Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Internal Conflict Blogfest – Steam Palace

Internal Conflict Blogfest – Steam Palace

Thanks to Jessica Bell at the Alliterative Allomorph for hosting The Internal Conflict Blogfest. Click to see the other entries! She says, “I want to know what's going on in your characters' minds.” Well, maybe we really didn’t want to know this much, as you shall see:

In this scene, Thomas is suffering from a hangover, opium withdrawal, and a gunshot wounded knee. All this suffering has awoken his baser desires, which must be fought…

Internal Conflict The last thing Thomas wanted was to speak of was flying, but he demurred to her wishes. “It was more work than thrill, and dirigibles have this unhealthy habit of dropping out of the sky or exploding. Frankly, I should have explored the Cavalry where I could have ridden mechohorses for a living.”

“And then this,” she said, nodding to his knee. “Well then, we both are in similar straits. We are starting our lives over. Isn’t it thrilling, Thomas?”

She turned around in the saddle. Her lips inadvertently touched his as he slumped. Her face turned red, her eyes went wide, and she whipped back around. A hand covered her mouth.

“Oh! I am so sorry Thomas! I had no intent—I didn’t mean—I could never kiss—”

He thrilled to see her squirm. Her small, lithe body caressed him with each step of the horse. In his mind, he grabbed her and covered her face and neck with hot kisses, plunged himself into her essence, and drank from her depths. But his broken body stayed. “You could never kiss a cripple?”

“What? No! I mean—yes, I—” She balled a fist and then relaxed it. “I fear you play with me, Mr. Putnam.” She rubbed her brow. “Which I am most grateful for, I confess. You strike me as a man with intellect balanced with humor, rare qualities in these times. I am eternally thankful it was you who came to my aide.”

She relaxed just a trifle against him. If she only knew the battle raging inside him. Her manner quieted his urges. Perhaps that had been his baser motive in trailing her—to capture her. She had always been so haughty, so distant and mean. A prize to be taken, not lured. Something to distract him from his pain, from the termination of his career and life, a quick moment of escape from hard reality.

Something about her soothed his raw desires. She was strong, and had set out alone into hostile country. She battled the wolves, unafraid, then challenged the airfleet. Sophia was no longer this thing, this creature. Yes, he desired her, to push her from the horse and have his way with her like a brute, but more than that, he wanted to protect her. Strong as she was, she was woefully unprepared to face the world. He opened his mouth to offer his support.

“Look,” she cried, “the Ferry! It departs!” The forest cleared to provide a view down to the wide Connecticut River, where a long white paddleboat waiting against a dock. She forced the animal into a gallop. Pain knifed from his wound as it banged against the horse’s flanks. Sophia waved. Fortunately, the ferry had barely begun to untie. She directed the horse over a plank and into the hold of the ship.

I hope that didn’t cast too bad a light on Thomas. He’s going through a really hard time right now…


  1. Thomas can be forgiven, Andrew. If I were that close to a desirable, supple young woman, my hormones would be going in a Conga Line.

    And as for my internal conflict, Sam had threatened the ship's captain with his Colt. And in the next scene, Elu eats the intruders into Sam's cabin. My scene was just a pause between hostilities so to speak -- but you had no way to know that.

    Thanks for stopping by, Roland

    And you snared us right into Thomas's head and his conflicting urges and emotions. Good job.

  2. Men! I love it when they want so desparately to ravish the woman, but curb themselves into being gentlemen.

    Mean girl that I am, I'd take advantage of that vulnerability. An active, sexy scene Andrew. Very good transition to the next action scene.


  3. Nice. I almost wished he would have given in, but then there would have been no conflict. And I don't see how this could cast a bad light on Thomas. We all have needs:)

  4. No bad light hath been shed on dear Thomas ;)
    This was great! Very sexy and riveting. I wish he had just pounced, to be honest! Nothing like a good injury and a few drugs to get those passions flowing. :)

  5. Thomas is fun, I wish he had just pounced too! Loved the opening line with the dirigibles thrown in, it surprised me in a great way!

  6. I liked the tension created by the self restraint here.

  7. Nice internal conflict, Andrew. You also did a great job of getting your readers in a conflict. To pounce or not to pounce...?

