Monday, May 23, 2011

The Power of Tension Blogfest


Does anyone know how to install a countdown calendar on my blog? I want to do one for the HSN Conference, but I can't find anything on the internet.

Every blogfest I join gets more and more fun. Rachel Morgan and Cally Jackson are hosting the Power of Tension Blogfest, which I'm super excited about: 

The goal is to write up to 300 words that just drip with tension and will tie us up in knots wanting to know more. It doesn’t matter what the piece is about, as long as it screams tension.



I chose an excerpt from my WIP, Hunger. It's from Eric's POV. I hope you like it.

               I walked out of my room the next morning feeling deader and more tired than ever. It was a terrible coincidence that a girl walked out of Alex’s room at the same time. She and I briefly made eye contact before she looked away and we were still with awkwardness. She was disheveled. Her hair was a mess, her clothes were askew, and make-up was smeared all over her face. She held her purse to her chest as if she was afraid of losing it. What struck me the most was how her eyes were wet and her lip trembled. She ran down the stairs.
                I knew I’d be furious when I saw Alex, but I had no idea the rage would be so intense until Alex came out wearing a dirty robe and the same satisfied smirk he always wore. I always assumed that one day, I would get used to Alex’s antics and I could at least ignore how much her repulsed me, but each woman feels the same. Their faces accumulate in my memory.
He saw me and grunted. “Don’t give me that look. You’re in no position to judge me.”
                “What did you do to her?” I demanded.
                “You would love to know, wouldn’t you? Then you can jump on your high horse and lecture me when you have no idea what you’re talking about.”
                I had to look away from his smug face because I was twitching with anger and my hands were trembling. I didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of seeing me lose control. I said through clenched teeth, “I don’t know why I keep coming back here. All I ever feel is disgust.”
                “And you love that, too. Whenever I’m around, you can think, ‘Well, at least I’m not as bad as him,’ and then you can feel better about your existence and all the things you hate about yourself.”
                “I don’t have to listen to this.” I stormed down the stairs with my hands still shaking.

29 comments:

  1. Wow. Now that's some drama for you.

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  2. Makes me wonder what the relationship is between them :) Good job!

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  3. Ooh, I wonder what Eric gets up to that he doesn't seem to want to admit to himself. Nicely done!

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  4. Very cool - I have a character called Alex too, who is a total lady's man. hehe.

    Really good tension here!

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  5. Interesting, love to see the setting for that one.

    good job

    sarah

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  6. Great tension. I really wanted Eric to punch Alex's smug face. Darn it. Maybe later on in the story? I hope. *grins* :D

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  7. oooh I'm very curious about what Alex is getting up to. I don't think I like him very much!

    Thanks for entering, Teralyn.

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  8. I like this! We're all hating Alex, but what about Eric? Is he jealous? I'm hoping he's jealous!

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  9. Jealous? Hmmm... I never would have thought to include that, but that might be an interesting dynamic.

    Eric's basically a good guy who's thrown into a group of bad people by circumstance (in case any of you were wondering). You can read more about their characters here:

    http://teralynpilgrim.blogspot.com/2011/04/now-starring-pick-actors-for-your-book.html

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  10. I loved the physical markers you put in. The hand trembling was a nice detail. Got me curious. =0
    Edge of Your Seat Romance

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  11. I like that both women, eventually and for different reasons, retreat.

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  12. There's an interesting dynamic in this scene. I'm really want to know what's going on with Eric. He's obviously got a story to tell (which is probably why you wrote one about him - lol).

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  13. This scene creates a lot of questions that need answering for the reader. I like it!

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  14. If I may suggest an abbreviated version of part of your first paragraph:
    A girl walked out of Alex’s room at the same time—a terrible coincidence. She and I made eye contact, then we went still with awkwardness. She was disheveled: Hair was a mess, clothes askew, and make-up smeared all over her face. She clutched her purse to her chest, as if afraid of losing it.
    In other words, if you cut out many of the "to be" verbs, it has a different impact. The rest of your writing has good tension. And your paragraph beginning with "I had to look away" is fantastic.

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  15. Thanks, Mark! This was a NaNoWriMo novel, so it still needs a lot of work. I'll definitely keep your suggestion in mind.

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  16. I like Mark's suggestion. That paragraph was a bit awkward. Otherwise, the tension between the characters was Great. The dialogue amazing.

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  17. This is a great example of tension between characters. You can tell the MC has some feelings for Alex or she wouldn't care what he was doing, but of course, her feelings are complicated by loathing him also. The dialog rang true. The first line tripped me up a little, it could use tightening I think. Good luck!

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  18. Sharon,

    Eric's a dude. Just FYI. But I'm glad you liked it.

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  19. Loved the flow of the story and the tension the characters played off eachother. Would like to read more.

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  20. The characters played off each other really well. As a few others suggested, you could whittle it down by cutting the "to be" verbs. I really want to know what Alex is up to. I thought at first the girl was just taking the walk of shame, but Alex and Eric's conversation make it sound far more sinister.

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  21. Nicely written overall, the scene was great. Just a couple of grammer things and a tense slip. The piece was very good.

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  22. I think we all know an "Alex." What tension! Thanks for the lesson!

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  23. Lots of tension and awkwardness. I love the line "and we were still with awkwardness". Sounds like a song title. Good job.

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  24. Great drama and tension - and I'd like to punch Alex too!

    Thanks for entering :-)

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  25. Wow, I'm dying to know the nature of the relationship between Alex and Eric and what went on with that woman. Definitely dripping with tension - awesome job!

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  26. Nice tension! I love how Alex threw Eric's good boy persona right back in his face so nonchalantly. Excellent scene!

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  27. Great dramatic tension! I like the human-ness of your characters - the fact that Eric feels protective toward the women Alex mistreats, the way he seems to come back even though he doesn't like being there, Alex accusing him of using his distaste for Alex's behavior to make him (Eric) feel better about himself. I'd definitely like to read more!

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I love hearing from my readers!

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