Monday, May 23, 2011

Power of Tension Blogfest

First of all, I'm trying out a new look for my blog. It's been a long time coming, but today, today is the day. So what do you think? 

Next, I introduce you to the 

Thanks Cally Jackson and Rachel Morgan for hosting an awesome blogfest! 

From the completed MS: Neitherlands, Awakening
MG Fantasy

Blurb: When one considers all the poor, miserable, unimportant creatures of the Neitherlands, Kiri doesn’t even make the radar. She has no past. She has no future. She is a child alone… Until the summoning draws her into the presence of an extinct race: a wizard.

According to him, she is the last thing that stands between a mad warlock and her world’s annihilation. She alone knows where to find the missing High King—if she can just remember! Caught between the yearning to reunite with her family and the terror of surviving an ominous adversary’s attacks, she is the Neitherland’s only hope. 


Kiri dashed up the never-ending staircase breathing hard. She stumbled, slipped, and smacked her knee. It throbbed. In the quiet, hurried footsteps echoed from not far below.

She glanced behind, chest seizing in terror. Limping up, she dashed blindly around the corner and smashed into a solid wooden door.

The magic door... 

“Open!” she commanded, throwing her shoulder into it. Nothing happened.

“Open, please!” she begged, and hurled herself at it again. Instead of hitting wood, she tumbled through its opening and onto a moonlit outcropping. Night air filled her lungs. 

She got up and rushed to the brink. Distant ground disappeared through forming clouds. They billowed darkly, storm in tow. 

It was so high! Sickened and dizzy she stumbled backwards. Now was a terrible time to be afraid of heights.

Kiri turned back toward the open door, reaching for her dagger. 

Gone. No!

Lightning split the sky and a man stepped out onto the ledge.

Her heart seized. She couldn’t see his face and she didn’t want to, certain it held great satisfaction for the sinking of her heart.

“Ah, so good to see you again,” the stranger cooed. Moonlight hit his teeth--smiling like a jackal. “I hope he hasn’t filled your head with lies. Damien has a tendency to…exaggerate.” 

The seducing tone only pushed her further away. “Who are you?”

“I’m a friend.”

Rain began to spatter the mountain ridge.

“I don’t have any friends!” she screamed. “You killed them all!"

“Tut, tut.” He held out a hand, light finally catching those dark eyes. “Come with me.”

She stepped back, and felt the edge of the cliff against her heel.

“Kirina…” The stranger advanced.

"MY NAME IS ANN!" she shrieked and threw herself backwards, over the cliff.


  1. I'm very confused about the location -- starts out indoors (stairs, door) and then we're outside? (ledge, cliff)

    Also some linkage problems that muddy things a little. "toward the door... face her foe": thought he was coming up the stairs? "moonlight... smiling like a jackal": moonlight's not smiling.

    I'm sure she didn't throw herself off a cliff because a scary guy's calling her by the wrong name, but it could be taken that way.

    Unrequested feedback, I know. Apologies if it's unwanted.

  2. There's some great tension here - I really want to know who this guy is!

  3. I followed just fine. She finally broke through the door right? and that's when you moved outside.

    Anyway, good job! I have lots of questions, but for me that's what tension is. Intensity and things that make me want to read more to learn the answers.

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thank you Susan!

    Thank you Charity. L had me worried.

  5. The tension is off the charts! Good job!

  6. Nice tension, I liked it very much! :)

  7. I LOVE that she goes from saying "open" to "open please" - a good bit of humor in a tension filled piece.

  8. Very good! :) You have me hanging on the cliff!

  9. I liked it, well done. Can see myself wanting to read that.

    In the full piece i would LOVE some more description of the environment. I wanted to know more about where she was. (obviously not possible in 300 words). Can't wait to see it finished.


  10. Wow, totally didn't see her throwing herself off the cliff - great tension and loved it! :D

  11. Wow, she really doesn't want that guy to come near her. But will she survive the fall? Or does she have powers that will help her? And why is he calling her Kirina? So many questions!

