Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Internal Conflict

Today is a blogfest and instead of posting it on my "It's In The Book" blog, I decided to post it on here because I thought internal conflict would be a good subject for a writing blog. Then came the assignments for anatomy & physiology. This is my last, half week so all assignments and both tests are due within the first three days of this week. X.X <-- I look like that already as today is the last day, I have two tests and one assignment and tomorrow the new classes start. OMG

So, I don't have a well thought discussion on internal conflict, why it's good and how it can be a bit difficult to write for those of us that "tell" more often than we should. Alas, that will have to happen in the future when I'm not in a panic over school.

But I do have a post for the blogfest. I think I do anyways. This is from the first draft of the YA novel, back when it was in first person *shudders*. I'm not going to post a lot of it, but I thought I'd show the Suits a bit. For those that don't know who the suits are, they are mentioned in my other blog in a blogfest entry. They go to Ephram's (main character) parents' house and ask him if he's noticed any signed of people with genetic mutations. Some are noticeable at birth, but most aren't seen until the teen years.

Did a minor edit over a year ago on this and it's already re-written into third person. So, you all get to see the old version but not the new one. haha... I mean. Hi.

The setup: Ephram saw one of his only friends, Levi, spin coins in a way that meant he was a mutant. He's supposed to tell the suits about him, but he really doesn't want to. During the questioning, the Suits try for a little bad cop/good cop. Okay, that's all you need to know. I'll try to get the entry shortish. Enjoy!

Ephram's Defiance (first draft title)
Chapter 2: Tattle Trouble

"Did you see anything or not? We don't have all day."

"Maybe, I'm not really sure." I try to avoid saying his name just yet. Eventually I will have to but I want to avoid it for as long as possible.

Again the nice suit tries to come off as the good guy. "You can tell us. It will be okay."

The other suit isn't going to put up with anything. He knows that I've been through this routine several times before and he isn't going to let me get away with avoiding the issue. "Tell us now or we will have to take you to the office to be reprimanded. You know the rules. Stop messing around and tell us the names of anyone who showed signs of a mutation."

"Fine." I look down at my feet as my right foot begins to tap the wood coffee table seated in the middle of the couch and chairs. "There was an older boy at the grocery store that seemed like he might be. He moved stuff around faster than normal people could but I don't know his name."

"Okay. Anyone else?" The suits seem relieved that they are getting the information they need, finally.

I nod, and twist my head so that I'm looking in a direction not facing them. "Levi Jareks." I mutter as low as possible, hoping they'd hear it wrong and think I'd said someone else.

"Can you please speak up." The nice one still playing his role says, "We couldn't hear what you said."

The other suit stands, frustrated. "I've had enough of this nonsense. We don't have time to be fooling around with some little mutant. Maybe he needs reminded why he should behave."

"Excuse us for a minute." The nice suit says to me as he stands up. Both of them move to the side of the room away from me and argue. He probably doesn't want me to know that he is only pretending to be nice in order to get me to cooperate. As if I hadn't noticed already.

Once they return, the other suit stands silent, still angry. The nice suit speaks to me instead. "I'm sorry about that. We are just really busy and need to get back soon. It would be helpful for us if you would not dawdle anymore. Could you please repeat the last name you mentioned loud enough so we can hear it?"

I don't want to tell. I want them to leave and never bother me again.


Raquel Byrnes said...

I wonder who he is ratting out...or saving for that matter. Moves around faster...superhuman? Nice post.

Dawn Embers said...

Yay! A comment! lol

Thanks Raquel.

The one that moves stuff fast, I know nothing about. But they are mutants, kind of like xmen, as is Ephram though his abilities at this point aren't very useful.

sarahjayne smythe said...

I like the interplay between your characters and I really like that last line. :)

Tina Lynn said...

Ugh. I feel bad for him. Sometimes authority figures make me want to hit something! Love the entry and totally intrigued by your WIP.

Tara said...

Hey, I remember this story from another blogfest, don't I? Where he actually sees the kid spin the coin...

I felt really bad for Levi that his friend gave him up. Then, I don't know what the consequences for Ephram would be.

NIce conflict :)

elizabeth said...

I like this! Wow...good cop bad cop routine? I can see this as a television show. Great tension, Dawn. Thanks for dropping by my blog! :)

Mary McDonald said...

I don't normally care for first person, but I thought you did a good job with it, so no worries there. I always love the good cop/bad cop thing and your character has lots of internal conflict in this scene.

Good luck on your tests!

Dawn Embers said...

Thanks everyone.

Sarahjayne - Glad you liked it.

Tina - Exactly. And when you have to deal with authority figures on your own when still rather young, it's tough. I bet he wishes he had a cool power just so he could use it against them sometimes.

Tara - Correct. I posted the first page in the first page blogfest. He feels guilty after giving up the name and it has affects on him throughout the novel.

Elizabeth - Thanks. I like watching my stories like they are on tv in my head so it's cool you said that.

Mary - Me either! I don't get why so many seem to like first person. I did the first draft that way as it seemed a good idea at the time and people liked the sample better that way. But I "shuddered" for a reason when saying it's in first. The second draft is much better and is in third person.

Amalia T. said...

Poor Kid. That's a lousy position to be in. Part of me is screaming at him to just not tell them!

I struggle against writing in first person, too. I finally broke down and started writing my latest revision of a book in first person, because the character kept talking to me that way, but it makes me cranky. :-/ I prefer a close third person whenever possible in my own writing!

VR Barkowski said...

Well wrought internal conflict here. I feel bad for Ephram for having to give up his friend and I feel bad for Levi for … well, you know. Would love to read what you did with this in third person. Nice job!

salarsenッ said...

I could feel the conflict. I know that was the purpose but I thought I'd mention it. Love the last sentence.

Dawn Embers said...

Thanks for the new comments.

Amalia - That sounds like a good response to me. I am using first person for one book at the moment, the rest are in third.

VR - I'm glad. I wasn't sure if there would be enough inner conflict because I didn't "tell" much, or so I think.

salarsen - Oh good. Tension is desired, so good that you can feel it.

The last line, isn't a last line, though I'm glad people like it. Well, it's the last line for the blogfest purposes but not the chapter it's from.


Donna Hole said...

Oh yeah; me likey. That was pretty powerful in 1st; can't imagine it better in 3rd.

Wow, the worst thing that could happen to a kid I think is to rat out his peers. Even if they don't like them.

This was excellent. Thanks for sharing.


The Alliterative Allomorph said...

I love first person. This is great. I'm very intrigued by this. I want to know why he is being so secretive, why he's so vulnerable. Great job!

Dawn Embers said...

Donna - True. Well, it might be a little easier for someone he doesn't like but when he has so few friends to possible lose one. It's rough.

Alliterative - hehe, thanks. Glad you like it.

One problem with first is it ends up much shorter, for me, than 3rd person. This first draft is 23,000 words whereas a different mutant novel done in third person is 90,000 words. Small difference, lol. ;-)

Kierah Jane Reilly said...

wow - poor kid! what's going to happen now???

Dawn Embers said...

Kierah - You just have to wait and hope the book gets published. ;-)