Furry Writers' Guild Forum

Timorous Chapter 1 Opening (1109 words)

I’ve been planning out a serialized story for some time now, and am getting to work putting that plan to paper. I’ve fiddled with the basics for a long time. In my head the story was told in first person for a long while, but as of late I’ve settled on a more vague narrator esque third-person and I want to know how well it works! Basic story synopsis is a world in which intelligent animals came into being in a human world about 400 years ago etc, etc, etc, now set sometime in the 1890’s. Let me know what you think!

Link below!

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm re-reading this a quarter of the way through Camp Nanowrimo I’m considering re-writing it and restarting. New opening pending.

The writing style seems pretty clean and consumable, but my big question is about your choice of starting points. I think you may want to reconsider a bit.

Start with action, intrigue, horror, love – anything exciting and passionate. You need to hook your readers before they wander away. Explain as little as you absolutely must in your first chapter (pretend the reader knows what they couldn’t possibly) and then backfill the details over the next few chapters so that the reader will understand.

What’s the most exciting thing that will happen at the start of your story? Start there.


I’ve heard that tip a few times, but I’m wondering if it’ll work best for this ta(i)le (Couldn’t resist). One of the things I want to do is really juxtapose the world Bellworth currently lives in, with the hectic cacophony of human london in later parts of the serial. The hard part of this, I think, is striking the balance of catching the reader’s interest, while at the same time really driving home how different the two worlds are. I’m fiddling with a new opening and trying to find that place. I do indeed need more omph!

isle = aisle

perry = parry

anycase = any case

Loathe = Loath in this usage, I believe. The word also means the opposite of what you’re trying to say. It means "reluctant’. To save words, I’d rephrase as “Ask any farmer.”

My biggest observation is that there’s a whole lot of “tell” early on and not much “show”. One of the best pieces of writing advice I ever got was that a quotation mark is usually an excellent way to begin a tale. I might start this one at


and then fill in what’s necessary about the church, etc. as needed in the form of backstory, and even more importantly in tiny, easily-digestible snippets. Perhaps even as part of the dialogue itself. Conversations are by definition action, and serve as an excellent means of characterization as well. So featuring them early and often is generally-- not always, but generally-- a Good Thing.

Thanks so much to everyone for the feedback!

I’ve been reading a bunch of old animal fables and such, alogn with classic YA literature to get a feel for things and I’ve basically tossed this opening out and re-written it! I’m kinda going for a C.S Lewis sort of feel with a slightly more exposition heavy start leading into more characterization after a launching point? I’m really not sure if it works, but I’ll be posting it around the forms shortly!

Looking forward to it! Sorry I haven’t responded before, but I do read!