Thursday, January 12, 2012

No Touchy!

So on Thursdays this year I wanna do this thing that I explained last Thursday, and since I'm lazy... I'm just gonna copy and paste what I said last week about it, lol.  If you already know the deal, skip down to what the little blurb is gonna be about today.

I want to share a piece from one of my many books.  Nothing too long, just little blips, and I'd really like it if you would share some of yours too in the comment section.

Now, I'm horrible at explaining things, but here's how I want this to work:

First commenter will say something they liked about my excerpt.  Then post their own.

Second commenter will say something they liked about first commenter's excerpt.  Then post their own.

So on and so forth.  And don't worry if you are the last commenter... that's what I'm here for :)

There is only one rule and that is you must be positive!  We all have critique partners and betas for constructive criticism.  This is for us to recognize all the talent out there.  Even if the comment is just a simple, "That was great!"

Here's where I start saying new things!  :)

So, for the next 5 Thursdays, I'm going to talk about the senses.  Ya, today is touch.  Specifically, touching between characters.  And just FYI, the telly word for touch is feel/felt.  Avoid these when you can.  :)

I really don't like it when characters touch for no other reason than they are just super hot for each other.  Especially in the beginning of the love story.  I want the build up.  The anticipation of the first touch.  If they have a reason to touch each other, but don't, it gets me all fluttery and crap.

Build up of touching for chemistry:

Accidental touching: The brush is great for this.  They are close enough to touch, but not exactly touching.

Mental touching:  It's all your mc thinks about.  How the love interest's touch would feel.

Playful touching:  Women punch, shove, nudge when they flirt.  Trust me, that's a very good thing.

Sweet touching:  Tucking hair behind the ear, holding hands, stroking the skin on the arm or cheek.  This stuff should send your pulse to outer space... when it's in the right place.

There's also the scary touching from bad guys and people that make you sick, but I'm not going to get into that today.

All this touching is a good thing if your characters have good reasons for doing so.  Are they dancing?  Are they protecting each other from something?  Are they in need of or giving comfort?  Are they flirting?  Are they Siamese twins?

Okay, now I'll share my little blurb about the 'no touch'.  Specifically the Mental touching, but there is a playful touch in here as well.  :)


He sits next to me, his eyes desperately trying not to look at my bare skin, but I know he has to.  He knows he has to, but he’s fighting it.
            I suppose I should help him out.  The sliver is jammed into my inner thigh, high enough you can see my cute boy short underwear, but low enough he won’t have to touch my crotch.  I pull up the oversized sweatshirt so it reveals more of my attire, but I stick my leg out in such an unsexy way I’m sure he’ll be able to control his shaking hands.
            He laughs as I almost kick him in the face and he moves to the floor, crouching so he can get a better look at the nasty thing.
            “Ouch.  I wouldn’t call this much of a sliver.  More of a twig.”
            I punch him in the shoulder.  “Well, maybe you should consider sanding your ledge.”
            “I didn’t realize my neighbor would leap into my room in her underwear.”
            “Ha ha.”
            The cold tip of the tweezers hits my burning leg and I cringe.
            “Does it hurt?”
            “No.  Just cold.”
            “Try to hold still.  I don’t want to hurt you.”  His voice hitches on the last sentence and I suppress the wide smile that wants to form on my lips.
            We’re silent as he tries to get it out.  I wince from the brief seconds of pain, but mostly I focus on the way he keeps his distance.  Like he doesn’t want to touch me.  I know this’ll go a lot faster if he grabs my leg to balance while he works, but he doesn’t.  The only touch is from the tweezers.
            But there’s a tension in the air I can’t ignore.  Our stuttered breathing patterns, the heat radiating off both our bodies, the building sweat on his forehead, and the pounding my heart makes in my ears.  Goosebumps erupt over my skin, like it’s trying to reach out to him and make him close the distance between his fingers and my leg.
            I close my eyes and hold my breath.  My hands clench around the pillow on his bed as I fight every urge my body has to knock the stupid tweezers out of the way and tackle him.
            “There.”
            The air I’ve been holding flutters out in small wisps as I look at the giant sliver he pulled from my leg.
            “Thank you.”

Okay, your turn!  Any touching (or no touching) scene you'd like to share.  Take it away!

20 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Nothing I can share just yet. Glad my wife isn't the playful punching sort though!

JennaQuentin said...

Great idea for Thursdays!

