possibility of an actual photo being posted somewhere off in the far future...?
Be warned: it has the potential to scare small children.
Don't worry, if it does go up, there will be a surgeon general's warning advising you to consume copious amounts of alcohol before viewing.*****
* How bad is it if you have to Google "romantic first love movies" to actually find a comparison title? Seriously, I swear I was born without the romantic gene.
** Please, no one ask me which of these are anecdotal and which are autobiographical.
*** And I don't mean in a good 'you are supposed to be laughing' kind of way...
**** Terribly eloquent, I know.
***** And yes, my favourite type of humour is self-depreciating, hence my ongoing request for dumb-blonde & Irish jokes.