Monday, March 7, 2011

Catch me if you can - Blogfest

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This blog is thanks to Kristina of KayKays Corner who says "On Monday March 7, post the first 550 words (or less) of your WIP on your blog."

The purpose is to get some feedback on what you guys think so far. Please please please, leave comments. I need some bashing cos I'm currently still plotting this and this is like the first EVER draft of the chapter 1.



It was the light being switched on that did the job. Bolade stretched awake blinking blearily in the harsh fluorescence. The sound of music playing in the background did not help the small headache scrimping away at the back of her skull. She cracked one eye open and groaned. Her mother stood at the open door of her bedroom, wrapped in a colorful apron.

“Bolade, get up. We’re already in the kitchen and I need all the hands I can get. I sent Funmi to come and wake you up about an hour ago.”

Bolade turned over and tried to shut out her mother’s voice. However her mother must have opened the door wider because the music from the living room became louder. Jingle bells, Jingle bells, Jingle all the way…

“Bolade… Bolade… ” her mother was standing right over her head.

Peeping out of a half-shut eye, Bolade saw a ladle tapping against an apron-covered thigh. When she raised her head, the glower in her mother’s eyes made her shrug off her blanket.

“Alright, alright… I’m coming…” Bolade muttered, pushing her legs over the side of the bed.

She had been so much looking forward to Christmas as a time to rest with her family, but now it all felt like an anticlimax. She had arrived from Dallas a week ago and since then had not gotten any breathing space. If she was not being pushed to greet one relative or the other, she was expected to perform a domestic task in the house. And she hated cooking.

She looked beyond her mother to the twinkling lights of the Christmas tree in the living room. The tentative light of dawn filtering in through the drapes gave the outer room a cozy feel which had fled her room since her mum switched on the overhead light in the bid to wake her. She wiped her eyes and stretched again.

“Is it the chat we had last night that is bothering you?” her mother asked, the ladle tapping again.

“Mama, I just didn’t sleep well. I think I have a headache coming on. But I’ll join you in the kitchen soon.”

“Remember what you promised.”

“I never promised anything, but I will see him like I agreed.”

With one final glare, her mother left the room and closed the door. Bolade dropped her head into her hands and sighed. About two days after her arrival, her parents had started a catalogue of men she needed to meet during her time at home. Last night, her mother had called her into an empty bedroom to drive home the point. Bolade was overdue for marriage and her mother had taken things into her own hands. There was a friend, whose son was looking for a wife. He was also in Ilorin for the Christmas celebrations and had agreed to meet Bolade either at the Midnight Eve carol or the Morning church service. Wasn’t it so obviously a sign that both of them lived in the United States and were home at the same time? Her mother had gone on and on to praise the man, listing all his good qualities and how he was perfect for Bolade.


  1. sigh
    the never ending story of the over aged spinster,
    I like it so far
    Not really a lot to criticize so far
    this is good

  2. TeaseAlert!!!! I like I like

  3. Hi Myne!!

    Please take all comments with a grain of salt...I'm not published and I'm still learning the craft.

    But here are some things to think about:

    1. I have heard it's considered cliche to start a scene with someone in bed or just waking up or having a dream, etc.

    2. I *love* the action of the ladle tapping against her mother's apron covered thigh, but you take away some of the power of that image by filtering it with the words "Pepping out of a half shut eye, Bolade saw..." Since we are in Bolade's point of view, we know she's the one doing the hearing, seeing, feeling, etc... You don't need to tell the reader that. You can just say something like 'her mother tapped the ladle on her apron covered thigh' or 'the sound of the ladle tapping her mother's apron covered thigh made her lift one weary eyelid...'

    3. Finally, it seems like the last paragraph is backstory (but it's hard to tell where you're going with it because I don't get to see what comes next.) If it's backstory, it might come across less like "telling" if you work it into dialogue.

    Good luck with your book! It sounds interesting. :)

  4. Oh I see this so well! Good job. Now keep going. ; ) I like it a lot. The voice of Bolade is so good.

  5. Thank you all for the comments.

    @Tamsin, I love cliches, :) But I hear you on the 2 and 3 and will definitely consider those as I keep writing.

  6. lovely beginning. I love stories like these.. hope the dude they are trying to hook her up with is a hottie,lol :p
    my critiques are.. chapter one is a little too short, would have loved it to be a bit longer
    and the end of the chapter is a bit flat. would have loved it to end with a dash of suspense or mystery,lol
    but then again, these are just my personal preferences.. i've not been schooled in writing to know what works and what doesnt :)
    once again, interesting read :)

  7. Oooh my bad! jst saw where it says you are only to post the first 550 words so i'm guessing the chapter is longer than this.
    i take back my critiques :p

  8. Nice work. Definitely a turn off for editors to do the wake/sleep/dream thing. However, if you find a unique twist, go for it.

  9. I'm very intrigued. You set up some interesting characters here. Bolade seems like a fun MC and I'd love to find out who this mystery guy is.

    Thanks so much for sharing :)

  10. Thanks KitKat, I see you noticed what I wanted to point out.

    Thanks Dawnall and Kristina, your feedback is really encouraging.

  11. I actually sunk my teeth in the story... really got into it.
    Most people think i'm a liar when i say i love romance, but i actually do a lot.

    I read a lot of books, but i think i just found a place amazing short stories....

    keep on writing, your imagination, will make my day?

  12. Good as always :)

    So if i was there..

    need bashing?..n-a-y! not from me sha....don i know say my mouth too sharp at times...weldone.

  13. hmmm....sounds interesting for me. I'm looking at it from a reader's perspective who wants to just read a good novel. em,em,ok, it is the girl-based-in-the-US-due-for marriage-story...well, I'm sure you will bring in a new twist to it. Good start :)

  14. Liking this so far, can't wait to read more :-) Good stuff
    The never-ending "get married" pressure from old folks - I pray I don't grow up and turn out the same, lol

  15. Well written as usual. Keep up the good work coming :)

    I was rushing to cupid's risk thinking there was another one that took place when I was AWOL but I found out I've read the season 2 already sef.

  16. Well written as usual. Keep up the good work coming :)

    I was rushing to cupid's risk thinking there was another one that took place when I was AWOL but I found out I've read the season 2 already sef.

  17. Aren't moms great? I would keep reading to find out what her mom has in store for her next!

  18. This is a nice idea and I think you have a great start here.

  19. Thank you all!

    @Vyvyka, I'll try to put in the twist, lol...

    @Shorty, I wanted to start Cupid's risk, but I went away to Nigeria for six weeks and couldn't meet up. Pele...

  20. i like the story line, very interesting

  21. I like your style and found it easy to read, though I wonder if you've started at the best possible place. I wonder how this would read if you showed the conversation Bolade had with her mom. If you showed how Bolade responded to her mom going on and on about this man who lived in the US but returned to Ilorin for Christmas just like Bolade.

    I'd keep reading. Thanks for posting, Natasha Hanova.

  22. oooh nagging moms... *sigh*

    And I really want to know what happens when they meet (Bolade and the 'intended')... instant hate? or something else entirely? or maybe she only thinks it's instant dislike?

  23. hmm...not qualified to criticize cuz I'm a newbie in this area.

    The plot is easy to relate with though a lil twist would be appreciated and I particularly got interested in the details about the ladle tapping the apron. Nice buildup.

  24. Interesting. Another good idea in the works.

  25. Wow, now my head is popping with ideas! Thanks for all the comments and suggestions!

  26. Its the twist i'll be looking out for... let's goooooooo


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