Wednesday, October 29, 2008

10 Drop The Needle TENSION

TITLE: IN THE DARK
GENRE: Adult Urban Fantasy.

This is the opening of my MS. No back story.




"Please don't do this," Memphis whispered. She scurried backwards. "You said you love me." She fought hard against the sobs that wanted to escape.

The only light in this stark apartment came from a crack in the foil someone had placed over the window to reflect away the sun and keep out the sweltering Texas heat.

An evil smirk carried from Shane's lips to his eyes. "Oh, but I do love you. Let me show you how much." His size twelve boot pressed against her bare chest, pushing her to the floor. He lowered himself over her, pinning her arms to her side. His breath was hot, and foul with whiskey inside her mouth.

"Please, Shane," she finally cried.

"I love when you beg."

"I'll do anything you ask. I won't leave. I'll move in with you, just don't do this."

"I don't want to live with you." He touched her cheek with the back of his hand. "Now, this is all I want." And he forced himself inside her.

The dim light darkened and she seemed to disappear into in her mind. Darkness she could feel took over. Shadows were everywhere. "You will not beat us," they whispered. "We can control the weak. We can destroy you. We will destroy you. You can not defeat us, you simple little whore."

She focused on the window, straining to find some kind of light. Some kind of sense in that abandoned living room.

13 comments:

Just_Me said...

It's very tense, but I'm not sure it's the sort of thing I'd keep reading. Not my genre I guess. But I like the world building you've done with the foil over the window, that makes this scene very real.

sraasch said...

The tension is very apparent, but there's no way I'd keep reading. There are some things I just cannot stomach reading about, and rape is #1. Also, your second paragraph is one long sentence; try to break it down a little bit, focus more on the light as it becomes so important at the end.

Luc2 said...

Definte tension. Not my kind of story. I stumbled over the image of her boot on her chest, while he pinned her arms.

Authoress said...

It's a tense scene, to be sure. But I'm thinking, if this is the opening scene, I don't know anything about Memphis, and can't empathize with her. It's a very intense scene to jump into, and I'm not sure I'd want to keep reading a story that opens like this. And I understand that Memphis is a victim, but she just seems so weak. I want her to be feisty and kick him or something.

You've got some excellent imagery here.

Karen Duvall said...

Tense, absolutely. She knows him, but we don't know her, so it's difficult to care about a character being brutalized on the first page. Though readers would have a natural sympathy for her, like what you'd feel when reading a newspaper article, but it lacks the connection you need to a character in a story.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it did need a little back story. This is a short prologue. But I do appreciate all the comments. Love the thought of focusing on the light more sraasch. And Memphis has been taught after years of abuse, not to fight back, it's always worse when you do. But she does learn to.
I really am grateful for all the comments.

blodwyn said...

I would have a hard time reading on because of this being a rape scene. I'm imagining intense PTSD, things like that that, coming on later. That being said, it's definitely tense.

Lori said...

The tension is obvious, but you may want to be careful of starting a novel with a rape scene. I've heard a lot of agents remark that they feel rape scenes are forced tension (meaning the author relies on an obvious tension-building tool rather than creating a unique one), and kinda overdone because of it.

danceluvr said...

Well, this is a tense scene indeed. I'm not sure that you've adequately captured the terror of a woman being raped, however.

Right now, we just see it as an abstract, not as intense or horrifying as it must be for this character.

While I'm inclined to want to care, I'm not sure if I should.

Anonymous said...

Wondering if anyone thinks this is better?

PROLOGUE
“Please don’t do this,” she whispered. She scurried backwards. “You said you love me.” She fought hard against the sobs that wanted to escape. But there where would she run?
She focused on the only light in the stark apartment, which came from a crack in the foil someone had placed over the window to reflect away the sun. Even with the blocked sun, the room felt like a furnace.
An evil smirk carried from his lips to his eyes. “Oh, but I do love you. Let me show you how much.” His size twelve boot pressed against her bare chest, pushing her to the floor. As he lowered himself on top of her, he pinned her arms to her side with his large hands. His breath was hot, and foul with whiskey inside her mouth.
“Please, Shane,” she finally cried, defeated. Crying showed weakness, and even though she knew not to fight, she never cried.
“I love when you beg.”
“I’ll do anything you ask. I won’t leave. I’ll move in with you, just don’t do this.”
“I don’t want to live with you.” He touched her cheek with the back of his hand. “Now, this is all I want.”
The dim light darkened and she disappeared into in her mind. Darkness she could feel took over. Shadows were everywhere. “You will not beat us,” they whispered. “We can control the weak. We can destroy you. We will destroy you. You can not defeat us, you simple little whore.”
She focused on the window, straining to find the light again. Some kind of sense in that abandoned living room. Some kind of sense in a life full of lies and betrayals.

fairchild said...

It is difficult to empathize when I don't know anything about Memphis. The tension is there, but I, like a lot of others, would not want to read further on this subject.

I do think you created a nightmarish, claustrophobic atmosphere with the sweltering heat, the darkness, and Shane closing in on her. I wonder, though, why she wouldn't fight back?

Trish said...

Because it's an opening, I wouldn't keep reading. If it was later on in the book I probably would. It's too violent a start.

It had plenty of tension though.

disorderly said...

This is very tense -- but I think I have to agree with the others about it being too INtense for an opening. Is there a way to give us more about Memphis so we have a connection with her before this happens? I think you could get away with the rape scene later on in a longer chapter, but as a prologue, this probably won't fly.

"Cannot" is one word.