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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Suspense Technique #2

Tonight's suspense technique is in one aspect related to Mystery. In fact, when you think about it, all suspense techniques begin with a kind of mystery.

Tonight, we take a look at the suspenseful power of:

INTENSE EMOTION

Suppose you're walking through a park and come across a little girl sitting on the curb and sobbing uncontrollably. What's the first thing you'll ask her? "What's wrong, sweetie?"

Okay, maybe "sweetie" isn't your style, but I bet you'd still ask her what's wrong. It's only natural when we see someone experiencing some intense emotion to wonder why? For this technique to work, you begin your tale with a main character exhibiting an intense emotion. It doesn't have to be sadness. It can be any emotion at all. Just make it intense. Intense anger, intense fear, intense anxiety, intense joy--Intense! And, as always, remember to show not tell.

This type of hook works because the reader wonders WHY the character is so happy, sad, angry, etc. The reader reads on to find out.

Here's an example:

1. Detective Black glanced back over his shoulder. His partner--for once--had been true to his word and driven away after dropping Black off. A cool wind whispered through the pines and pulled at the last brown, shriveled leaves that fall had not claimed from the oaks. Black navigated the stones with detached familiarity. He'd been there enough, but he was not at home there…never would be.

Black's knees buckled as he walked around the hill. He saw the stone. He saw the dates. He saw the name. He swallowed back his guts and approached the site. He pulled a small brown mass from his coat. It was a little stuffed bear wearing a football helmet. He gently laid it by the stone. I very like that, Daddy, he would have said. No strength could hold back the torrent. He fell to his knees and embraced the stone. His body wracked with sobs. He choked, trying in vain to say his name.

Feel like you've got the hang of the Intense Emotion Suspense Technique?

Now, it's your turn. Write an opening line, paragraph or two that
will really hook us using Intense Emotion. Post it here.

Once I have twenty or thirty of them, I'll have my veteran Quality Fiction Team {ie: my lovely wife and me} select a winner who will receive a signed copy of Isle of Swords OR
The Door Within Paperback with "Lost Chapters!"

Only two entries per person, so get crafting and submit them when they are ready!

165 comments:

Brett said...

His eyes burning, Elerul tossed away the broken blade. He wiped away the blood trickling down his lip, and he stared blindly through his tears.
Lord Darkon had promised him protection. He had accomplished his mission. He had given everything he ever loved away...but what does he get in return? Nothing but murder.
Murder! He arrived home to find his town in flames and his children gone. Work of a traitor. Or who was the real traitor? Was it him, who betrayed his family to their death? Who was the real enemy here?
Elerul stumbled through the wreckage of what was once his home. Unwanted memories came flooding back into his mind, of playing games with his children, the smile and warm, fragrant emrace of his wife when he arrived home. And also of his king. The king he so willingly betrayed for lust and power. Now all he had was gone, torn away and sent to the grave.
What had he done so wrong to deserve this? Why him? Why must he suffer through this agony?
Elerul did not have answers. only a shattered heart, broken dreams, and vengeance for his family's creul death.

Amy said...

The view from the upstairs balcony was of tangled and gnarled branches, parched grass, and the remnants of what was once the most envied rose garden in the entire county. Brach leaned over the rickety wrought iron railing, trying to catch a glimpse of the ancient oak that had once supported his boyhood tree house. It had all started there. As he stood in the warm evening air of July, at the back of the house his great-grandfather had built nearly a century ago, a slight breeze caressed his face. He could almost smell her on that breeze, a sweet flowery scent that drove a chill down his neck and back. He closed his eyes; he could see her face glowing in the sunshine as they wrestled on that very lawn so long ago. His heart began to ache; his legs lost the will to stand. As he collapsed to his knees, Brach felt that he would bleed from the pain of her absence. It was his fault she was gone; his fault her time on earth had been so short; his fault that he would spend the rest of his days alone. His breath came in great gasps as he fought against mounting sobs. Deep in his soul, he knew he had no right to mourn her loss. It was for himself that he wept. Brach swallowed his grief, and inside him, it transformed into anger and rage. Despising himself for his selfishness, he let out a roar of desperation that shook the loose panes of a nearby window. Shattering as they hit the ground, the panes of glass were yet one more casualty at the hands of a man who had caused more pain than joy for those he knew.

everlastingscribe said...

“It’s not fair!” I sobbed, pitching the inkwell. It exploded against the white rock wall and bled darkness over the smooth stones, “It’s not fair! I worked just as hard as he did! Harder even!” Wetness scorched my cheeks and I shuddered with the sobs “Do you hear me?” I tipped my head back and ran my shaking hands over my bald head “I am better than he is! Better! One day you will be sorry, so ruddy sorry that you left me here!” I shrieked as voices retreated. “One day he will fail you when need him the most and then you will wish that you had taken me but it will be too late, too late.” My knees buckled and I sat down, holding my head. “You’ll be sorry, you will be, you will be.”

Amy said...

Great job Brett and Scribe! I liked both of your last entries as well. I just can't get over how fun this is. I am so thankful to have the opportunity to share my creativity with others and challenge myself, while getting to read the work of some of the next great writers (*wink, *wink).

