First campaigner challenge: the door swung open…

I'm a platform-building campaigner badgeSorry guys, no ‘I Wish I Wrote That’ this week. Instead, I’m posting you something (hopefully) even better!

The awesome Rachael Harrie has issued the first challenge for those of us participating in her current writers’ platform-building campaign. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story (in any format) in 200 words or less, excluding the title. We must begin the story with the words, “The door swung open” (which are included in the word count).

My attempt is an excerpt from Tangled (my novel-in-progress), edited to meet the word limit and make sense on its own. Hope you enjoy it!

Not the best start

The door swung open as I hurried into the bathroom. I looked up to see my flatmate Robert reaching for the towel rack, completely naked and dripping with water. His eyes widened as his hands moved to cover himself.
I stood frozen for a moment, then spluttered an apology. My face burned as I closed the door and ran to my room. My heart was beating like I’d sprinted a kilometre. I wished my bed would swallow me whole.
Inexplicably, I started laughing. I’d just seen Robert nude! He was normally so arrogant, I never could’ve imagined him that vulnerable.
I couldn’t deal with seeing him again so I stayed in my room until the house grew quiet. If I was running late before, it was one hundred times worse now. So I crammed an hour’s worth of getting ready into ten minutes, skipping breakfast, washing my hair, and shaving my legs.
I set foot on the campus with seconds to spare. As I approached the theatre, I told myself there was nothing to be nervous about. Everything was going perfectly. After all, I’d always wanted to start uni with a gurgling stomach and legs as hairy as a gorilla.



Filed under Competitions, Flash fiction, Tangled, Writing

52 responses to “First campaigner challenge: the door swung open…

  1. Funny! Love that last sentence – it really shows off the MC’s voice. And isn’t that the way it always goes – you never have time to shave when it matters most.

  2. Oops! I giggled reading this. I could imagine myself in this predicament….LOL.
    Very Nice.

  3. good start to this campaign – nice one – so brings them back to ordinary doesnt it? seeing then naked!!!

  4. Jen

    This is a fun entry! And I think every woman on the planet can relate to those hairy-legged moments! Also, I love the voice in this, and I’m dying to know what happens later. It’s going to be one awkward evening!

  5. Nothing like seeing an arrogant man at his most vulnerable to cut him down to size 🙂

  6. you have to tell us what happens next!!! I assumed from the title that it was the start of their relationship not the start of uni. Good job 🙂

  7. This was cute. We’ve all had those moments when we thought we’d just die. Her hiding in her room until he left the house felt very real.

  8. Very nice Cally! Makes me look forward even more to getting to read the whole thing 🙂

  9. Cally, what fun! I liked your excerpt and you’ve adapted it seamlessly, methinks.

    I’m going to take a liberty and make a suggestion. The line, “Inexplicably, I started laughing. I’d just seen Robert nude! He was normally so arrogant, I never could’ve imagined him that vulnerable.”, could be tightened. For instance, her laughing isn’t inexplicable – hell, she burst in on the arrogant sod, so that word could be removed entirely. I’ll have a go, to explain what I mean, but you can probably do better…”I started laughing. Arrogant Robert, nude! And vulnerable. That was a sight I’ve never imagined.”

    Good luck with the contest!

    • Thanks, Deborah. Glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

      And in terms of your suggestion, I couldn’t agree more. Your revised version expresses the same emotions much more succinctly. I’m tempted to change it in the piece, but I don’t want to mess with the competition process. That little passage is one that’s been modified for the competition – in the book, it doesn’t mention that Robert is arrogant because the reader knows that already. But I’ll definitely be taking on some of your other wording suggestions. Thanks for making the suggestion. 🙂

  10. Love the voice! And definitely would like to read more about the characters! Nice job!

  11. Teehee! I love this 🙂 I think everyone can relate to this type of experience!

  12. Funny! Great entry! You had me laughing. I didn’t realize the contest was still going on. Good luck!

  13. Vicki Tremper

    Ha! Love it!

  14. Funny and well described throughout! Your character has spunk. Makes the POV more interesting. Great job! 🙂

  15. Love the ending! 🙂
    Stopping by to invite you to The Rule of Three Blogfest —a month-long extravaganza in the fictional town of Renaissance this October, with some great prizes, comment love, and of course, a lot of exposure for your writing.

    We could do with some humor in the town of Renaissance!

  16. Ooh, this could be the start of a very cool New Adult! I’m so intrigued by all the possible scenarios that could play out between Robert and your MC. Great job!

  17. This was really fun! Thanks for sharing.

  18. Great job, Callie! It’s so fun to read all the entries and see so many different perspectives with the same four word start. Cool!

  19. Thanks for joining the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Look forward to your post next month.

  20. Some great response here in the comments, and a great story too. I enjoyed the comical and easy-going voice of the main character and the all-too-true idea of starting something new and important in entirely the wrong way! I’m happy to say that, as a judge for the first challenge, you’ve been shortlisted to move into round two. Nice work 🙂

  21. I like the energy in this. Talk about awkward. Nicely done. Mine is #72

  22. Yay! Nicely written. Good strong, believable voice, spot on for YA. The overall awkwardness, and hairy legs detail serve as icing on the cake! I’m impressed that you were able to take an excerpt from your WIP and tidy it up into such a perfect little package. I don’t have those magical powers-had to think up something off the cuff.

  23. What a riot, Cally. I felt your character’s horror. Funny how when the season changes and long pant weather comes on, hairy legs just aren’t so horrible.

  24. You’ve got voice, humor, and charm. Well done!

  25. funny! Love the last line.

    (I am number 55 on the linky list)

  26. Hi Cally! (I love your name by the way!) What a great piece! So funny, and I love the flow of your writing. I loved how she was mortified at first and then laughed because of his unnatural vulnerability. The hairy legs bit was super too! Fantastic!
    I had a great time reading about you in your ABOUT tab! How terrible that you got in trouble for writing your own story for the writing exercise in school when you were a kid – your teacher should’ve praised you for your ingenuity! I love it!
    I’m a fellow campaigner – I’m not in your groups, but I wanted the fun of getting to know more writers. It’s so great to meet you!

  27. I can really see this happening!

  28. Lol! Loved it! I’m the same way when I get embarassed: hide then laugh. 😉 Haha! And you gotta love taking an arrogant guy down a peg or two. 😀

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s