I love the simple dialogue in this excerpt, and how you explore all the sensations involved, from tweezers to goosebumps to thoughts!

Here's my excerpt, from my middle grade WIP (where touch is one of 5 important magical "languages"):

Pierre ruffled his spiky hair into disorder and held out his hand. Sandrine was about to push it away and just hug him, when she realized he was holding something. A ball of string. She took it, held it up and turned it around. “Um, is this a special ball of string or what am I supposed to do with it?”

Pierre huffed. “Just like a girl to not know what to do with string.” He gave her a quick grin. “When you have magic, you'll be able to do and make almost anything with that string. From a new dress to a new purse thing.”

Sandrine hugged him, holding on to the flannel of his red and black plaid shirt for just a second.

“Hey, nobody's dying here. You get to go to Paris! And you get to stay with us!” Chloé's tone was just as sarcastic, but she looked younger, sweeter without her makeup. “Remember, girlie. You can do this.” She kissed both Sandrine's cheeks. A glow of hot pink magic caught the corner of Sandrine's eye.

“Aïe!” Chloé jumped back, stumbling a little. “I gave you magic?” She put her hand to her mouth.

Kelley said...

How cute is that! Love the concept of 'giving magic'. Very neat. Your dialog is also flawless just floats along. Really great.

This excerpt is the first time my MC really has a connection with anyone. First time they actually touch and she doesn't back away. (YA Contemporary)


“It’s good to see you like this Emma,” he says looking up at me from the ground, his head resting in his hand.

“Is this another beautiful comment? Because if you say that one more time I’m ripping this dress off.” He raises an eyebrow and I realize what I just said. If it wasn’t dark, he’d see my face turn as red as my school mascot. “I mean…” It’s so hard to think when he’s this close and he smells so good.

He laughs and rolls onto his back. It looks like a good idea to me, so I do the same.

The sky is alive with millions of stars. All just sitting there, shining on us.

Sam clears his throat, “What I meant when you suggested ripping your clothes off, was that I like you like this, less guarded.”

“Oh, it’s definitely the wine.”

“You’re a pretty cheap date then.” He quickly continues, “I’ll remember to slip some in your Coke at the diner.”

Maybe he’s right. Maybe I am too guarded. Too cynical. Too cold. But that’s the only way I know how to do this thing called life. It’s so much safer this way.

I take my finger and play connect-the-dots with the stars above us. It must look totally lame, but I don’t care. It seems Sam is pretty cool with lame.

“What ya drawin’?” he asks, and slides over slightly to get behind my finger, as if he could make out the shape in the sky.

I shrug even though he can’t see it. “Just drawing.” Eventually my arm gets tired and falls to the blanket on top of his. I don’t move it.

ilima said...

Great post Cassie. And Kelley, I love this. The snark, hesitation, and giving in so subtly, it makes my heart go a flutter for these characters already. Good job.

Here's mine:


She had a smile on her face, which was a relief. The sun radiated high in the sky. Speckled light pushing its way through the leafy canopy danced across Kila’s face. She looked so beautiful. Mamo held her gaze this time.

“How are you feeling?” he asked.

“Better.”

“I’m glad.” He brushed her hair behind her ear. Kauaheahe i kou u’i. He still couldn’t look away.

She leaned in. He felt her warm breath on his face. He couldn’t see the trees anymore, or the light that escaped them. He didn’t know if her proximity blocked his view or if he just didn’t notice—did it matter? The soft whisper of Kila’s slow exhale drowned out the sounds of the roaring river behind her. She closed her eyes and came closer. So close he could just….

Mamo jumped to his feet. He rubbed the back of his neck and looked down to his shifting feet. “I need to go,” he said.

Every part of him felt like it desperately needed to stay.

twentysomethingfictionwriter said...

Aww...Mamo. That's so cute Ilima. I love the fact that he was drowning out all the noises and blocking out all visions that had nothing to do with Kila. It's so romantic and heart felt and to get this from the POV of a male is so wonderful. He truly cares about the slightest touches and caresses even if they're not physical. Great Post!

Here's Mine:

“Would you like to dance?” asked Luca.

Only he could break the trance of the curious figure’s song. For a moment, I contemplated making up an excuse and running into the bathroom. If he danced anything like he walked my legs would turn to jelly and I would be a big ole’ mess on the dance floor. I decided against an escape attempt, but only for the sheer reason of rudeness. I nodded my signature goofy look in response.