Brett said...

dun dun dun my second entry :)
Wow you're good Amy and Scribe!!!!
-----------------------------------

Why am I here? Why do I keeping living and breathing? The pain in my heart is too great a burden to bear alone. Why must I suffer like this?! The inner battle rages.
Everything is a struggle. The enemy surrounds me....I feel like I'm sinking....screaming in a room full of people but nobody hears me.
Why am I chosen? I was a follower...but called to be a leader. My heart is breaking. The battle rages, and my soul longs for freedom. Oh, how I want to be free!
Free to be who I want be in the Lord. David danced through the streets...why can't I? Miriam sang....so will I lift up a song of victory! My Lord is Almighty!
I want to break free of these bonds...not caring what people think of me. Oh God, I want to be free!!!!

everlastingscribe said...

Ha, and I'm just sitting here thinking:

"I am so indebted to m'lord Batson for starting this, what cool stories, what awesome writers, and what fun"

WayneThomasBatson said...

Brilliant stuff. Very intriguing hooks. These are the kind of openings that could be hard for an agent or editor to toss aside. I'm also impressed by the language skills--vocab, description, etc. Nice.

I say this as my head begins to ache of the decisions I'll have to make in choosing winners. YIPE. ;-)

Amy said...

My second entry - be afraid, be very afraid, mwuah ah ah...

Melanie awoke to total darkness; her wrists and ankles were tightly bound. Initially, she worried that the blow to her head had blinded her, but as she struggled against her bonds the blindfold that had been placed around her head loosened enough for her to see dim light escaping underneath it. Wait – she wasn’t at home anymore, she was – moving. Attempting to maintain her composure, Melanie struggled to free herself while trying to recount the events of the previous day. Her head felt so fuzzy and she couldn’t quite grasp the situation. She remembered two men and a blow to the head, but that was it. How long had she been sleeping in the trunk of this car? The rumbling of the engine and the crackling sound of gravel beneath the tires, told her they had traveled well outside the city. A cold stabbing sensation gripped her stomach and she froze. It was a voice, a small voice, a child’s voice. NO! Not Elizabeth, not her only child and family. What was happening?! She knew to scream would only call attention to the fact that she was awake, and they were probably too far out for her to be heard anyway. Thrashing against her bonds, she felt the plastic of the zip-ties break through her skin. She had to free herself! She had to save her little girl! Her mind raced, desperately trying to formulate a means of escape. Terrifying mental pictures assaulted her mind and distracted her from formulating a rational plan. Suddenly, the car began to slow down. It rolled to a stop and lurched as one of the doors slammed. The last thing Melanie saw before her next blow to the head was the bright desert sun, shaded only by the huge form of the man that had just ripped off her blindfold.

everlastingscribe said...

Ahh, that is where your talented Lady comes into play. As for winning or losing I personally feel I've gotten the greatest prize in just entering the lists. ;)

Sarmjornn said...

I looked around at the large crowd that scattered the open arena with bright colors. The banners and streamers played in the breeze merrily as they and the people ignored my fear. I felt my stomach tighten as I listened to the other Tales-men and women. The crowd cried at some stories and laughed at others. Sickness overcame me and I felt like running. How could I stand against them? How could one, as young and inexperienced as I stand against those who were taught in the lore’s of old? For all the excitement I felt fear creep into me and I backed away as the Master called out my name. Backing away into the shadows I stood watching him. “Oh, dear God help me.”
My knees shook and my heart raced wildly as I stepped forward my insides doing flips and tying in knots. As I neared he turned a smiled throwing his arm towards me. The crowd turned casting their gazes on me and I backed away, shaking my head. Am I ready for this? Can I really use the gift God has given? Can I stand with others like me? Suddenly a small voice rose in me. “This is what I have given you. Now use it to exalt me.”
I smiled and stepped forward as God’s reassurance came to me and I stepped onto the stage ready to proclaim my gift to the world and put the praise where it was due.

Sarmjornn said...

I've had a lot of fun doing this so far Mr. Batson. I can't wait for the next contest keep them coming! It's helping me out a lot with my writing skills.
-----------------------------------

Kade stared wide eyed at the dark ash that covered the ground where his village once stood. That short time ago the country side had been alive with life. Now only a dog walked among the streets where the market had taken place and the latest news been shared with the farmers further out. He slowly walked down the hill where their grain had grown and rippled when the breeze came up the valley from the sea.
How had this happened? Had not just been four days since he had left? Kade knelt whipping away tears at the thought of his family and friends being so cruelly murdered. He could hear Morren approaching behind him but he did not lift his head. Why? Why had he insisted on taking the items to the larger market? He should have been here to help, and why them? Who would do this to innocent farmers and their families? Morren’s hand touched his shoulder gently and he looked up. The dog had come closer sniffing at the piles of scorched timber. Picking up a stone Kade hurled it at the dog, yelling. “Leave them in peace! Let them lie dog.”
The dog yelped as the wild throw clipped his shoulder, turning it ran its tail tucked between its legs. Morren shook his head. “No one has been murdered here there is no blood. Maybe they have only been captured.”
Looking at the remains of the small town Kade shook his head and then bowed it again. “How can that be any better?”

everlastingscribe said...

I see you and I both like to throw things, Sarmjornn, or atleast have our characters throw them! Nicely done! I nearly said 'hurled' myself instead of pitched.

sarmjornn said...

Thanks Scribe. I'm having fun with this contest and reading all of your entries has been enteresting. All of the ones I've read have been awesome! Good job everyone!

everlastingscribe said...

And I like the way you used scent, Amy, to trigger your characters memory, I'll have to remember that trick ;)

WayneThomasBatson said...

Way cool. And don't think I'm not learning a few new tricks from you writers. Thanks for sharing so openly. I'll get the next Suspense Technique and/contest tonight or tomorrow night.

