Internal Conflict Blogfest

The Alliterative Allomorph is hosting the Internal Conflict Blogfest. Check out the other participants through that link. I'm betting this will be a superb one!

I'm doing something a little different this go round. I do monthly writing exercises at the Compuserve Forum and am going to use the one we did for December. It was an SOC (stream of conscious) exercise, probably one of my favorite X's of all time. This is very much in the moment, no real sentence structure, grammar not so great. But the two scenes this brought about - I love.

The first SOC is MC Kasia; the second, her husband Jake. At this point in time they are having some major internal conflicts - both about her job in the FBI (dealing with sex traffickers), but in a different ways.

Kasia -

Boots. Next time I am wearing boots, not sneakers. My toes are numb for Gods sake. It's so damn cold here. And dark. Why did this have to be the middle of winter, in the woods, in Russia? You could be at a stadium right now. Warm, watching your hot husband amaze thousands of people. What were you thinking? It's hard to run in all these clothes. So many trees. God if I don't run us smack into a tree before we make it to the car I'll be lucky. So dark. Come on Natasha, keep up girl. So short, her legs make her slow. God, if I have to...Shit. Where is the sob? More important where's the gun pointed. Her. I see you now sob. You've got it pointed at her. Where are you [P]. Handel didn't pick you for me because you're a bad partner. Yeah, like I'm gonna drop my gun. Keep dreaming sob. Self preservtion is drilled into us. I have to come first, no way I'm losing the gun. I have a job to do whether she lives or dies. Short, she's short. You can't let her die and you know it. The gun''s pointed at her head. Do it now Kasia. Oh God. Jake's gonna be pissed. If I live, he is going to kill me for this. I've got at least a foot on her and he definitely has it pointed at her head. I have a jacket she has nothing. Jake's going to freak. Please let me live for him to freak. Where the hell are you [P] Shoot him. If I die, Jake will kill you instead. You know if he had a clear shot he'd have taken it. Calm down, he's here. He always here. Best partner ever. She's short, definitely enough difference. Do it now, and if [P's] here, and your lucky, he'll get his shot off first. Ouch. Sh!t. Oh my god. That hurt, that really fuckin' hurt. But I'm good, I was right. And that sob is dead. [P] got him. I knew he would. Would have been nice if he got his shot off first. This is going to leave a huge mark. Jake is going to kill me.

Jake -

I'll pretend it didn't happen. But it did. Jesus, she could be dead. How many times I have I said that to her. When will I be enough. I would have killed him for you, do you know that? I am the man that you want me to be, but I don't know how much longer I can be. It's so hard. I'm not that weak. I'm not that strong. Dead—for real dead. This is the only time she's all mine. Here, now. I can keep her safe now. But Isaac will call, there's always another girl. Damn Isaac. Damn Luka. Damn all of those girls. Everyone needs her. I need her. She's mine. Some isn't enough. She knows me too well, owns me. Knows exactly what to give me, what to say to make it all go away. I will own her. One day she'll let me. But not until they go away. They need her. I need her. All of her. Mine. She could be dead. But she can't save them all. And I can't protect her. I'm going to give her something to take care of. Something of her own that she can't let go. Proof. One day. She's going to let me. She has to. I need her more. I'm home. She's so warm. Alive. This time.


The Alliterative Allomorph said...

WOWOWOWOWOW!!!! I got chills at the emd of that! I LOVE stream of conciousness prose. I could write a whole novel like that. Well, the first draft of my novel was and didn't get me anywhere. LOL. Imagine if someone had the guts to sell a novel like that. I would so read it. Nice job!

stu said...

It's intriguing getting both sides of something written in SofC, and I particularly liked the first part, even though I don't like SofC as a rule, since I feel it ignores the ordering of events that seems like such an essential component of great narrative.

Tina Lynn said...

I love this! It just feels real.

Aubrie said...

Very suspenseful and very clear for a stream of consciousness. Well done!

Tara said...

AA - Thank you! I worried you'd disqualify me for cheating ;) I happen to love soc, too. I could read a novel written like this, as well!

Stu - I've been doing these X's for 2 years now, and I have to say, none have helped me write a better scene (well 2 scenes) than the SOC. The 2nd seems a little more incoherent, but it's probably because 1.)I'm not a man, and was trying to get a handle on how Jake would be thinking. 2.) He's in the middle of something that probably is blocking a lot of coherent thoughts ;)

Tina - Thank you, girl :)

Aubrie - Oooh...suspenseful? Thank you! Since I write suspense, it's nice to know it comes through in my babbling even :)

Clara said...

Omg, brilliant. Just brilliant! It drew me completely into their heads, aaand, I foresee Jake might try to give her a baby? So she agrees to sta safe for te pup?

This is fantastic, really, it keeps me thinking even after I read it.

Iapetus999 said...

Confusing but interesting. I like the worries-over-actions thing where she can't completely focus on the present. That must be so distracting.
I liked Kaisa's because something was actually happened whereas Jake was just thinking.
Not sure I could read a novel like this...I like action and dialog. ;)

Slamdunk said...

Very creative. I like this exercise.

Jaycee said...

Hmmm...a little confusing, but good writing nonetheless.

Shelley Sly said...

This is great! Their voices are so real, and there's a definite sense of urgency. I like it.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

William James, father of American psycholgy, brother to Henry James, and inventor of the term "stream of consciousness," would be proud of you.

Excellent job, Roland

DL Hammons said...

Unique idea for the blogfest...and I liked it. Very raw and emotional.

I'm afraid if I attempted a SOC exercise like this, all that would come out is:



Slushpile Slut said...

