Power of Tension Blogfest

From Cally Jackson and Rachel Morgan comes the Power of Tension Blogfest all this week.

Here’s what to do:

“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.”

So here’s an excerpt from the beginning of Sophie, my YA historical fantasy manuscript:

         I didn’t notice the pressure on my shorts at first.  It could have been a shopping bag or an accident.

         All the people and their various accessories blocked my view.  I swatted a hand off my shorts and tried to step away, but my back pushed against a wall of bodies and I stepped on someone’s foot.  In response, I got jabbed in the ribs.  I dropped my arm down to protect my zipper.  The hand pushed back.

          What the hell was going on?  Was this really happening?

          I twisted around, but there was no space for me, so I gritted my teeth in the battle against a hand I couldn’t even see.  Looking around at the bored, glistening faces, I saw nothing suspicious.  No one seemed the least bit interested in me.

          I felt so powerless.

          “What’s wrong?” Abby asked.

          I shook my head, fast, and bit my lip.  I didn’t want the person responsible to hear me.  No words formed in my brain anyway.

          A woman standing at the next set of doors caught my attention.  She had spiky black hair almost lost in the crowd.  Her intense blue eyes veered downward and I wanted to touch my necklace, the gold medallion my mother gave me before I left New York, but I didn’t dare move either of my arms.

          I again checked the faces around and above me.  Nothing.  Not a flicker.  Not a glance.

          The spiky-haired woman stared at me as if she could read my mind.  The cello from Giselle sang in my mind again and I pictured the choreography that went along to the music, letting it distract me from the tension in my arms, the hand that had finally left me alone, and the freaky woman at the other end of the train.

Okay, there it is. Are you on the edge of your seat? Show me some comment love then go check out the other participants here.



Filed under writing

42 responses to “Power of Tension Blogfest

  1. Oooh…very strange! Great entry!

  2. Short sentences, quick pace. I loved it, even though I’ve read it before. 😀
    The fact that danger was there but Sophie couldn’t pinpoint the perpetrator was great. It made me feel claustrophobic since I have a lot of experience when it comes to crowded commutes.
    Good luck. 🙂

  3. This is a very unique scene. It definietly caught my attention!

  4. Very interesting. Mysterious, and a bit creepy. I get the feeling there is A LOT more going on here, but don’t know what. Nice job building the tension.

  5. I really liked it, good tension, but I would encourage you to look at the first line again:
    “I didn’t notice the pressure on my shorts at first. It could have been a shopping bag or an accident.”

    Something about it rings awkward to me. I may be the only one though.

  6. I definitely felt her unease and feeling of having her personal space invaded. Great job!

  7. Amy

    oooh, super creepy! I loved it! 🙂

  8. lisagailgreen

    I’ve READ THIS BEFORE… Hmm.. LOL You know I love it!

  9. You built tension using technique, not the actual plot: for that, I applaud you. Well done!

  10. Grace

    Well, you’ve certainly grabbed my attention! Makes me wonder what ‘s going to happen next – good job!

  11. So, I really love this scene with all the changes you’ve made to it. I’m totally sitting on the seat of my chair! Wonderful! 😀

  12. Well that left me wanting to know what was going on – Great job!


  13. Interesting! I felt the tension! Great job keeping us wanting more.

  14. Definitely feeling the tension – but more than that I’m feeling the claustrophobia – I HATE being in crowds like this 😉

  15. Ergh, I HATE places so crowded you can’t move. I had a similar experience to this at a music concert, actually. You captured the emotion of the moment well.

    Thanks for entering, Vicki! 🙂

  16. stu

    I like the way you start off with a nice blast of confusion, and then resolve it into a real, but still uncertain, threat.

  17. I love the short staccato delivery of the sentences. It ads a frenetic quality. Great tension for sure. =)
    Edge of Your Seat Romance

  18. madeleine sara

    OOh creepy! Very original take on the theme :O)

  19. I was a bit confused by what was going on until the end and I realised she was on a train, but I definitely felt the tension.

    • Vicki Tremper

      Yeah, it’s an excerpt that isn’t from the very beginning of the scene , so you missed that she’s on the metro in Paris. I just took the 300 words from the most tense part of the scene.

      Sorry to all who missed the set up!

  20. Very strong tension, though I didn’t realize she was on the train until the end. I really liked her emotional reaction to it, like that of being violated. It felt very real.

  21. Ooooh, interesting. And alluring. And creepy. Who is this spiky haired woman???

  22. Great tension. You really didn’t need the into… Anyone who’s traveled on subways, the metro, or the tube, would certainly pick that up with your description.

    Lots of creeps on the trains, that’s for sure…

  23. LOVE this!!!!! I wanna read more! (No, seriously, send me an email. ;))

    BTW, you’ve been tagged in my blog today. 🙂

  24. Eerie. Loved it. Good luck!

  25. siv Maria

    This piece left me with questions that I wanted the answers to. Very creepy.

  26. Crowded trains are awful…even worse if someone’s sneakily feeling you up! Wonder what that medallion is about? good job with the tension!

  27. Curious and really kind of scary! 😉

  28. You crafted this well, but I think this is more intrigue than tension. Great job anyway :)…and happy to meet you via this blogfest!

  29. Dripping with tension. Wonderful job!

  30. I like it very much overall. It was really different. But, I would have to agree about the first line, I didn’t understand it – shopping bag and accident built too very different pictures in my head and threw me off. The rest is awesome.

  31. I definitely felt her discomfort – freaking perverts!! Good job 🙂

  32. Kittie Howard

    I’m not one for crowded spaces so could feel the claustrophic tension. It’s not easy to build with technique …great job!

    I’m dropping in from the fest. Nice to meet you!

  33. I love your style of writing; your short sentences upped the tension as the piece went on. Loved it!

    Power Of Tension Blogfest

  34. Creepy and unusual! I definitely felt her confusion and discomfort!

  35. This feeling of helplessness and invasion of privacy produced a powerful and quite disturbing tension. Very creepy. Well done.

  36. Now that is definitely strange indeed! That would freak me out if it happened to me!

    Thanks for entering 🙂

  37. Creeeepy!! I LOVED it – I could really feel the discomfort and fear. *shudders*

  38. What a totally crazy scene 🙂 I really want to know what the heck is going on here – very good job!

  39. Yes, that’s tension! I want to know why she doesn’t dare move her arms, and if the spikey-haired woman is related to the feeling she had of someone’s hand touching her!

    Cool to get a hint of your historical fantasy, says another girl who is writing HF!

  40. I just really, really need to know who that spiky haired woman is! christy

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