Sarmjornn said...

Hey Brett I visted you page and your books sound awesome! When I read your blog I was pretty shocked. I had a hole in my heart and I haven't heard of any one else having one--at least not someone near my age. And yes I said had God closed it up a few years ago when I was ten or was it eleven? Anyway he's got me through some pretty hard stuff that happened after that and he'll help you through yours.

amy said...

Thanks Scribe! I loved how the when the inkwell shattered it, "bled darkness over the smooth stones." Excellent imagery!

everlastingscribe said...

Thanks Amy :) That one came together so nicely I put it in my ''incomplete ideas file''

Brett said...

He threw something at the poor doggie!!!! How RUDE! lol. :)
And I'm glad you visited my page sarmjornn. God's been doing some pretty amazing stuff. I need to update that blog. :) Good to see we're kinda alike in 'heart'!

everlastingscribe said...

Sarmjornn, maybe there needs to be a ''no dogs were harmed in the writing of this piece'' notice set at the end

:-D

Brett said...

*looks around*
Scribe, are you talking about me? ;-D

everlastingscribe said...

I'm just a-sayin :-D I'll have to post a ''no inkwells were harmed in the writing of this scene'' so that it doesn't look like I have something against inkwells.

Sarmjornn said...

:) All right Scribe here it is. No real dogs were harmed in the making of this entry. If you want to examine the dog Brett go ahead. It may take a while to catch it though. ;) lol

Brett said...

Poor dog. I'm calling Animal Rights Activists!! Hee hee....
*runs after dog*

everlastingscribe said...

Aha ah! Not a good idea, I can tell that Sarmjornn is the type of writer that you go chasing after a dog all cuddly and sweet and you wind up facing a not so happy wolf. ;)

sarmjornn said...

How did you know Scribe? I'm already working on it. It the biggest one I can come up with to. Wah hah hah! See if you can make it out alive Brett.

Brett said...

Oh my....
I'll take a club just to protect myself. :)

everlastingscribe said...

Oh, I think the whole ''people being gone'' thing was the tip off. I mean I know that there are things worse than death and apparently so does Kade. I like writers that know there are things worse than death :-D Makes stories interesting.

Brett said...

Ah yes, the darker side of stories. One of my favorite parts of writing is creating heroes and villains. I love to make up fantasy names, too. I think I'm gonna name my kid Valithor or Paragor :) haw haw haw.....
Of course I'm joking!

Sarmjornn said...

Beware Brett the villans are still out there on the loose. And I fear your club won't do much against them. You might just turn into Kade if you go to much further.
Scribe what do you think am I covering my tracks good enough? I mean if he can't find the dog he can't report me right? :)

Brett said...

Maybe a frying pan will do good against those wily villians. And I'll get that dog....your little story too!!!!!

sarmjornn said...

Oh I'm soooo scared Brett. :)

everlastingscribe said...

:-D yeah I think that you're fine as long as he can't find the dog.

Brett said...

Be afraid...be very afraid!!! *weilds frying pan*
Yeah...I'm so totally weird....

amy said...

I'm guessing what they say about writers is true. That if we are locked up in our cages of creativity for too long, we start to become a tad "eccentric," shall we say.

:) Just giving you guys a hard time, I'm just as bad.

Sarmjornn said...

I think I hid it pretty good but I'll find an even better one. If Brett doesn't come back in one piece you're my witness that I tried to warn him against traveling around in my story.

Brett said...

I travel in stories all the time LOL.
Talk about eccentric...whew...
Are all your dogs as evil and mysterious as this? :P

Sarmjornn said...

Weird Brett I think we're the same that way to. My family thinks I'm very strange sometimes. And don't forget your in my story Brett.

Sarmjornn said...

Some of the dogs in my writings are even more dark and mysterious. Big black evil things that haunt many a village. I don't even want to know what my characters would do to me if they caught me in their world.

Brett said...

lol. I love 'travelling'...it helps me wander away sometimes.... :)
Sometimes I'll try to picture myself in a place in my book (or someone's else's) so I can imagine it. I'm odd like that....like putting myself in the story. Since I act onstage, I tend to do that a lot without thinking :)

everlastingscribe said...

Now it's a brave adventurer that'll go into another writer's story. ;) And I'm half tempted to go in myself.

And yeah Amy, we do go slightly crazy when we are let out of our cages. It's even worse when there are more than one of our ''kind'' in the area

:-D

Sarmjornn said...

I love traveling to. I do it a lot....surprised I don't make more mistakes when I'm doing things. My record is shorter then it should be.

amy said...

Brett,

That's one of the great joys of reading and writing stories, we all get to temporarily escape the mundane and "travel" to other lands; the lands of our own imagination or of others.
Is it strange to imagine yourself in a story? I thought everyone did that.

Brett said...

I have some scary creatures in my books too! A few:
The Unnamed: Four of these baddies running amuck...they resemble demons, transport themselves from our world to theirs, and are 15 feet high. They can infest themselves in another being if needed.
Anorien: My main villian. He's like an evil spirit that goes from host to host. In my first book it was Mordred, King Arthur's arch-enemy. In my second, the host in none other than the main character's father!

Sarmjornn said...

*shivers*
Scary Brett and I have to go with Amy on this one I've just always assumed that everyone travles.

amy said...

Of course, since I reside mostly in my own little world, "traveling" is pretty necessary...

Brett said...

