Here’s a new thing for me: Jonathan Allen, friend and fellow member of The Emissaries of Strange, recently tagged* me to participate in #luckyseven. Since this is a nice opportunity for readers to sample my novel and stories, I thought I’d give it a try. The rules for #luckyseven are:
- Go to page 7 or 77 in your current manuscript
- Go to line 7
- Post on your blog the next 7 lines or sentences – as they are!!
- Tag 7 other people to do the same
The interesting thing about this game is that you are at the mercy of a moment in your manuscript that is not necessarily intended to hook your reader. But the reality is that some sort of interesting tension should be present at every point in your manuscript. My subconscious knew this even when I was a child. When deciding what to check out of the library, I would pull books from the shelf and read the first page. Then I’d open the book to a random page in the middle and read a paragraph or two. I guess I’d been disappointed too often by books with tasty hooks and shaving cream middles.
So here are 7 lines starting at line 7 from page 77 of my manuscript for Valknut: The Binding. Railroad detective Harcourt Briggeman (Briggs) is speaking to his boss.
“Yeah, but they can’t inspect every train car that passes through every yard. Even if they could, the killer can get on and off a train without ever going through a yard. He can kill and be hundreds of miles away before we ever find the body. What we really need is people on the inside.”
“On the inside,” said Willowbe.
“Yes, sir. Decoys—lots of ’em.”
With a pang, Briggs thought of Douglas Harding…
I decided not to include 7 lines from my fairy tale, Rose in Winter. It’s just too darned romantic and I’m not really a romance writer.
On the other hand, I do like that story…
Oh, what the heck. Here are 7 lines from Rose in Winter, starting from the 7th line of page 7—about a third of the way through the story.
Spindleshanks knelt before Rosabel. He took her hand, and fire ignited her blood where his skin touched hers. It burned through her veins until she was nearly overcome by its smoldering heat. For a moment, she was transported to a different place, where flowers bloomed in winter and the sky matched the emerald shade of her dress.
Then, in a rasping whisper that somehow resounded the length of the great hall, Spindleshanks said, “I would crown you my bride, if you will it.”
His soul reached through his eyes, asking, begging. That same look had lived in her father’s eyes when he gazed at her mother, eyes that had gone empty with her mother’s death.
Wow. Well, it’s a love story, after all.
Finally, here are 7 lines from page 7 of my humor story, Hell Hole, which was included in Anthology from Hell. (It’s a golf story.) I’ll be releasing this as a single, soon.
Peter’s eyes widened as the ball began to plummet.
“Incoming!” he yelled, backing towards the clubhouse, shielding his head. The ball streaked downward and planted itself squarely in the middle of the tee box. It didn’t bounce. It didn’t roll. It didn’t even wobble.
The bushes rustled as the foursome emerged. They joined Dent and Peter, staring in awe at the miracle ball, which rested innocently in the short grass as if it had never moved.
Hell Hole most definitely is not a romance.
You can go check out Jonathan Allen’s and Aniko Carmean’s #luckyseven here and here. I’ll be tagging the following seven authors to share sections of their books, so keep an eye on their blogs and watch for the #luckyseven hashtag at Twitter.
Shannon Mayer @TheShannonMayer
Catherine Green @SpookyMrsGreen
Charlene Newcomb @charnewcomb
Jami Gray @JamiGrayAuthor
Stacy S. Eaton @StacySEaton
David J. Pedersen @got_angst
S.B. Stewart-Laing @sbstewartlaing
* For those who don’t know, “tagged” means that you were called to action or attention via social media avenues such as Twitter or Facebook.
Wow, good job, Marie. Having read your all your books and stories, I am not totally unbiased. I would have to say there is tension even in those seven lines.
Now I feel guilty since Jonathan tagged me, but I’ve been so busy with other projects I keep pushing this one down the list.
I almost forgot, yesterday. But this was a fun exercise. I admit I was a little nervous at the arbitrary selection of passages to put on display for all the world to see.
Great stuff, Marie!! I’ll be playing along though I’m not overly excited with the random paragraphs that come up in my manuscript. : )
Yours is a different kind of book–more internal drama. I cheat and include serial killers, gangbangers and those pesky Norse gods to stir things up.
I’m a peek-to-the-middle girl myself, Marie. It’s my litmus test. And the one habit I have with paper books I haven’t replicated with my Kindle.
I am not a romance reader, but your selection from Rose in Winter is beautiful.
Thanks, Aniko. It’s a rather lyrical story.
At least with kindle you can get a sample. Of course, if the book only costs $2.99 (or .99 or free) one might not bother with the sample.
I always check a sample. 🙂 But I miss the randomness of middle of the book peeking. I realize that once I purchase an ebook, I can use Go To and pick a random spot, but I haven’t done that. Kind of makes less sense, since I’ve already committed to the purchase. Ah, the changing world!
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Interesting. Never heard that line about “shaving cream middles,” but I like it. And I like your seven lines from all three (even the romance 🙂 ) As I said at Aniko’s 7 (and you hinted to here), it’s important that this random spot is still interesting, and you have definitely done that with all three pieces. I was also tagged by Jonathan and will be putting mine up on Friday.
Paul D. Dail
http://www.pauldail.com- A horror writer’s not necessarily horrific blog
That’s ’cause I made it up (the whipped cream thing).
Thanks, Paul. I look forward to your lines!