May 26, 2011

Power of Tension Blogfest

The Power of Tension Blogfest is on! It is hosted by Cally Jackson and Rachel Morgan.

What’s it about?
We all know that in fiction, tension is vital. Tension ramps up the emotional stakes for your characters and keeps readers burning through the pages to find out whether that tension is resolved. Tension comes in many forms – it could be animosity between family members built up over many years, sexual tension between strangers, or jealousy between work colleagues as they vie for a lucrative promotion.

We want to see how tense your fiction can be. Give us an excerpt (up to 300 words) from your manuscript or recently completed work (or just a random scene) that drips with tension and will tie us in knots wanting to know more. It doesn’t matter what the piece is about, as long as it screams tension.

And so here is my entry into the Power of Tension Blogfest. I modified a scene from the YA novel I'm writing (names have been changed to protect the innocent!):

This is only make-believe, I reminded myself, as he leaned in and softly touched his lips to mine. Investigating murder was proving to be dangerous on more than one level. We were only pretend lovers, and at Adam’s signal, we would bolt to escape the two goons who were following us.
“Do you think you can keep up?” I teased huskily. The feel of my body against his made my hands shake slightly.
 “That sounds like a challenge,” he said, kissing me again.
And that was the signal, which I had nearly missed. He grabbed my hand and we dashed across the sodden grass, sprinting toward a slit between buildings and into a rundown historic area.
As we raced through the twisting passageways, the corridors became almost cave-like; dark and damp, as we ran further and further, and ever downward into the maze of passages. I hoped we would be able to find our way out again.
It was impossible to tell how close our pursuers were, between the sound of our own harsh breathing and the mist and fog distorting the sounds that bounced and echoed off the stone walls.
The cobbled stones beneath us were slick from rain, and I struggled to stay on my feet. We had to hide, and quick. I hurtled around a corner and ducked into a dark stairwell, dragging Adam behind me. We tumbled further up the stairs, breathless, into the shadows. I fervently hoped that I hadn’t gotten us trapped. I peered into the alley below watching for the two men.
We waited. The only sound in the dark stairwell was our heavy breathing, when out of the shadows above us, a voice said, “Are you two going to sit in the dark all night, or are you going to come inside?”

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