Yeah...well....I guess I like travels waaayy too much. My head is in de clouds most of the time. *wink* I read The Final Storm in one day....and promptly made myself ill because I read so fast lol.
I find it strange that my stories resemble characters in my own life lol. Wacked!!

everlastingscribe said...

As a reader I get lost in tales, swallowed up in the realm the writer has created. Buuuut the writer in me is constantly looking at how the author put the story together, how the characters work (or don't work) etc etc. Even with Lord Batson's book I had to ''shut the writer off'' so I could just enjoy the story. Anyone else ever feel like that?

Brett said...

I agree! I'm afraid that if I do that, the writer in me will want to copy something. I have to shut off 'writer mode' when I read.

amy said...

I'm an editor as well as a writer so it's really bad for me, scribe. (I of course, don't edit my own work - that would be silly, but I do edit column and fan-submitted editorials for a website. I know the book is amazing if the next time I look at the clock it's been a hour or two.

Sarmjornn said...

I don't know how much millage I have on my shoes by now. I think I need a new pair soon.

Sarmjornn said...

Totally agree with all of you. I do that a lot to even if I try and shut that mode of my mind off.

everlastingscribe said...

LOL Amy, I can't imagine the ''shifting'' that you have to do when you read something.

But yeah, the clock flying by is a good sign of a quality read.

Brett said...

For a moment I was stalled by sarmjorn's comment....lol...shoes.
Anyone read the Binding of the Blade Series? Good stuff.

amy said...

I love to lose myself in an amazing story with a world that comes to life in my imagination, a world without improper grammar or fragmented sentences.....

Aaaaa - I can't wait to read tonight. My friend just sent me 40 pages of her book. Yay! That's what's great about talking to other writers, we can critique and share without feeling like we're bearing our souls to a tiger.

Brett said...

Yeah....my computer upstairs has all my work on it...but alas that one doesn't have Interent access. Mom doesn't want me using up space down here to pound out my thoughts on the keyboard LOL.

amy said...

I have a question:

Do any of you have trouble reading other people's stuff when you're in the middle of a creative spurt? Sometimes I feel like I don't want to contaminate my ideas by other people's greatness. Does that make sense?

Sarmjornn said...

Same here Brett alas that my work is as yours is.

Brett said...

Whenever I have a creative spurt I go insane....because I normally don't have any paper or a pen on hand. Disturbing!!
I never read when I get like that....I dunno why.

amy said...

Not like what we do here, more like the classics. My tried and true favorites that have won a billion awards and have amazing success.

Sarmjornn said...

Makes total sense Amy. Do it all the time except I read other stuff anyway. And Brett I have read Binding of the Blade very very good.

everlastingscribe said...

Yeah, when I'm writing well and there aren't any hitches, I don't want to pick up another author's finished work.

Sarmjornn said...

I now carry a bag with me that holds all my papers and pens. And it probably weighs fifteen pounds.

Brett said...

I actually dropped the Blade Series for a while b/c I came upon Mr. Batson's work. I have to start all over again!! It's tough trying to remember their names!!!

amy said...

I tend to be creative when challenged to do so. I think it's kind of strange. I do get those bursts of insane creativity and inspiration, but those don't always produce any results. I've gotten at least one great idea from Mr. Batson's challenges. I know I'll work on developing it more too...

everlastingscribe said...

Contrarywise, when I'm not doing so well on my story, I go and dig into all my old favorites.

amy said...

EXACTLY Scribe!

Me too! I'm glad I'm not the only one. I hear so many authors talk about getting inspiration from other authors and I just can't bring myself to pick it up when I hit tiny bumps. If I hit a road block, then I dig in and try to forget my own writing.

Brett said...

Same here! I can't tell you how many times my mom's found me reading either the DW Trilogy or LOTR.
Hey, there's a scene in 'LOTR: The Two Towers' when Sam and Frodo are in Osgiliath (in the movie). Anyone recall what Sam said to Frodo about stories? Those words just inspire me.

amy said...

What did he say?

Brett said...

Oh....I'd have to watch that scene again. But it's very powerful. I tried to memorize it once :)

amy said...

LOL - Brett - I just think you're testing out a new suspense technique.

Brett said...

Honest! I can't remember it. I know a blurb:
"And sometimes you didn't want to know the end, because how could the end be happy?"
If you have the movie go and watch it. Very moving.

Sarmjornn said...

Sorry no idea Brett but I'm loging out for the night see yah later Scribe, Amy and Brett

everlastingscribe said...

I love the whole story telling thing in general that crops up in LOTR

everlastingscribe said...

catch cha later Sarmjornn

Brett said...

Me too...I'm tired. I have rehearsals for our Narnia play tomorrow morning. I'm Edmund :)
Goodnight ya'll!!!!

Sarmjornn said...

OH just read yours Brett I love that scene totaly agree with you. All right for real now night!

amy said...

Our amazing, Mr. Batson was the one who most inspired me. In an email - when I was in the process of signing up for his newsletter, we chatted a little and I told him I was an aspiring writer. He told me:

"There is a story inside you that only you can tell."

I live by those words now. It was so encouraging to realize that I didn't have to come up with stories, they were already there. It was the best inspiration I've had thus far. Since then, I've made so many positive steps toward realizing my dream. I write constantly and enjoy every minute of it.

Oh and Mr. Batson, if you're reading this, my email starts with:
more2live4. Just to jog your memory. I haven't written you an email lately because I've been on here so much. But all of my endeavors have been fruitful.

Brett said...

