Wednesday, May 12, 2010


The Alliterative Alomorph, master of the word wrangle, is having an Internal Conflict Blogfest today.  I thank her for her great idea.

This is from a finished novel, The Shadow Effect. Its an Action/Thriller.  This is the prologue.

Riverside County Courthouse
10:13 AM

August launched over the desk before the guard could stop him, his hands already around Sorren’s neck. A guttural growl escaped his throat as August squeezed with every fiber of his being, willing the man to die. Sorren clawed at August’s hands, spittle erupting from his silently working lips. August heard his fellow agents yelling his name, saw them leap towards him, but they faded into garbled background. All he could see, and smell, and hate, was Sorren; the man who murdered his sister. Sorren, her abusive husband, had finally killed Maddie, after years of abuse. He’d bludgeoned her to death with a lamp from their bedside table.

August heard himself shouting at Sorren but had no idea what he was saying. Sorren’s eyes bulged, and despite the men yanking at his arms, August wouldn’t let go. A vein bulged on Sorren’s forehead, beating in a whir under his skin, trying to keep him alive. August stared at it, and Maddie’s face blazed across his vision.

He remembered Maddie at six or seven. Remembered when they played as kids, her blond hair shining with the sun behind her, as they twirled together on the tire swing in their back yard. His chest tightened, and he cried out for her, hollow with despair, and let go. He let go and McKranski and Hollis tackled him from behind. August’s breath flew out of him under their weight, and he watched Sorren gasping for air from his skewed angle on the floor.

And then all the sound came back at once. The judge banged the gavel furiously yelling for order, and turning red in the face. A woman cried off to the left of him, or maybe it was a child, he couldn’t tell. All around him people yelled, and barked orders, and cried, but nobody said Maddie’s name that day. Nobody thought of her, but him.

I hope you enjoyed August's internal kill or not to kill.  Please check out the other great entries at the Internal Conflict Blogfest.

Until next time...Go Write!

Photograph by victoriapeckham, Uploaded on September 28, 2006.


The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Wow, steaming with vivid imagery here. I really like this. So this is the beginning of your novel? Great set up, I must say! Thanks so much for participating, and your kind words about me! But how can I be the word wrangler, when you are? ;)

This line stuck out at me aas brilliant: "A vein bulged on Sorren’s forehead, beating in a whir under his skin, trying to keep him alive."

Tara said...

While I thought this particular struggle was pretty external (action scene), I thoroughly enjoyed it. Of course, I'm wising he had killed the bas..._ahem_guy.

Iapetus999 said...

Yeah that was fairly external...kill the dude!
To make it more "internal" he would just sit there and fantasize about killing the man and fight himself to stop from doing it.
Nice set up though...I want to see what happens next!

Tessa Conte said...

Great stuff, and up to a point I have to disagree with the previous commenters who said it was mostly external in conflict - yea, sure, up to a point, but I really liked the way you made everything around him vanish, everything but the bad guy and the memory of Maddie. There's just the three of them there, really, in his mind, and that really makes it come to life!

Sangu said...

I agree, it was fairly external, but it was nevertheless a gripping opening to a novel and it really made me sympathize with your main character!

Dawn Embers said...

Wow. That was quite intense. Nice work with an emotional and action driven scene.

Mary McDonald said...

I couldn't wait to come read yours because I think you and I share a similar taste in reading and writing. I wasn't disappointed. When can I buy this? I would so snap it up at the bookstore. Great stuff.

Slushpile Slut said...

Nice job!! Also a nice job of evoking tension and conflict.

Fave line--"His chest tightened, and he cried out for her, hollow with despair, and let go." So much power in that line.

Also really liked the ending! Bravo!

Amalia T. said...

I really felt the sorrow in the last line, about how no one thought of Maddie that day but him. I think it was really powerful in that moment.

sarahjayne smythe said...

Great imagery and set up here. But that last line? That last line is killer. Excellent. :)

Candyland said...

Ooohhh I love a ggod suspense! Very nice!

Candyland said...

*good* :)

Eric W. Trant said...

You suck so much. I hope you stop writing, and soon, else the rest of us will never have a chance at being published.

Thinking there are authors like yourself out there only discourages me. How can I compete? What a failure I'd be against such a dramatic and graphic novelist.

She's so precise. Her imagery is unique and yet, somehow, it's baffling. A vein in his forehead? How did she think of that?

Should I even continue writing? And if I do continue, will anyone read it? Why would they bother?

They wouldn't bother reading Eric, nope, not when Raquel's book is next to mine on the shelf. Rather, when her book is in front of mine.

Rather, when her book is on the shelf and mine is still in my head, on my computer, printed double-spaced and wedged into my drawers with the other skid marks I call "stories."


Why do I even bother coming to this blog when it torments me so.

Damn you, Raquel. Evil, brilliant woman, my nemesis.

I will take you down. Someday.


- Eric
(that's my internal conflict entry, btw.)

VR Barkowski said...

Awesome action and emotion. That August moved against Sorren in the courthouse makes it that much more powerful. Although, we don't directly see August's internal conflict because he's already chosen his path: to kill Sorren, we are definitely looking at the results of that conflict. Terrific work!

JustineDell said...

Whoa...I was sucked in from the get-to. Your descriptions are vivid and wonderful!

If this is the prologue, I can't even imagine how awesome the rest of the story is. I didn't see the whole judge and courtroom thing coming at the end. NICE!


Oh, and thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm an official stalker of you now! ;-)

Iapetus999 said...

Um, Raquel? Eric was threatening to pounce on women in his comment on my blog so I'm just saying, you know, be careful. He might be a bit out of control. ;)

Olivia Herrell said...

I'm laughing at Eric and Andrew's comments, but I was totally sucked in to your prologue and can't wait to find out what's in store for August!

~That Rebel, Olivia

Donna Hole said...

I like this. Empowered, decisive. Total control, despite the rage. Nothing internal going on here, for sure, but boy did you pique my interest.

I'm sure the entire story is a battle of internal conflict with a situation like this. External reaction is an attempt to reconcile internal conflict.

Go Raquel, go.


Ellie said...

YOUR details pop out, really giving this piece the chill factor! I like it! More please...

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I'm stunned. For internal conflict you certainly twisted us inside emotionally with action. Great job. You drew us in and held us there. Bravo. Roland

Tina Lynn said...

Oh, man. I think I would have killed him. Definitely. Wow. Nice job:)

elizabeth mueller said...

Wow, Raquel, this is one powerful piece. I love how you transition the reader to where he really is at. You're a wonderful writer! Thank you for sharing! :)

ps--eerie photo goes really nice!

Raquel Byrnes said...

Thanks to all of you for your great comments and encouragement.

To Eric...I don't know why I always seem to be reading your comments right after I take a huge sip of coffee...can't tell you how many times I've spit all over my manuscript because something you wrote made me crack up.

Really enjoyed your "Writing What You Don't Know" post...the parrot everywhere. =)

Eric W. Trant said...

Glad I amuse you. Now do your evil laugh.

- Eric