Teaser Tuesday

Posted by houndrat on Tuesday May 5, 2009 Under writing

Okay, all you dog-story enthusiasts out there–I PROMISE to post another naughty Ridgeback anecdote soon (and I might even keep my promise this time).? But I’ve just joined a writer’s discussion board, and so today I’m supposed to post an excerpt from my manuscript (which, by the way, is currently being read by two agents, so keep your fingers crossed).

This scene takes place in Psych class.? My heroine is an empath and Styler is a particularly nasty professor.? And my heroine is just starting to get these weird urges to help people….


It was bad enough when Styler went after the sorority girls.? But Shelly?? She was meek and shy and a loner, and she didn’t need this.? Being somewhat exiled from normal human connection myself, I could relate to her feelings of loneliness.

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? And then it hit me.? I felt like someone had opened a door into my brain and poured their suffocating stew of overpowering ingredients inside.? Embarrassment.? Anxiety.? Shame.

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Talk about your party crashers.

The embarrassment flushed my cheeks instantly, while the shame and anxiety twisted my guts and made my stomach churn. ? My head throbbed something fierce, so I kept massaging my temple and glanced over at Shelly.? Her face was a mask of humiliation to match the feelings raging within her.? And something inside of me snapped.? This intense urge to protect Shelly from Styler’s blatant cruelty suddenly overwhelmed me. ? I needed, needed to do something to smack that smug look off of his face.? Something that would soothe the rampaging feelings pounding through my head.? But what?

I willed myself to get a grip.? Instead, my hand shot up into the air as if of its own accord.?




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15 Responses to “Teaser Tuesday”

  1. sunna Says:

    Intriguing! Your description of empathy is great: the sense of violation plus her immediate compulsion to help definitely had me hooked. Well done!

  2. Karen Duvall Says:

    Strong voice! I’m partial to empathic characters. :) The one place that gave me pause: I felt like someone had opened a door into my brain and poured their suffocating stew… The word “someone” is singular and “their” is plural. I know, the whole pronoun thing is a pain, but you gotta make it work. :)

  3. houndrat Says:

    thanks, totally missed that. The only question is, do I make it feminine or masculine? Or maybe I can change “someone”. I know–I’ll just beat my head on the keyboard until it comes to me. Argh.

  4. houndrat Says:

    Or maybe just change the pronoun to “a”.

  5. Bryn Greenwood Says:

    Must just be a day for cliffhangers. :) I wish I had more a sense of where she is, and what the prof is saying. Darn you people and your little bitty teasers.

  6. Jy'lenn Says:

    Loved it! I usually shy away from first-person narrative (I can’t get into it) but I really liked this. It brings up questions as to what’s going on and makes you want to know more. Very descriptive and intriguing!

  7. Branwyn Says:

    I’m partial to first person POV. Great writing and emotion.

  8. Rose Pressey Says:

    Love the voice. Great job!

  9. Sarah Says:

    This was really well done! The pronoun thing was the only thing that snagged me, too, but otherwise, I really want to find out what she says!!

  10. Latasha McLaughlin Says:

    I like this. You are a very good writer and I can’t wait to see what else you got.

  11. Gretchen Says:

    Great voice! Very strong. Is this YA? It reads that way, except for the “soronity girls” mention. Agents are generally wary (so I’ve heard, I have NO personal experience here) with YA novels set in college so you might want to keep that in mind.

  12. Courtney Says:

    Nice! I really like the voice in this. Your writing is crisp and clean. You get a lot said about your MC’s power without needless words. Great job!

    –Courtney (Mythica)

  13. JM Donahue Says:

    Very intriguing, I agree with the other comments that the voice here is very strong. Well done! My only suggestion would be to tweak this sentence: “She was meek and shy and a loner, and she didn’t need this.” It is a lot of tell. Can you show me this? Maybe something about how she cowers in the corner at parties, blending in with the sofa or something ;) Looking forward to more of this story. Thanks for sharing. (oh, and this is alias octavia)

  14. houndrat Says:

    Excellent suggestion Octavia–thanks! I just recently changed that sentence and it sounds a little off to me anyway, so I will definitely try to improve it. :)

  15. Shana Silver Says:

    Really great voice that just pops. I agree with Gretchen’s mention of the sorority girls. I shopped a college-set YA novel once and while I had a lot of requests, agents were reluctant to take it on because they are a hard sell, so it’s shelved for now since I couldn’t figure out how to switch it to a high-school setting (the book revolved around the dark side of sorority life). Anyway, this is really nice. Mine had other issues that made it a hard sell (it was very edgy) so you may have an easier time. Good luck!

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