Wednesday, October 29, 2008

17 Drop The Needle TENSION

TITLE: Emergence of the Fey
GENRE: Fantasy

Lead-in: The Enchanters Council is at war with the Fey. Marian and her friends are acting as a performing troupe for cover while they spy (for the Fey) in the capital city, waiting for the Fey Army to arrive.

A child's scream brought Marian to her feet. She dashed out the wagon. The crowd was in havoc, shouting and pointing to the sky. Unisus and chimera flew over the walls. At last, they'd come. Disregarding the cold, she jumped down and ran for the cart.

The undulating crowd blocked her. She collided with another woman. Marian quickly apologized, started to move past. Cold fingers vised onto her arm.

"I know you. You're that little traitor."

The cold lanced to her heart. "Odette."

"I see you remember me. If I had known you would lead an enemy right to our gates I would have turned you in the first time we met." Her grip tightened, cutting off circulation. "Guards!"

While Odette waved for the men in uniform, Marian searched for her friends. Too many people. Her mind raced as she tried to pull away from the older woman. Too close for suffocation. Her weapon still sat in its hiding place. The crowd shifted, leaving an open path to the wagon. She reached out with the air to throw the pillows off their weapons.

She pulled her dagger toward her, throwing off the sheath in mid flight. As soon as the handle met her left palm she twisted to stab the blade below the woman's ribs. Odette screamed, releasing Marian to stumble back.

"Emelda! Isaida! Kait-" A large hand smothered Marian as her arm was yanked behind her back. Pain shot through her shoulder. The dagger dropped from numb fingers.


  1. This is definitely filled with action. I think some of your language needs some editing, such as "Cold fingers vised onto her arm." You could just say "Cold fingers gripped her arm like a vise." I also don't understand the sentence about reaching through the air to throw pillows off weapons. Maybe it makes more sense in the context of the larger story.

  2. I probably should have added to my lead-in that Marian uses air magic.

    Thanks for the feedback, AC.


  3. Good job - definite tension. I would have loved to see more emotional reaction at the recognition of Odette - I got the cold lancing to her heart, but I didn't catch it as an emotional response right away because you mentioned the cold twice before that.
    Good job overall - definitely an action filled, tense scene.

  4. Very tense, and good action, too. But who is the child? She screams, then disappears from Marian's thoughts, which seems odd to me. By the end of the page, I'm still worried about the child!

    I agree about the "vised." That's the thing about turning nouns into verbs; it doesn't always work. Still, you get points for creativity! 8^)

    Love chimeras. Want to see more chimeras!

  5. The action is there, but it's hidden behind too many words. Just the overflux of descriptive words, and focus on the action. Plus, shorter sentences quicken the pacing, which is exactly what you want in a tension scene.

  6. A lot of tension in this. Only comment is that you used the wor cold twice close together.

    I didn't understand what 'vised onto her arm' ment.

    I would read on though. It captured my attention. I want to know what will happen next.

  7. Plenty of tension here. Lots of conflict, action, and suspense.

  8. I liked the tension and you did a great job of showing action instead of telling. I do agree with the other comments on "vised."

  9. I felt the tension. And I assumed the magical stuff was part of the story (easy for me to do, since I live and breathe fantasy sometimes, I swear...).

  10. "Vised" got me, too, as did the use of "cold" twice so close together. I also think I might shorten a few sentences here to pick up the pace, although some of your sentences are quite short as it is (and those work very well, IMHO).

    Overall, though, nice work! Definitely tense and action-packed. :-)