Aww that's so sweet. Mr. B's the coolest dude around. He gave me and my friend Emily autographs by mail. *grins*
He also left a comment on my book site: www.freewebs.com/4eversaved. Go to the guestbook section and he's on there somewhere.
My I'm lazy.....Goodnight!!!!!

Brett said...

80th comment!!! HA! Just HAD to do that.....

amy said...

Yeah Brett, he sent me book plates. He's the best! If I ever get published, I'll understand how much of an impact I can make on budding authors. I will hopefully be as obliging as our favorite Mr. B.

WayneThomasBatson said...

I'm #82! Holy biscuits and gravy! I can't believe all the wonderful activity on this post. I've never seen 82 replies. Zoinks.

It's a pleasure to be among writer friends. Your enthusiasm is contagious.

Glad you all seem to be as encouraged as I am.

Challenge #3 coming soon. ;-)

Never Alone!

-wTB

Cecilia said...
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Cecilia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cecilia said...

Ahh! Again, I hope I'm not too late:-) I'm very indecisive about things like this. Here is is:

Connor sat up in bed, gasping for breath. It was happening again. He shook his head violently and covered his eyes, and he felt cold sweat running down his face.
"What's wrong with me?" he gasped. It couldn't have really been there. He tried to tell himself it was just a dream. But it wasn't. He knew what he had seen in the corner...but he couldn't explain it. And although the "thing" had vanished when he opened his eyes, his room was filled with a dreadull heaviness. He was terrified that if he took his eyes away from the corner, it would come back. However, the more he stared, the more his heart started to race until he felt like his heart would stop alltogether.
It wasn't just the sight of the thing that scared him, it was as if something out of his control was filling his mind with dread. And suddenly, he knew what he had to do. For the first time in years, he knelt on his floor and prayed.

Cecilia said...

My second entry:

Nash fled from the burning wreckage of the place he called home. He could not stop running, and he felt that if he got far away from the village, he would leave behind the memory of all he had done, all the pain he had caused. But it didn't work that way. He eventually collapsed from exhaustion at the base of a tree. There, his head rolled to the side and tears ran down his face.
Nash was a coward, and he was always running from his problems. Then, he found the Brace family, and finally there was a glimmer of hope in his life, but that was now gone. It had burned to the ground, and it was all his fault. The family that had taken him in when no one else would, and the humble shack they had generously shared with him...it was all gone! He screamed with anguish and sobbed until his mind went black, and darkness enveloped him. He drifted into a troubled sleep, and the memories came vividly into his mind.
The enemy soldiers advanced upon the small village, and the poor townspeople gathered everything they could use as a weapon. They all lined up on the outskirts of the village, and Nash was on the front line, allong with the father of the family he was staying with. The children were hiding in their home. Nash knew he had to help protect them at all costs, but his knees quivered and his stomache churned. Finally he couldn't take it. He took off in the direction of his home.
"Where is the boy going? Is he too scared to fight?" laughed one of the enemies. He motioned to a few others to follow him.
Nash didn't realize he was being pursued. He was leading them right to the house. Once inside, he heard the voices of the soliders and knew he had made a mistake. As the flames engulfed their home, he ran out the back door and left his family to parish.
Nash awoke from his sleep, feeling worse now that he had relived the horrible memory of what he had done. He would never be able to fix it. He felt empty and hollow inside, and he knew the feeling would remain forever. But then, as he walked absently through the forest, the realization hit him. The horrible treacheries he had commited could never be forgotten, but he could change! He didn't have to be affraid anymore. He could start over. He smiled slightly, and headed in the direction of a new town, and a new life.
-----------------------------
Wow, that was long!:-O
I'm looking forward to the next contest! This has been really fun, testing my writing skills:-) I'm 16 and I just write for fun, but I'm considering becoming an author one day, and I think these contests are a really cool idea. Thanks! Oh, and good luck everybody else! I've read some of the stuff you guys have written, and you're great writers!

Brett said...

Hey look I found it!!!

"Frodo: I can't do this, Sam.
Sam: I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?
Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for.

everlastingscribe said...

Brett you are a find friend to put the rest of us Tolkien fans out of our misery because we couldn't put our finger on the passage. :) thanks.

Oh and here's something from Lewis that fits with the whole reading and rereading thing:

"I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once" C. S. Lewis.

One of the reasons I am so delighted about Lord Batson's books coming out in paperback is I can stop reading my signed hardcover! I want it to stay nice but *sigh* I fear it's rather loved and worn

WayneThomasBatson said...

I always loved that quote from the movie. I could be wrong, but I think that's a Peter Jackson/Fran Walsh contribution. I don't think those words are actually in the book. Even so, it so totally captures what Tolkien's stories were about--the true heroism that even the common man--yes, even folks like us--are capable of. We could have turned back but…

WayneThomasBatson said...

And, Cecelia

No worries. You're not too late. I want to let these ride and get a bunch more writers in here to go at it.

Iron sharpens iron.

Brett said...

Yep, it's from the movie :)
I think that's what I said up there ^^^ ;-)
91 comments....goodness gracious....

amy said...

You Rock Brett!

Those are definitely inspiring words. As writers, we need to remember how treasured and valuable a story can be. My favorite books feel like old friends. They're always there and comforting in some way.

Brett said...

*blushes and bows* Thank you m'lady!!

amy said...

Great job Cecilia! Welcome to our humble group. We're all about writing because we enjoy it. Plenty of us are ameteurs and some are close to your age. You've entered the company of friends...

To everyone - wow, we need to pray for Mr. & Mrs. B - for God to bless them with discernment. This will be a tough one.

