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Friday, June 15, 2007

Suspense Technique Contest, Winner #2 is...

This was harder even then the first. After much thought, I narrowed it down to two entries. I decided on one, went to post, but then reread the other again and became torn. There were nuances in both that I couldn't shake. Both entries had characters displaying intense emotion and neither entry told me exactly why--thus, SUSPENSE!! Big time.

But, it's been long enough. I know as an author with a platform to speak, I need to be decisive, and so, I have at last made a decision on the winner.

The winner of the Intense Emotion Suspense Technique is...

It's a tie!

Amy & Scribe

Read their entries below:

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.

WTB's critique: Amy, this is intense emotion. I love how everything in the backyard makes Brach remember--but it's all so bittersweet. Great memories but all tainted with whatever he's done to ruin it all. "No right to mourn" is such a powerful thought. Feeling that way would be deadly hard. The self-loathing is palpable. Bravisimo!

“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.”

WTB's critique: You begin and end with powerful resentment and, I think, lonliness. Your character has been left out...someone else chosen instead. Haven't we all been there? So readers will relate immediately--a very good thing. But this runs deeper in your character. He's been pushed by this neglect and is on the verge of something horrible. "You'll be sorry" is such a desperate, fear inspiring threat. I'm afraid for this fellow and his victims. But best of all, you leave us hanging on the root cause of the sorrow and anger. What has he not been picked for? Who has left him behind? Why is it SO important for him to be included? Coolness.

Amy and Scribe, you have my email. So send me your snail-mail and your preference of a DW lost chapters book--I only have The Door Within so far, but Wyrm Lord is on the way in July. Final Storm in August.

Honorable mentions:

Cecilia gets the Young Gun Award! I wish I wrote like that when I was 16. Wow.

Aravis gets the Promising Concept Award: Killer with the bells is bigtime creepy.

Eve gets the Post Me in Another Suspense Technique Award. Her entry literally was a cliffhanger.

Josh gets the Gutwrencher Award--talking about pulling the rug out from under a poor, unsuspecting character. Mannn...that's harsh!

I'm going to be away for a week in Ocean City, so I won't get to #3 for a bit.

Great Writing.

Never Alone!



Brett said...

Congratulations to both of you! That's quite amazing stuff :)

Cecilia said...

Great job guys! Congrats!:-)

And thanks for the honorable mention Mr. Batson:-D

Josh said...

oo wow Congratulations to the both of you. I knew you could do it scribe. ^_^

Amy Browning said...

Wow! I'm so honored to share this with Scribe. I actually really liked this entry of her's.

I'm so giddy and ecstatic! I know I must sound like a broken record by now, but The Fellowship of the Pen has really had a super positive affect on me and my writing.

Thanks SO much Wayne!!!

Eeeeeeeee! (my happy girly squeal)

pixy said...

Yay, you guys! Congrats!

everlastingscribe said...

Oh wow! This has just made my day, week, and month! Sharing the honor makes it fun too, especially with Amy and her story. Though I would be happy to share a tie with any here! I really loved the way that Amy's piece built slowly, like a crescendo. I kept thinking ''poor guy'' when I was reading it.

Don't get me wrong :-D I like my piece too, I just didn't think I'd win with it.

Aravis said...

Ah, both great entries.

Eve said...

Congrats Any and Scribe! Wahoo!!

So Wayne, you saying it fit better in another technique? Which one?