Different and so dang powerful!!Love how she's thinking of her boots during all this going on and how she keeps coming back to how short the other gal's legs are. Awww and poor Jake, his love for her is so evident!
Great job!!

Dawn Embers said...

Very interesting. I can see how the stream of conscious could be a useful writing tool, at least for practice. Would be fun to do with random side characters.

Good post.

Tara said...

Clara - Thank you. And, you are right, Jake wants them to have kids, like five years ago ;)

Andrew - Confusing, yes. Not to me, though. You're right, an entire novel would be a lot!

Thank you, SD.

Jaycee - Thanks :)

Shelley - This will all be for book 2, so I'm glad the voice is still there.

Awww, thank, Roland :)

DL - I doubt that very mush - you should try it!

SS - Yeah, for Jake it was love at first sight - he's enamored with her, even 8 years into marriage :)

Dawn - It's a lot of fun. Really gets the creativity flowing - and helps find nice little tidbits that one never knew their character was thinking.

Palindrome said...

oooh, that was chilling. I haven't tried a stream of con. piece yet. Now I may have to, you inspired me.

love it!

sarahjayne smythe said...

Oh, I like this a lot. I like getting both sides here; it makes it very intense. Great entry for the blogfest. :)

VR Barkowski said...

Fabulous job. I, too, think Kasia's was more riveting because she was thinking while her life was in danger. In that type of situation, SOC is particularly effective because you're right there with the character in his or her head.

Tara said...

Hannah - You really should do it!

SJ - Thanks, girl :)

VR - Thanks. Kasia's soc really brought me a great scene.

salarsenッ said...

I love the feeling I got while reading. His opening line, for some reason, got me. It made me pause, but in a good way.


Jen said...

Wow chills fell across my entire body at the end, you have a wonderful voice and this was crazy real!!! Tara you totally rocked it and knocked it out of the park on this one!!! Very intense, awesome entry!

Donna Hole said...

Wow, that was gripping. I mean, oh what contrast. I love that they are both really thinking about the same thing; each other.

I just love Kasia's SOC. So much detail, such vivid imagery in her thoughts and perceptions. I could see out her eyes; and it wasn't a place I'd want to be.

Be still my pounding heart.


Creepy Query Girl said...

This was great! It really made me feel like I was inside someone else's mind and that action behind the thoughts was visible and full of suspence! good stuff!

Mia said...

*picks up brain fragments* YOU HAVE BLOWN MY MIND, no really you have! It sounds silly but I never even thought about writing something like this. It's amazing and so emotionally charaged!!

This is great!

Theresa Milstein said...

Wow. I really enjoyed this. The last few sentences of Jake's part are striking.

I never thought of writing a steam of consciousness to get into a protagonist's head or to get an idea for a manuscript.

Amalia T. said...

These were really powerful! The stream of consciousness really worked to bring out the emotion for both of them. Poor Jake. I can't imagine how difficult it is for him to trust another person with his wife's life and safety.

Lola Sharp said...

I love that you were brave enough to A) DO writing exercises and B) share them with us! :)

(aren't they fun to do?!)

I love, too, that you gave us his and hers POV's, and that they were each thinking of each other.

I also happen to love SOC (James Joyce's Ulysses is one of my favorite pieces of literature on the planet). I enjoyed this very much. Great job, Tara.

Thanks for sharing.


Sangu said...

Oooh, this is lovely! Chilling and realistic and I love the two perspectives!

Tara said...

Sangu - Thank you :)

Lola - Been doing those exercises for 2 years, and I can't say enough about how helpful they are.

Amalia - Very difficult. And this copped bit is what brings things to a head, for both.

Theresa - Thank you :)

Mia - Wow! thanks. You should definitely try it.

Thanks, Creepy :)

Donna - That was my fave part of it, too. I thought it really showed their connection.

Jen - How sweet and encouraging, thank you!

SA - In context, his opening line said a whole lot ;) Thanks.

Raquel Byrnes said...

I love this. Never tried stream of consciousness before, but I think I'll try it. I really got a feel for the characters with this.

The action, the worry and regret, the tentative hope for things to change.

"I am the man that you want me to be, but I don't know how much longer I can be..."

That is the line that stuck out in my head. It speaks volumes about their relationship and dynamic.

Great post...following now, will stalk often. =)

Tara said...

Raquel - That line and the subsequent: I'm not that weak. I'm not that strong, are the lines that I built that scene round. You are so right; they spoke volumes about their relationship.

Thanks. Blog stalkers always welcome ;)

Eric W. Trant said...

Stephen King wrote a book like this. It's called... crap, what's it called... Dolores Claiborne. Lemme double-check that.

Yeah, that's the book.

The whole thing is written from inside her mind in one long SOC piece.

Your piece reminded me of that. Yours read like a first draft -- impatient and unedited -- but if you put your mind to it, you could chug out something like Steve did with Dolores.

If you haven't read that book, and you like SOC, well, read that book.

Good job on your piece. It's a whirlpool of consciousness, not so much a stream.

WOC, not SOC.

Get it?

- Eric

Tara said...

Eric - WOC, lol, you're right ;) Forever ago I used to read SK, never got around to that one (I don't think). I'll have to check it out.

Bridge Marie said...

Sooo nice! Great pacing, good emotion, and I really liked seeing the scene from both sides, and you did a nice job of getting the scene across with just the thoughts. Definitely stalking here.

Tara said...

Stalk away, Bridge. Thanks for following :)

Susan Fields said...

Oooh - I want more! That was really good, and I like both of these characters, especially Jake. I've never tried Stream of Consciousness. You make it look easy, but I suspect it's really hard to make exciting and readable (like yours is!)