I'm so excited for the next challenge! To be honest, the prizes are cool, but I'd do these even if there weren't any.

WayneThomasBatson said...

I have to postpone the next challenge. My wife and I got a last minute invite to my parents to play cards. Keep up the posts. Who will be the 100th post?

;-)

everlastingscribe said...

*Yay* Proof that authors are NOT as sometimes I am led to believe, chained to their computors. Have a lovely time.

>:) We, the unsupervised, will have to find *some* way to entertain ourselves.

everlastingscribe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
everlastingscribe said...

Cecilia, a most hearty welcome! I must warn you however that starting this whole ''writing'' thing, even just for fun can be rather dangerous. I mean, sooner or later you start seeing stories everywhere and then you begin carrying around a pad of paper and a pen and well. . .it's all glorious madness thereafter. The up side is that you get to hang out with people that are unusal and delightful, like oh, gee, everyone here.

amy said...

one more...

amy said...

#100! Yay!

amy said...

Sorry guys! I had to do it. And yes Scribe - we are a unique yet fun group. If we focus our creativity, we can see life through the lens of a story or vice versa.

Josh said...

oooo wow i leave for a day i come back and there are 100 comments and i don't even have one on hear yet. I guess i better get my but in gear.^_^

everlastingscribe said...

Exactly Amy, and that's why storytellers have been around for thousands of years. I'm glad to be in a ''company'' of them here. :) Telling stories to readers and listeners is one thing, but it is refreshing to come back among your own ''kind'' and hash out new ideas and to know you won't be ripped to bits.

Brett said...

Sorry....I went ballroom dancing tonight with Emily....did I miss anything? :)

everlastingscribe said...

Nothing better than ball room dancing :) I believe that we did rather run amok but just not here. No, no, other areas of the internet were subjected to the insanity which are writers uncaged. ;)

Josh said...

if its not to late hear is my entry


Fresh hot tears rinsed down the sides of her delicate face. She made an awkward sniffling sound and wiped her puffy red eyes. A dark brown chestnut coffin lay feet from her knelt body. Her soft voice had fled, replaced by a silent croak. Upon the coffin laid a pale white hand. Once red fingernails had been chewed raw. The fine hair of the clean kempt girl hung in tangles and her beautiful face was distorted by the tears. In a soft whisper, she finally summoned the strength to offer “good by.”

everlastingscribe said...

Nicely done Josh! I especially like the "Once red fingernails had been chewed raw."

Josh said...

thank you everlastingscribe i cant wait to see what you write next ^_^ and Peril, that will be fun. What kind of impossible predicaments will i put my character in lol

Josh said...

spelling error two i left the e off good bye. I feel especially stupid. I should possibly proofread my stuff more that once before i post it.

everlastingscribe said...

hey, don't beat yourself up :-D I know how it feels to be caught up in the writing and wanting to share. I am however making myself save the ''peril'' post I've been working on tonight because I have this nagging feeling it's not a brilliant as I think it is ;) So, I'm going to ''look it over'' in the morning and then likely post it.

Josh said...

I am pretty sure it will be great considering im at a loss for peril everything i start well... simply put sucks lol ^_^

everlastingscribe said...

Ha! I don't believe that for one moment Josh! *I* have read your writing and it *does not suck*

And I am not totally happy with what I wrote for peril, but it's because of *you* and the others here I tried. I knew when I was writing it that even if it was the most terrible stuff, I wouldn't get shreaded for it. C'mon, go a head and try writing peril. You know you want to. . .all your friends are. .
;) .

Josh said...

peer pressure ooo noo lol well i am currently working on a story for peril but like i said im kinda having a bit of writers block and i loved your entry it is awesome

everlastingscribe said...

I like the first bit, the chronometer I'm not to sure about, probably could go, there's something about the pacing there that annoys me. I really wrote it just to see if I could, and it wasn't as easy as the first two. Peril's not my style, I don't think.

Josh said...

yes i am having a lot of trouble with it but Lord Batson loves it if you just take a look at his books lol and i personally liked your chronometer part

everlastingscribe said...

Yeah, you can't get much more ''perilous'' than having somebody swipe at your head with long sharp metal pointy things. Lord Batson does indeed use peril well. :-D

I think it's hard to start a story off with the *bang* because you can confuse the reader very quickly. With Lord Batson he frames the *bang* of peril in a dream and that helps.

Josh said...

indeed helpful I love books that start in dreams, And peril is great but grrr my story is not coming along right lol

everlastingscribe said...

Ugh, I hear that. It helped me to set it down for a bit and then come back and look at it with fresh eyes. I deleted and cut and pasted and re arranged over and over and over again. And, I'm still not happy with it.

Josh said...

yes i am trying to come up with a killer idea that will blow everyone away lol

everlastingscribe said...

LOL That's why I nearly didn't post, I was sure it was crummy stuff! And I wanted to post something good, or nothing at all!

C'mon, whatever you post will have some fantastic thing in it that I'll go "oooOOOOoooo" over even if the rest of it annoys you like mine annoys me!

Josh said...

well thank you lol i mite have to stay up late and work on it all night and post it tomorrow

everlastingscribe said...

Naaaah, don't do that :-D I started working on mine on Sunday and didn't post it till after noon on Monday. I had hit the wall on Sunday like you have, and it took letting it run around in my head over night to get it to come out half-way right. Whenever you post ;) I'll find something to oooooOOOOoooo over. It's not hard to do so with your writing. ;)

Josh said...

well then maybe i should sleep on it lol a good dream works wonders with writing

everlastingscribe said...

