Thursday, May 26, 2011

Power of Tension

My new writing friend, Shelly, is participating in this blogfest. So, I figured, what the heck?
Hosted by Cally Jackson and Rachel Morgan, the object is to, in 300 words, create a scene that is, well.... tense.

Here's my go at it:

“I’m leaving Ollie,” Amanda said. She had a fleeting moment of satisfaction as Regan dropped the menu and looked at her with interest. Amanda half wondered if this was the reason she had decided to share this news with Regan – not to garner her sympathy, but her attention.


“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Oh, nothing.” Regan picked up the drink menu again, already disinterested in the subject. “It’s just, I’m not surprised.”

“My mom wasn’t surprised, either,” Amanda said. “She was surprised when I told her about the pregnancy. She actually asked me if Ollie is the father.”

Regan gave her a cold, calculating look. Defenseless, Amanda turned toward the window and gazed down at the miniature cars and pedestrians lost in the labyrinthine streets.

“So, what’s your plan?”

“I’m going home,” Amanda said resolutely. “I’m going to move in with my parents. I know, it’s pathetic…”

“It’s temporary. And besides, you’re young.”

“I don’t feel young.” Amanda sighed. “But, I’d like to think there’s still time for me to start over, you know? I’m looking into going back to school, finishing up my degree.”

“Don’t tell me you’re thinking about acting again.”

Amanda glared at Regan, who held up her manicured hands in defense. “I’m just saying, you’re going to be a single parent. And since you’re going to have to work, it would be nice if you could get the kind of job that doesn’t require you to wear a nametag.”

“Like you could do any better with your psychology degree,” Amanda said hotly.

“You’re right. I couldn’t. But I don’t need to make money. My husband does that.”

The irony of the situation wasn’t lost on Amanda. The only person at the table Regan was interested in comforting was herself.


  1. I thought the dialog was well done. I got a sense of the characters' personalities in a short excerpt. Good luck!

  2. Oh, this was nice! I felt the tension about halfway through as I got to know the characters better, and the stakes were all raised. Very nice, indeed.

  3. Superb dialogue. The tension mounted as the conversation went on, and I'm wanting to read more of this. You have a new follower!

    Power Of Tension Blogfest

  4. Nice! I'd like to know more about the characters - how young is Amanda, and is Ollie the father? Good job!

  5. Man! Regan is a...well, I don't use that kind of language. =) I'm left wondering what Amanda is doing with this self-centered woman. (Other than drinking.) Is she a friend from the past? An idol? Great build up here.

  6. Great dialogue - and why is she friends with Rachel?!

  7. Nice dialogue. I didn't feel the tension until the pregnancy piece, but partly because you were introducing the characters and topic. Also agree - why is she friends with Regan?

  8. WHAT?!?! I'm in the chapter right before this scene. I refuse to read this out of context. *shakes head* Guess I have some reading to do :)

  9. Ooh-hoo! With friends like that, who needs enemies? :)

  10. Ooh...that Regan sounds like an interesting character - well done!

  11. Ouch, Regan is certainly a . . . unique friend. I really like Amanda's voice. I get the feeling that she's actually similar to Regan. They're both looking for attention, really. Nice work.

  12. Ooh, the relationship between these two is feeling a bit strained!

    Thanks for entering :-)

  13. Ah yes, the frenemy - I've known a few Regans in my time! Nice work. I'm so rooting for Amanda, especially because she wants to be an actor!! :-)

  14. The most experience I have with tension these days is my 4- and 6-year old daughters. Way to make these characters come alive.

  15. There is so much in this little scene that I get an immediate picture of their relationship, and that it's fraught with tension. Great entry.