He stood and held out his hand to me.

I placed my palm in his, looking into his eyes. Again bad idea. I almost tripped on my chair while standing up.

He ignored my clumsiness and escorted us to the center of the dance floor right in front of the stage.

I tried hard to keep my legs steady at his touch, but I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with by the heat the feeling gave.

Luca’s eyes dug into me once again as we settled on the dance floor. He released his guidance and slid his hand around my waist, guiding me into his body as he grabbed my other hand.

I reached up and put my hand around his top of his back, feeling the tough muscle and strong bone underneath my fingers. I felt like my hand was on fire, but I didn’t want the pain to stop. It felt far too good to retract. I took my concentration from my hands and focused it to tingle of my lower back. The burning there was even better.

The combination of his motions with me and the powerful tonality of the music made me completely vulnerable to him. If he wanted anything from me that I night I would have given it to him. I was putty in his strong steady arms.

The music guided our touch, us moving fluidly with the tones. I wanted to dance closer to him, but I didn’t want to be too forward.

I heard the musician’s ballad climax and I could resist the temptation no longer. I stepped in closer, laying my head on his strong chest. The powerful heartbeat underneath heated my ear. The sound waves sent power through my body even more than his touch. I thought I heard it increase at my gesture, but I couldn’t be sure. I couldn’t help but wonder if maybe he wanted me just as much as I wanted him in that moment.


Twenty Something Fiction Writer
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Jenny S. Morris said...

Love the post Cassie.
Twentysomething...I love her awkwardness and how much you incorporate the music into her thoughts and movements. And I love the simplicity and loveliness of the dance. Great Job!

Here's mine:

Kella watched him out of the corner of her eye. His brown hair flopped down over his eyes. His shirt was already getting wet. When he messed with a loose string on the bottom of his jeans, his wrist tattoo flashed at her each time.

Kella’s hand moved on its own, toward Asher. She thought of their matching back tattoos as she caressed his star, allowing the energy to prick at her finger, then flow like water from her into Asher’s arm.

A soft intake of breath came from him. Kella looked up and her eyes found his soft lips. They made her think of Miguel’s soft kiss. Just this small touch, finger to skin, had more energy than the kiss with Miguel.

Leigh Covington said...

Oooh! Fab job Jenny! I like the comparison to Miguel's kiss. Really helps make the point.

“What kind of man leaves a lady to fight his battles,” I teased, running my fingers through his hair. He laughed and winced at the same time.

HERE'S MINE:
“Sorry! Sorry! I forgot about your ribs.” I wanted to get our minds of things. No more thoughts of battles with unknown creatures. The quiet peace and understanding that existed between us was all I needed.

“Yeah, yeah. You were just waiting for your opportunity to show me up,” he answered. We both laughed, Logan cringing in pain again. The ripped flesh on his ribs started bleeding again from the movement.

“He’s going to be okay dear,” the old man said. “I will fix him up just fine. Why don’t you take this and go get yourself some dinner. Kip there will help you.” He handed me a mug with an unfamiliar liquid in it.

I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to be with Logan, where I felt safe. Instead, I nodded and took the small cup that the man gave me.

RachelMaryBean said...

Nice, Leigh. I think it's intereting that she says he makes her feel safe, when he's the one that's hurt. It makes me want to know more about them. Good job!

Here's mine:

"I don't want to lose you," he finally blurted out. He waited for he to something, but she didn't.

"There are so many ways for this to go wrong. I don't have to just worry about doing or saying something stupid and making you hate me, which let's face it is pretty likely. What if we go out there and something happens to you?"

"Erwin, I can't tell you everything is going to be okay."

"I know. That's the problem." She slid her hand into his and he held onto it as tightly as he could.

"Let's get some sleep. It's a big day tomorrow," she stood up and pulled him with her.

The Writing Hour. said...
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The Writing Hour. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Donna K. Weaver said...

I don't have anything to share either at this point. I enjoyed the dialogue. My only thought was that if it was that large a splinter wouldn't it keep hurting--and what about the blood? ;)

Carrie Butler said...

@The Writing Hour - That was so cute! I love that their first brush left her so flustered, yet he was able to act nonchalant about it. I'm sure that will make for some interesting scenes later! Great job! :)

---
Here's my excerpt. It's from my ParaRom, STRENGTH, in the ninth chapter. My MC happens to be a little intoxicated in this scene and had to be carried back to the dorm by a friend...
---

“I’m going to put you down now, okay?” His gaze bored into mine, trying to force the understanding. “Do you think you can stand?”

