The door to the lecture hall closed with a treacherous creak and click. Eighty heads turned in unison toward the unexpected noise. Professor Francis smiled at the strawberry-blonde student who had just entered. It was not a friendly smile.

“Leanora! How good of you to join us. Found a slot in your busy schedule?”

Eyes searching for an empty seat, Leanora did her best to ignore the professor’s jeering. She hurried over to the far corner of the hall and sat with a vaguely mumbled apology, fishing her notebook and a pen from her sagging bag.


This is how Chapter 1 opens. After some debating with Boyfriend, this is what I chose to tease you with. I think it’s a strong and direct opening. What do you think? Does it grab your attention? Do you want to keep reading?


Today has been rather slow, though I have reached almost the same amount of words as I did yesterday which is slightly above the NaNo recommended daily words. It’s a lot of dialogue today, and I don’t write that with the same ease as longer descriptive passages. I’m still writing and though I’m taking a break for dinner and a movie in a bit, I am likely to keep writing later. I want to introduce the character that will introduce and help drive the plot, but it’s nerve-wracking. I want to do it right, without overdoing or overstating. And of course, since this is NaNo, I’m not allowed to obsess.

I’m doing alright with the obsessiveness. Not great, but pretty good. I’m trying not to freak out over other people’s word count and comparing it to mine, and I’m trying not to let the little details side-track me. It’s a tough learning experience to be sure, and this is only Day 2!

A thing I’m a bit unsure about is chapter length. Right now my chapters average at about 2,000 words which I suspect is quite small. Since this is, after all, a (really) rough draft there’s plenty of space for embellishment in the chapter length without making it overlong. Or at least I think so.

Depending on interest I’ll possibly post some dialogue snippets tomorrow to see what people think of the pacing. It feels very slow and contrived but I’m aware that that’s mostly my critical brain talking.




6 thoughts on “Teaser

  1. You’re such a tease! :P

    After getting over the mild irritation I experienced at such a short snippet, I reread what you’ve written here and have come to the conclusion that I like it! But then again, I always enjoy reading your work. Short as it is, it’s engaging and I already want to slap the prof for being a prick lol. Keep up the good work, hun!

  2. Emily says:

    1) I like the teaser. In revisions, I’d fiddle with some of the word orders like: His smile was not friendly. That way the paragraph/sentence ends on that much more of a haunting note.


    I think your prose is definitely cleaner than mine, even from this snippet. If all of your words are so polished, I’m deeply envious.

    2) The only way to do NaNo “right” is to keep writing. Don’t over-analyze your writing. You can do that in December.

    3) Find someone who’s word count is near yours and try to match them. Don’t fret if you can’t keep up with the crazies (I think I’m one of them? x.x) Last year, I made e-friends with a short story author in my general vicinity. She used me as motivation to keep her word count up. By Day 9 of last year, she had 53k words in the bag and blew me out of the water. I’m trying to keep up with her again this year. Annnddd failing.

    But you know what? You’re way ahead of recommended word count. You might not be on the NaNo leader board and transforming into a keyboard zombie, but you’re already winning.

    4) My chapter lengths last year ranged between 2800 and 6600 words with the most common length being around 3.5k. There’s no set rule to chapter length. Wherever it makes sense, do it! My current piece doesn’t even HAVE chapters right now.

    5) I wish my story had more dialogue. I’m opposite of you, it goes faster.

    6) Keep it up! Rawr rawr rawr! *\o/*

  3. Anna says:

    I love your style as always, and yes, I want to keep reading. But I’m not entirely sure if that’s because I know it’s your writing, or because of the story ;)
    Don’t try too hard to write like others (chapter length, pace…). It’s YOUR story, not theirs. So if your chapters are shorter, and you don’t write at super-speed, it doesn’t have to mean it’s bad. It just means it’s different.

    I can’t wait to read some dialogue, and see characters fleshed out. It’ll give me something to draw! Nothing ever inspired me like your stories.


  4. Kim says:

    Couple of questions because I feel that this snippet is written far too hastily and far too glossy. I understand it’s your style of writing but maybe you’ll appreciate constructive criticism, right? Do with it what you will.. :)

    Here they come:

    Why have you chosen to write in past tense? Is that a conscious choice? What would happen if you’d write this in present tense?

    What’s the timestamp? When does this happen? The names used are quite archaic, Francis and Leanora both are old fashioned names. Why these names: because you liked them or because they fit in the concept of the story?

    This is an oooooold, typical lecture room with wooden banks, big windows with masses of light falling through. Is there a library behind the students seatings against the wall? Maybe description of the environment would help setting a scene and knitting the mood a bit more. She comes in, disturbs the entire classroom, what kind of atmosphere does that give aside from 80 heads turning and a headmaster not smiling friendly?

    And on that note: tThe professor didn’t smile friendly: what kind of smile was it then? Angry? Sad? Manic? Murderous?

    What’s so treacherous about the creaking door? Is it an old door? Does it hang loose on one side because the janitor cba to fix it?

    Wordcount ups with description to text, plus it gives the reader far more to imagine. I think texts come far more to life with the writer handing out these hints and tips; it’s good to keep open for imagination but without too little info, the imagination maybe isn’t sparked enough to continue interest, if you catch my drift?

    Does this help?

    Anyways.. Keep going, I hope you value my 2 cents.. Looking forward to the next. You can do it :D

    • Kim says:

      “Couple of questions because I feel that this snippet is written far too hastily and far too glossy. ” doesn’t mean that it -was-.. it just means that -to my liking- it’s far too short and there’s too little info. But if that is your intention and there’s a higher purpose for doing things as they are, then please disregard :)

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