Writer’s Craft #23 – Teasers They Remember
You’ve been asked to read a bit of your work. What to pick? You get all of five minutes (if you are lucky) but you want it to be something they’ll remember days later. Years later would be cool. Experience has taught me to pick something funny and revealing of the tensions or the characters. Here, for example, is a favorite I used for readings. In it, my Vrellish champion, Horth Nersal, is four years old; language challenged; and daunted to find himself in the midst of a gossipy Demish reception. Known as the “lamb” scene, reference to it can raise smiles with people who know Horth, but it has some impact even on those unfortunates innocent of all contact with the Okal Rel Saga.
“Isn’t he cute!” exclaimed a woman with an astonishing garden of flowers worked in stiff silk across her bosom. Horth reached out to see what they felt like. The woman giggled nervously at his touch. “Oh, my! [The Vrellish] are precocious!”
“He’s only curious,” said the third woman, and offered Horth the hem of her fur-trimmed cloak to feel. “Aren’t you lamb?”
Horth’s brow furrowed as he tried to decode that extraordinary remark. He knew that a lamb was an animal raised for slaughter. He therefore concluded that this was an insult, and hit the woman squarely in the nose. He deemed the attack proper because they were both in the highborn challenge class, and since she was so much bigger than him, he didn’t understand the resulting fuss.
p. 18 Righteous Anger: Part Two of the Okal Rel Saga
Share your favorite teaser, or your thoughts on what makes for a good one.