Exactly!Let your brain work on the pesky problem while you sleep. Just save the draft first ;)

Josh said...

ive already had that problem lol and i am currently reading Steven King's cell a zombie like book if you have never read it. Im sure i will have pleasant dreams

WayneThomasBatson said...

Sometimes it's a great idea to just let a story simmer on the backburner of the mind.

If I'm feeling stuck (or more likely mentally toast!) I like to set one story aside and work on another. Many times, I'll be crafting this other story and BING! an idea for the first story just pops on in there.

WayneThomasBatson said...

Oh, and please pace yourself with your story posts. I don't want anyone losing sleep, going bleary-eyed to work or school--or missing work altogether! LOL

Josh said...

oooo don't worry I only missed 6 hours of sleep (Just kidding)I actuality slept on it and I am still lost. The good idea will come in time im. If that don't work i will maul it over with my friend ^_^

everlastingscribe said...

Ah, for a friend to thrash things out with, the two I have that write are busy wanting to help me figure out my
''world'' and are not interested in anything else. I might have to grab sword and remind them *ahem* who has sole ownership of said world. Is it a bad thing that they are more interested in my created world than I am?

Josh said...

aaa sharp pointy thing lol and no its not a bad thing at all perhaps good. That means people like it. ^_^

everlastingscribe said...

LOL Josh! They've got me drawing a map-something a plotdriver rarely does-and making copies of it for them to keep.

Anyone here actually ever draw maps of your realms? And does it HELP with the pinning down of the lands?

WayneThomasBatson said...

Draw a map? Ahem, Scribe, thou must be kidding. And you well know it. Maps are good. Be the map. Okay...I wouldn't go that far. But really, Maps rock. A cool thing happens--you actually know your world, and plot points come faster b/c you know where that waterfall is in relation to the mining town of Lach Sledge. lol

I'm working on a very comprehensive map of the new world I'm creating for "Across the Dark Sea." It's a huge world, and I'm having tons of fun envisioning the beings who might dwell there. Geography matters. Who knew?

Josh said...

i haven't personally drawn a map but i think it would help. Rite now im just mauling around ideas trying to get a good one. After that i will run with it and make a map lol

everlastingscribe said...

Hmmm, well I always liked geography, infact I took a course called Human Geography which looks at why people settle where they do (revolves around needs ie water, protection, minerals etc) never thought about it helping with plot. Verrry interesting Lord Batson. Very interesting indeed.

Brett said...

I've drawn maps! When I was supposed to be schooling....*ahem*

everlastingscribe said...

So I'm in the company of mapmakers, cool! What lands have you carved from blank paper? And what is your favoite enviroment? Mountains? Desert? Sea?

Josh said...

well like I said I have never drawn a map for a book but I have drawn a map and i like ocean/sea and mountains lots of fun. If possible islands

Cecilia said...

I love drawing maps, but I can never find big enough paper!:-P I'de really like to be able to draw a map on the computer that people can zoom into and see all the buildings in each city:-)

amy said...

I can read a map...

Does that count for anything?

Josh said...

well Amy its better than nothing I guess. lol ^_^

amy said...

LOL - Thanks Josh!

I just had to add my two cents. I'm sure someday I'll give it a go, but in the meantime, I'm not the best at drawing. I'm pretty comfortable with creating using words, not so much with creating pictures.

Josh said...

well i like drawing but maps i think they are kinda difficult lol

Brett said...

I made a map for my land called Idrealis. The center city is also by the same name. I've got some oretty odd names for cities: Peerdom, Baytown, Valdor and Edge-of-the-Wild, and Revival. Kinda akward...

Josh said...

very interesting brett I like the names you have created... very interesting

amy said...

I keep making up words for the names of my cities and lands. I can visualize a map, I just can't draw.

WayneThomasBatson said...

Amy, I don't think it's so important that your map be a work of art. It's nice if you can draw with that level of expertise, but not necessary. The key is visualizing the setting in all its geographic detail. Even using clip art or simple gesture images to convey where all these places are. Having the map can really help the storline--and cooler still is that new ideas will develop from the geography itself.

everlastingscribe said...

Okay, another thought came to me today at work! While I was watching the snow and wanting to go home, I started thinking about all the lovely critters that I have in my world(s) and I was actually rather pleased with them. You could go so far as to say, I was *smug* ;)

Don't get me wrong, I did work, but we were dead-slow and inbetween doing INVENTORY I let my mind wander, thinking about what various critters would be doing in the snow outside.

Anyone else find making creatures as fun as characters? Or, do you have non-human characters that you like just as much as your human ones?

Josh said...

aaa creature making all to fun. Although i like making my main characters more ^_^

everlastingscribe said...

The nice thing about creatures is that they can act as an audience when your protagonist is out of range of other characters and you don't want them to come across as talking to themselves. :)

amy said...

Thanks Mr. B!

I understand what you mean. I guess until now, I've been too chicken to try. In truth, nobody except me has to see it for now. It would help me to visualize the landscape and just the basic layout. The perfectionist (and editor) in me has thoughts of "scale" and a "legend." I need to learn to let all that go and just take the plunge. It sounds so funny for me to be so cautious about drawing a map. Now though, I can view it as a challenge and I do my best work when challenged.

everlastingscribe said...

:-D Go for it Amy!

Josh said...

i agree with everlastingscribe go for it ^_^

amy said...

Awwww - thanks guys!

I'll keep you posted (so to speak). Hee hee. I'll let you know how it all goes.