    That was a fun read and one that definitely doesn't cast Thomas as anything but human.

  8. Nice internal conflict, you definitely got me wondering about what else is going on, and I don't think Thomas was cast in a bad light, given the circumstances.

  9. I think most gentlemen would actually really rather not be...now I know what it must look like in their heads!

  10. Bad light? What! And you said you didn't have a bad boy...

    This is a terrific scene - great sexual energy and tension.

    I want more of Thomas!

  11. @Roland: You know I love your stuff, so anything you say to me counts double in my book!

    @Donna: Yeah, she's a little oblivious, but her mind isn't completely innocent here...

    @Tina: Right on!

    @TAA: He could never betray her trust like that...stupid Hero character!

    @Sangu: Yup he helped her escape from a dirigible attack...right after a wolf attack. Partly why all the juices are flowing.

    @stu: Yeah, self-restrain sucks!

    @cat: Thanks, I was a bit worried he was too edgy.

    @Bridge: Thanks. Glad everyone is on Thomas's side.

    @Tesse: Damn straight. What do you think goes through a married/committed guy's head when he's with an attractive girl? If he says "nothing" then he's lying. ;)

    @Tara: Like he says, something about her brings out the best in him...but there's another woman who will bring out the worst...

  12. Oi! You! Yeah, the guy with the funny hat ;)You've been riding round the blogoshere today but haven't dropped by mine! What's going on, yo? I'm the freakin host! LOL I think you deserve a smack. Hold out your hand ...

  13. What the--
    I thought I did!
    Will correct presently...

  14. Done and done. BTW, anyone who comments, I will be visiting your blog, and if I don't leave a comment feel free to call me on it!

  15. I think the only way it could reflect poorly on Thomas would be if he acted upon it without her consent, honestly. I mean, I have a hard time believing that every man doesn't feel that way at some point or another-- and his final feelings are to protect her, not dominate her, so he redeems himself anyway!

  16. I would TOTALLY kiss a crippled chick.

    Lots harder for them to run away, see.

    And if he plays his cards right, maybe he can guilt her into, you know, doing stuff.

    - Eric

  17. Great job building the tension here. Gotta feel for poor Thomas.

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  19. @Amalia: He's a pretty decent guy.

    @Eric: If this was a more...impulsive...genre they would be doing stuff. But they will meet again...and he might not be this restrain...

    @SJS: Thanks!

  20. Excellent scene! That he wants to have his way with her and protect her all at once is textbook inner conflict finely and uniquely wrought. And how could you cast a bad light on Thomas? He does right - at least in this scene. I am amused that so many women wish he'd pounced, while the men appreciate the tension created by his self restraint. This is a gender study waiting to happen...

  21. See, I wish I could write internal conflict like this. Nobody died and yet we're kept reading by the inner struggle. Well played.

    I just wish I could do this osrt of thing without murder *facepalm* or zombies

    Great entry :~)

  22. I don't think this casts a particularly bad light on Thomas. Rather it gives him added depth of character that makes him more human. It's that kind of depth that attracts me to characters and makes their successes all the more triumphant.

  23. Thomas seems to be in a very bad place. Injured, feeling like he's lost so much...and now he seeks to balm his wounds with this woman? I think he's in for a lot more heartache. Great post!

  24. Maybe my husband overshares, but I don't think men with inappropriate sexual urges are at all out of the ordinary! He'd only be "bad" if he went for it with no restraint.

    It is kinda funny how he can be so in-the-mood while in so much pain! But I guess that's believable, too. ;)

  25. @VR: That surprised me too...I thought someone would be put off by his desire....and if this had been a more intimate genre he might very well have pounced

    @Mia: Murder is hard work!

    @Okie: Yeah, I'm hoping to drive him to some dark areas.

    @Raquel: I don't think balm is what he's after...more like control. I think another thing that may not be evident her is that she scares the shit out of him.

    @Genie: He's not really "in-the-mood". But I want to stay away from the more morbid/violent images..

  26. Wow - great tension in this piece! I popped over from Tara's blog to say hi after seeing you were tagged. :-)

    Have a great weekend!


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