I nodded, hoping to avoid another embarrassing outburst.

He set me down with surprising gentleness, averting his eyes as I slipped my hands from around his neck.

My fingertips trailed through the beads of moisture that clung to his lapel and, reluctantly, I let my hands fall to my sides. “Thanks.”

“Don’t worry about it.” He let out a slow breath as he straightened, shrugged out of his damp coat, and kicked his boots off at the door. “You’re soaked, aren’t you?”

I hadn’t really noticed it until then, but he was right. I guess I’d assumed the reason I couldn’t feel my butt was because it was frozen. My memory was a little sketchy, but I distinctly remembered falling into a slushy mix of snow and ice earlier. No wonder I was shivering.
---

Morgan said...

---just interjecting here---

So person below me skip over me, cool???

Just had to say I love this idea...SO FUN. And it IS all about the anticipation... ever read book that falls flat in the middle? Tension, people. TENSION!

---okay, signing off now---

Hope Roberson said...

Carrie,
I loved! I could feel the bit of awkwardness and wanting between the two :) Nicely done in such a brief description and so few words!

This is from my YA post-apocalyptic (I'm really not thinking that's a genre) where my MC meets her Protector two years after he saved her life.


My mouth opened, words failed me. I gaped at him as if in a trance, incapacitated by his closeness.

I became a ping-pong ball, bouncing from one consuming force to another, sure to find myself gripped by rage once Grayson’s powerful spell wore off. I would much rather feel this, whatever this was.

I wasn’t sure how long his glacial eyes stayed locked on mine, time became nonexistent. He knew something. Why else would he focus on me? Was he cautioning me with his stare? Telling me to keep my mouth shut with that intense expression? Warning me that I should not have felt the link to what was out there?
Thoughts swirled in dizzying spirals through my head.

I was unaware I was swaying until his hands were on me, electric current raced through my arms from the point of his contact.

“Jen, maybe you better help your friend inside. Have her sit down for a while.” Grayson handed me off to her.

The moment his hands left me, the magnificent heat ceased, replaced by the unwelcome wrath rushing up through my feet.


Thanks Cassie! This is so fun!

E.D. said...

Just wanted to say, great post and great idea. I have nothing to share now so I better get to work for next week! This is too much fun to miss!

Michael Offutt, Visitor from the Future said...

You have great verbs, Cassie. Stuttered, punched, wince, cringe...all of these things really make this piece come alive. I want to read more.

Mark Koopmans said...

Hey Cassie,

Me too not have much to say... what's with the guys NOT representing here!!!

Very cool post/idea and your writing was wicked good.

(About to walk away...) no darn it, menfolk can talk touching, too, so here goes my effort (right off the top of my head, so God help us all :)

"Dude."

"What, Sid? I'm watching the game."

Dude, I won... I won an award."

Sid put his half-eaten packet of Monster Munch on the overflowing coffee table, sat up and pulled at his tartan boxer shorts.

"You got it... you won an award. For what?"

"I'm a 'Great Commenter,' that's what it says!"

OMG, dude, that's awesome... c'mere, let me give you a hug."

"Dude."

"What?"

"Fistpump works, too... what if the lads come home and we're in the middle of a hug. Hello... Boxers alert."

"Ok, but I still think you're awesome."

The two life-long friends reached toward one another, the remote flying off a cushion like a Kamakazi pilot.

The simple fistpump was followed by a quick glance at each other before eyes diverted back to open pizza boxes.

"Seriously, though, do you have to say I'm awesome while wearing only boxers."

"The A/C is broken, dude."

Sid sighed, but *was* happy his surfing-dude dad was in town for a random visit.

"I'm going to tell Mom to buy you a bath robe."

"Dude?"

###

Mark Koopmans said...

Aloha,

PS....I just posted that you've won an award from me :)

So there.

Ciara said...

OMW - that remote, fist-bumping, dude bit was hilarious. :)

Love your blog, and what a great idea for a post.

Cassie Mae said...

Okay, I think I got everyone in the email list if you have one. Except Hope, so I just want to say that I love this part of your book. I think this is from my favorite chapter, right? And I really like the ping pong ball line. Awesome!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by and participated! Next week this Thursday post will actually be on Wednesday. :)

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