*feeling the love*

Aravis said...

The man who killed my family was quite fond of his charm bracelet, which was fashioned with many bells. I was blinded at the time, so I didn’t see him kill my family even though they were right in front of me. That didn’t stop me from hearing their screams mingle with the maniacal ringing. I’ve been haunted by the ringing of a single bell ever since.

I heard the bell. Again. I spun around searching frantically for the source of the horrid sound, hoping it was not once more my insanity. My face contorted in pure fear and I could feel my face get warm. Then my eyes darted to a boy ringing his toy bell with an innocent smile on his face.
“STOP THAT!” I didn’t mean to yell. He was only a little boy.

WayneThomasBatson said...

Aravis, mannnn, this is kinda freaky. A sound that triggers a horrible memory. I like that. The main character is channeling grief and lust for vengeance.

Eve said...

Better late than never? Here's my entry:

"You abomination! I will teach you to get in the way of the Roquin!" shouted the reptile as he began to whip him mercilessly. Mithrin screamed in agony as the whip tore at his flesh. Abruptly, the pain stopped and the weight of another person lay on his back. His replacement, who had not been locked up yet, had thrown himself on top of Mithrin to take his beating. Mithrin wept in relief and pain and the injustice of this cruelty. The enraged Roquin kept whipping as the stranger groaned in torment.

WayneThomasBatson said...

I'm wondering what the perceived injustice was...why is Mithrin being whipped? So good suspense there.

One thing to watch for: You use an awful lot of "as something was happening" phrases. It can get repetitive. And much like passive verbs, these "as" phrases steal some action and drama from your scene. Try shorter sentences with active verbs.

Eve said...

I'll try that, Wayne. After looking at this entry again, I don't feel like it adequately meets the criteria-so i'm gonna try again.

Hmmm, I've just realized how little of this I have in my writing.

Eve said...

Eve's entry #2

The wind whistled in her ears. A few rocks crumbled off the ledge she stood on and careened down the cliff face. She gulped. Cold sweat snaked down her spine.

"Recant or be prepared to fly," her captor whispered in her ear provocatively. Bile rushed up her gullet. She leaned her head away from him in repulsion. She did not dare shift her feet.

She tried to say, "never", but the words crumbled in her dry mouth and dissipated into the next gust of wind. She shook her head, instead.

"You impudent female!" he raged. He grasped her neck in his huge hand and held her over the precipice. "You had but to deny this foolish myth to live," he spat out at her. She clawed his hands in panic. Blood pumped in her head as bright spots flashed across her vision. She couldn't breathe.

He let go. She heard a scream leave her lips and echo around the vast canyon walls....

amy said...

Wow Eve - this definitely screams intensity. I loved the imagery and how the words "crumbled in her dry mouth..."

Very cool!

Eve said...

Thanks Amy! Does it have the emotional suspense, though? What do you think?

amy said...

Eve-

I definitely want to know what she feels so passionately about that she's willing to be persecuted and tossed off a cliff for. I want to know if she somehow survived the fall, if so, how? I want to know on a bigger scale if these injustices are rectified. It's definitely suspenseful in my opinion.

Eve said...

Amy-thanks, but that's for me to know and for you to find out....*grin*

j.c. said...

Here's a last-minute entry! ;)
Josh
----------------------------
16 year-old Simon’s heart felt light as a feather on that familiar field. At last, he was returning. The war had nearly cost him his life, but he knew now that all was fine. The buttercups were in full bloom, as if to welcome him. A strong, yet pleasant, breeze blew him along, urging him onward with it’s calm determination. He walked through the lush green grass, imagining when Lysa would run to him from the hut and throw herself upon him. Her brunette hair waving in the wind, her puppy-brown eyes flashing with glee. He would jokingly reprimand her in a brotherly manner. Then he would look up and see his twin sister, standing with her shawl ruffling in the wind. He would hug her, and then see his parents, standing side-by-side, smiling to see him home again. And, walking toward his dream, he felt absolute bliss.

He walked up the hill in front of Darmuth, prepared for the every-day peacefulness of the small village. But when he reached the top, no such sight met his eyes. Bodies littered the paths. They were the bodies of many of his friends and neighbors. Their hair and skin was black, scorched. Many had been raked by swords. Cottages, shops and all other buildings lay in ruin, some smashed, some burned, and some both. The smell of death filled the air, and not a sound broke the stillness. Darmuth was dead.

Simon began weeping. Was he the only one still alive in this town? But no. As he walked past his own house, he heard a slight whimper. Immediately, he threw himself at the rubble, throwing it aside. He uncovered his dog’s body, and under it, protected by the animal, lay a injured and bleeding, but still alive, Lysa. He felt gratitude and a small measure of happiness, even under the conditions. Together, the two of them uncovered their parents, who were both dead. But when they found Simon’s twin, Kyra, they found that she, too, was still alive. The three of them went up to the Great Oak, and they found that with each other, they knew things would turn out all right.

Anonymous said...

Aria's feet splashed through the puddles as she ran. Hot tears ran down her cheeks, mixing with the cool rain. The flames consuming the house behind her reached up toward the black night sky. The red glow of the fire reflected in the wet street. A streak of lightning split the sky in two, lighting up her surroundings for a split second.
Her feet stumbled over the stones. She collapsed in the grass at the side of the street. Her body shook with sobs.
"No!" She screamed, lifting her face to the stormy sky. The wind whipped her hair around her head. "No!"

~ElizabethOfMena~