Monday, August 11, 2008

Monthly Writing Challenge: August 2008

Write and post a paragraph from anything that you're working on: a novel, short story, article, essay, etc.

Then, comment on someone else's paragraph.

Happy August!


Betty Edit said...

This is the last paragraph of what I most recently worked on:

They were on the fourth chain, and had just cut through the link when the laboratory doors opened, and Gregory walked in.

Sail said...

Nice tension, Betty.

And, I happen to know that Gregory is EVIL.

Here's the new first paragraph of my novel:
My best friend Lydia slides her scissors around a sunset, slathers some rubber cement on its back, and slaps it onto an orange piece of cardstock, a sliver of fishing line positioned in between the magazine image and the orange backing. When it’s dry, she jumps up and ties the line’s free end to one of the fishing lines that crisscrosses [the top region of] my bedroom, thanks to some masking tape and thumbtacks.

I am not sure about that bracketed section: it clarifies the image, but it also weighs down the prose too much. I think I should leave it out. Any suggestions?

Sail said...


What if you wrote: and in walked Gregory.

That would give Gregory the most weight in the sentence.

Anonymous said...

This is a paragraph from a novel I've been working on for years. I've just decided to do some major revising, and this is from one of the new scenes.

The three riders charged into a gallop across the snow and ice-laden field towards the lights. At this point, galloping head-on towards unknown lights was most likely not a good idea, but the travelers were too tired and cold to care. Keida began to dream about all sorts of things that might come with those lights; food, a warm fire, a cozy feather bed. Her hungry eyes continued to squint through the snow until the lights became quite clear. They were coming from a tiny village that sat very near the edge of the forest. Keida cried out in relief as they slowed the horses down to trot along the road that ran through the village center. The lights were darkened in each building save one. It was a small, weather-beaten cottage that looked as if it had two, maybe three rooms, as well as a parlor and a kitchen. A small wooden sign hung above the door that read “Inn.” From the tiny frosted window, they could see the lights that had beckoned to them.

PS-I love the interesting detail in both paragraphs. Betty, I like the tension that is packed into your one sentence. It makes me intrigued to read the rest. Sail, I like the quirky habit of this girl Lydia. I agree though that the bracketed section does weigh down the prose. I think it'd be fine if left out. Great writing!

Betty Edit said...

Britt, that's an interesting paragraph. It makes me wonder a lot of things: who are these people? Where are they going? Why is it not a good idea to be riding at this point? What will they find there? It seems like they've been traveling a long time, and Keida is especially fatigued. You've created a good sense of urgency.

I wonder if, instead of saying that Keida squinted until the lights became clear, it may feel better to say that she squinted until the lights were close enough to distinguish clearly? (or something to that extent)

Sail, you already know what I've said about your paragraph (and about hugging beds). I love the imagery of a bunch of things hanging from the ceiling. Keep writing! (that's a command, by the way)

Mike Blakesley said...

This comes from the middle of a non-fiction piece that I may call "Mauled By Raccoon: and other fears"

My bedroom is in the southeast corner of the house and I have a sliding door that peers out over Utah Lake, where there was plenty to watch. In the morning you can look out and see the rising sun reflect on the lake and pour out a new mixture of glossy paint across the shimmery water. Or you can look down at the lakeside reeds and the pheasants and blackbirds. Or, at night, you can listen to the nearby rustles and wonder what creature is creeping just outside the reach of the porch light.

Mike Blakesley said...

Brit, I like your paragraph and the imagery stands out and makes me fear the upcoming Logan winter. Do you have a part of your body that gets cold first? Or that you protect against all cold and there is nothing worse than getting cold there? I can't stand when my ears get cold. Or my waist--you know that vulnerable spot where the shirt overlaps the pants. Do your characters have any kind of quirk like that?

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

You know, I never thought of it, but it's a really good idea! I loathe winter and the cold with an undying passion, so I hate having any part of me cold, although I agree about the ears. My nose always hurts really bad too when it's cold. I'll work it into the novel because all my characters are from the coastline, where it's tropical and humid-thanks for the awesome detail idea!
PS-I really like your paragraph. It brought back some vivid memories of this landscape photo excursion I took to Utah lake once at five in the morning. Your description is exactly like what I remember seeing when the sun rose. Awesome description.

Heather Dixon said...

Finally posting. (Better late than never). An excerpt from chapter 17:

The guest, who had arrived just before dinner, Lord Haftenravenschlouscester, dominated the conversation. He ate far too many potatoes to constitute for his lank, long figure, and he talked all the way through, insisting that everyone call him "Lord Bertie". Conversation went something like this:

"Oh, I know it's a mouthful, but what can you do when you're born with it? Have a nickername, that's what I say. Lord Bertie is far easier to say. Bertie Bertie Bertie. That's short for Albert! I think it's positively spiffing I could come, absolutely spiffing, all the fellows at the club were telling me what a marvelous thing it was, that's how I knew about it, they brought the advertisement in the Times and they says, 'What ho, Bertie! What do you think of it?' and I says, 'Think of what, Dunner?' and they says, 'Wot! You haven't heard, old boy?' and I says, 'Heard of wot, tell me now before my head explodes!' and they says, 'The twelve dancing princesses! Every night they wear out their shoes dancing and whatnot, and they never leave their room! It's magic!' 'Magic!' says I, and the fellows all had a jolly good laugh because that's not the whole point and rummy gist of the game, everyone knows it's just a jolly good chance to get to know the princesses, who are pretty as buttons and all at the agreeable age. Well, not all of you, obviously, but it's a rum devil fun sporting shillingpunter, says I, with three days' in a magic palace and all these pretty girls and so, says I, says I, I'll give it a go! I say, these biscuits are corking!"