    Thanks for entering, Crystal. :-)

  12. The location is a little confusing, but I liked the chase. Possibly, rather than saying Ann heard 'a pursuer' you should describe the actual sound of the footsteps. Also, how do we go from a wooden door to a magic one?

  13. Oh dear, what a cliffhanger! The ending reeled me right in! Fantastic tension!

    I stumbled a bit on the phrase "she dragged herself up on her elbows until she could manage to get the leg below her". I wasn't sure what the leg was that you mentioned. The bottom of a railing? Could it be tightened up a bit, like "she pushed herself onto her elbows and reached for the railing to pull herself up."

    Feel free to ignore me. :)

  14. Libby--there's humor here? *shifty eyes* =)

    Sarah, in the actual MS this is the second time we hit these environments, so yes, there's significantly more to them, and they do receive due attention.

    And to everyone else, thank you for the suggestions. This is the first FULL novel I ever wrote, and I'm learning you can't just pull out an old thing, blow off the dust and snatch a selection. Whew!

  15. Wow. The cooing and the moonlight glinting off the teeth really got me. Great excerpt!
    Edge of Your Seat Romance

  16. Great tension there! Wonderful scene! However, I didn't get at first that she had cracked the door open and moved outside... Maybe that should be clearer?

    Good job with this! Leaves me wondering!

  17. O.O

    I want to know more! Who is he? Who is she? Where did she go? Is he really a friend?


    Awesome job. :)

  18. I had to deduce that she had gotten through the door when she rushed to "the brink," so that slowed things down for me.
    But the emotional center of this scene is “I don’t have any friends!” she screamed. “You killed them all!" This is short, succinct, and presumably serves as a link to what has passed before or after. That was good.

  19. Good stuff. I'm very intrigued by the stranger and the multiple names of the girl.

  20. Oh wow that is tense and dramatic! :O)

  21. Some of the comments on tightening this a bit are good. This piece has all the elements to be really good. With a bit of tightening you'll have a piece warranting the tense scene you have created. Well done.

  22. The ending was a surprise. I'd love to know more. Good luck!

  23. That is what I call a cliffhanger. I thought this was very fun to read and would love to read more.

  24. Great pace in this piece, and it ratchets up the tension. And you literally throw us off the cliff in the end! Great entry!

  25. Over the cliff ending is certainly tension. But what actually makes me want to know more is the first paragraph of the blurb!

  26. Wow - this is a really great excerpt! I would definitely read on to find out what happens next!

  27. Dang. That's quite the cliffhanger - almost literally, since she jumps off a cliff at the end! Your blurb was fantastic, and the world that Kiri lives in sounds fascinating.

  28. Very tension-filled. I think I need to work on mine some more. Good Job:)

  29. Wow. That last line had me gasping. Packed full of tension, and leaving me wanting more!

    (I didn't have a problem following it, either)

  30. Very nice! Great ending! And there's something so sinister about an obvious bad guy saying something as innocuous as "Tut, tut!"

  31. The comments about not knowing she was outside surprised me. I had no problem knowing where she was. Anyway, lots of tension - plus Libby's comment about a bit of humor - a great combo. Well done!

  32. I wanted to follow you but your section is down, like mine. Later.

  33. Who is Damien? Why did he kill all of the protagonist's friends? And why did she hurl herself off a cliff?
    You've got me hooked! Nice job.

  34. I didn't have any trouble following what was happening either. The start felt a bit like a nightmare to me, and I'm sure Kiri will live but I can't imagine how.

  35. I didn't feel like I had trouble following either. I think it's well-written and captures the reader's attention. And I did NOT see her throwing herself off the cliff! She's going to survive, right?

    Nice entry :-)

  36. Nice! I'm totally wondering if the guy is really a friend and maybe there are things she doesn't know, or is he, in fact, an enemy? Definitely a cliff-hanger, and I also want to know how she survives the fall off the cliff!

  37. I love this line: "certain it held great satisfaction for the sinking of her heart." Nice tension all around!


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