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August 26, 2012

There’s a new meme in town, and its name is ‘Look!!!’

(And it comes armed and loaded with no less than three exclamation points to make sure you do, indeed, ‘Look’!!!)

Last week, the talented and soon to be published Jamie Ayres tagged me and my humble blog with this meme, and fortunately for me, the rules are quite simple, straightforward, and involve posting an excerpt of my WIP—always a challenge for me! According to the game, I am to chase down the  first occurrence of this ubiquitous ‘Where’s Waldo?’ of vocabulary words–‘look’–in my manuscript, and post the surrounding paragraphs. Then I get to tag as many other writers as possible. So, ‘look’ out, I’ve got my tagger loaded, and I’m ready to use it!

Okay, I’m going in. Wish me luck! Here’s what I came up with:

(Aw, shoot, the third word in is ‘looked.’ I hate my beginning and I don’t know how to fix it!  If you really must see it, it’s posted here. Mulligan please?) Second try:

Nick looked up, shaken from his reverie, his last chord disintegrating from a D minor seventh into a major mess. “Huh? Sorry, man. What song?”

Stuart shuffled over to the wingback chair and twisted the cap off a bottle of vitamin water. He held it in front of his lips. “‘Thirteen Steps;’ the one I just wrote?”

“Yeah, sure, just gimme a minute,” Nick said. Ever since Stuart had gotten sober, his friend’s ambitions had surprised even Nick.

“I gave you a minute, man. It’s been half an hour.”

“I lost track of time. It happens, alright?”

Stuart grinned. “I can’t stay here all afternoon. I got a date, remember?”

Okay, that was fun!

Now it’s time to spread the love. There are quite a few manuscripts I’ve been itching to take a peek at (or ‘look’ at if you must …), and now I have my chance! Here are my nominees:

Kristina Stanley

Armchairauthor at Ink

Rabia Gale

Nancy H. Doyle

Anushka Dhanapala

Thanks for the tag, Jamie! 

How about you? Want to show me the first occurrence of the word ‘look’ in your manuscript? Any ideas how to fix a clumsy opening paragraph?

  1. August 26, 2012 1:10 pm

    Thanks Kirsten (I don’t know how to make that sarcastic sounding 🙂 Just joking! An interesting exercise and a lot of fun — sort of.

    So I went back to review my First Draft WIP and since I had recently added a Scene 0 I went to it to find the first occurrence. Right in the very first paragraph.

    Here is that first paragraph:

    The black center of the boy’s eyes had grown, obliterating the once bright blue eyes, until the entire eye was nothing but a dark void. His slack mouth hung open, the rest of his body resembled a puppet suspended with loose strings. Chuluun-Uul looked to the Obeah Priest on either side of the boy. Their yellow robes covered every inch of their body except for their dark hands. Even their faces were hidden behind the folds of their hoods. They were the very best at spells and herbs. And he hated them. il fennore allowed a man to communicate with the Spirits and to bend the fabric of the world to his will. As nature commanded. What the Obeah did with their charms and talismans was an abomination. Chuluun wrinkled his nose as he stared at the necromancers and thought sourly the dead should be left to the Spirits. But he could not argue with their success. At least for this purpose.

    “Is the boy ready?” Chuluun asked his tone reflecting his disgust.

    BUT this was so dark I brought up the next scene (Scene 1); which was my original beginning scene and again “look” was in the first paragraph. So I am including that one as well:

    Willoe loved days like today. The sun in early autumn provides just the right amount of heat and the days are still long enough to provide reading light into the evening. Her body moved as one with the motion of her horse and she looked up to enjoy the glimmer of sunlight filtering through the canopy of leaves. The forest picnic was a wonderful idea and she reminded herself to thank Casandra once again for suggesting it. She turned back to see how the others were faring. She had to smile at the contrast. Just a few paces behind was the dainty, Casandra, bubbly and beautiful, riding next to the quiet, always somber, Dougal. Casandra chattering away and, in his usual sedate manner, Dougal listened politely if not intently. One would think the appearance of a hardened warrior, especially a barbaric looking Northerner this far south, would intimate even the hardest conversationalist. But he had been around Willoe and her twin since birth and her cousin Casandra and her brother almost as long. The hard exterior hid a benign soul who had the disposition of a cool breeze on a summer day. Unless you posed a threat to Willoe or her brother. Behind them rode Rowyn with Aeron who, like his sister Casandra, was very animated and doing most of the talking amidst bursts of laughter, his not the dour Rowyn’s.

    “Dear Cousin,” Aeron called out to her with a hint of humor in his voice, “did you really dump an entire barrel of Langford wine on Master Jones?”.

    • August 27, 2012 9:45 pm

      I really like the juxtaposition of these two sections, and how reading about Dougal in the second section made me wonder where he’d been before this lighthearted scene.
      Scene 0 was a good addition IMO.

      And, you’re welcome. 😉 It’s fun to explore new ways of ‘looking’ at things sometimes, isn’t it?

  2. August 26, 2012 4:00 pm

    This looks fun. I’m going to do with with my WIP called Look The Other Way. Oh, oh, it’s the first word in my title. Kinda funny that it turned out this way. Now I’ll go LOOK in text and post a paragraph. Coming soon…

    • August 27, 2012 9:46 pm

      I was so surprised by how often this word came up everywhere! I like your title. 🙂

  3. August 26, 2012 4:09 pm

    My first occurrence was with looked 🙂 as well. So here goes. . .

    Shannon looked at him over the top of her beer can. “So?”

    “So, I’m not stupid. It’s time you ladies were honest with me.”

    “Honest about what?” Debi asked.

    “Shannon knows what I’m talking about. She’s on a mission to find out what happened to Brian. Are you too?”

    In what he thought was feigned innocence, Debi said, “You know I just want to follow his trail.”

    Alex canted his head and gave her his best you-must-be-joking expression. “I used to be a cop, remember? You think I didn’t check you out before I took this job?”

  4. August 26, 2012 6:14 pm

    I love how everyone is playing now:-) And I want to know about your character’s date! P.S. I’m horrible with openings too

    • August 27, 2012 9:50 pm

      Thanks! This turned out to be a lot of fun.
      Openings! So much pressure I can’t possibly live up to! This might be a job for my critique partner. 🙂

  5. Prue permalink
    August 26, 2012 6:31 pm

    That’s made me go and look at my WniP (work not in progress) so thanks for that Kirsten! Had to blow the dust off it. I’ll donate my first two, dust-free sentences.

    “Juliana Davenport’s dark eyes were brimming with laughter, mischief and adoration in equal measure as she looked up at her partner. Her youthful face was becomingly tinged with pink from the exertion of waltzing round the ballroom, and from the realisation that Lord Eversleigh’s right hand, placed lightly but firmly in the small of her back, was holding her closer than was likely to be thought proper by some of the older guests.”

    • August 27, 2012 9:55 pm

      I’ve always loved this opening scene. So much hope, so much anticipation!

      Maybe, soon, the time will be right for progress again. Take care. 🙂

      • Prue permalink
        August 30, 2012 3:48 pm

        What a sweetie you are! Thanks! It took a lot of finding when I was writing – this is the third start to the book. And I love it too because of the anticipation and potential and promise held in that first paragraph. Perhaps I ought to let you read the whole chapter? 🙂

        I’m losing that fear of working on it again in case something else goes wrong. So perhaps you’re right. One day …

        • September 1, 2012 10:16 pm

          I’d love to read the whole chapter!
          Whenever you feel ready just shoot it my way. 🙂

          • Prue permalink
            September 2, 2012 9:02 am

            Where do I send it?

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