Eight Ball Talking...

7:03 PM Elizabeth Seckman 24 Comments

Jaycee DeLorenzo's latest meme

Jaycee tagged me with the following challenge...

Post this little gem to my blog if I have a question in a WIP (work in progress) that needs more than a magic eight ball, "ask again later" answer. Thanks Jaycee for the reminder that I have a world of help at my finger tips...because...

I do have a question and my brain hurts from thinking about it! So, I am going to paste a quick  excerpt, ask you all a question, then drop you in a blue pool, tumble you upside down and see what advice you have to offer  in the comment section.

Hope you can swim...

Here's the problem.

The opening paragraph is THE toughest on me. Exactly WHERE in the story do I drop the reader? I have written this paragraph a hundred different ways and want to know...as a reader...after reading the first few lines, are you feeling it?

This excerpt is the first paragraph in Healing Summer, the second story in the Coulter Men series that will be coming soon from World Castle Publishing and, as of now, it starts like this...

Craig Coulter moved through his party with one thought…he should have kept the damn fish. But, moved by a rare moment of humanity, he looked into its unblinking eyes and felt pity on the finned beast. Hooked and vulnerable, its life resting in the palm of his hand, he gave the creature a toss and watched it swim away. Now, as he looked around at the revelers in his yard, he couldn’t help but think, fresh trout and cold beer would have been a much deserved consolation for the intrusion.  

And to tag 8 people. And this will be tough because Jaycee probably got you already!

Leigh Covington
Mark Koopmans
Joshua Mims
Jessie Andersen
Joanne Buchanan
Mary Ting
Queen Sheena
Melodie Wright








24 comments:

  1. Hmm, I like it. It definitely brings up some questions, but in a good way. I'd keep reading.

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    1. And that's always the goal. I worry that it's an odd opening for a romance...but Craig (the hero?) isn't your average knight in shining armor.

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  2. Love the first sentence. The last sentence confused me a bit (not a hard thing to do), but maybe that's a good thing, because I would keep reading.

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    1. I kinda like the first sentence too. And the last sentence is picked right up in the net paragraph, so you wouldn't have to read for long for your explanation.

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  3. Sometimes we can agonise too much over opening lines, paragraphs and chapters and forget to see the big picture.

    But as you asked, I'd reverse the order of the paragraph. Have him throw the fish away in a moment of compassion and as he walked past the BBQ (if that's what happening at the party) regret it.

    That said, the opening line is very good and the book would probably suffer if it was changed.

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    1. Thanks Martin. I'm kind of fond of that first line too. And if the decision gets to be too difficult, I'll shake a real eight ball and run with it.

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  4. I like it too. It raises enough questions and draws the reader in to the story. It also gives great insight into the character right off the bat. Don't doubt yourself, Elizabeth. You're a great writer.

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    1. Big hugs Jessie. You totally read my insecure mind. I wanted to show Craig's indifference and inner conflict with his possible "gentle" side. Thanks chick!

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  5. OOH! Me likey!
    I think it's a wonderful start and honestly have no suggestions. So WAHOO! Very good job.

    And thanks for the tag! I can't wait to do this! I know I have lots of questions!

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    1. Leigh, can I just move you in as permanent cheerleader and positive energy builder. I'd pay in chocolate!

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  6. I'm "hooked." : ) Sorry, couldn't resist.

    You have a knack for voice, Elizabeth. Keep it comin'!

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    1. LOL...can't blame ya Emily...a good pun is a terrible thing to waste. Thanks for the thumbs up punny lady!

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  7. Hey,

    Thanks for tagging me... I didn't know :)

    If you're asking for tips re the excerpt, all I would suggest is change moved in the first line to something like "floated" and then add "had" here... "he (had) looked into its unblinking eyes..."

    These two changes made the piece "fit" from a timeline POV... now I know the MC is thinking back about the fish as he walks his party....

    Now, what's this intrusion all about??? :)

    Ps... thanks for the kind comments re. the Fourth :)

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    1. Mr.Koopmans! Most excellent catch...pun fully intended. A more active verb and congruence of tense is just what that bad boy needs. I LOVE having smart friends!

      And you're welcome. I meant every word of it. :)

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  8. Woop! Another blog thingie from you. Coincidentally I just posted a blog award for you and a couple fellow bloggers. You're a great writer and I can't wait for more work from you.

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    1. I must go check those out. Been a little summer lazy with my blog visits!

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  9. I think the paragraph works really well. Yes, I would read more. And I like the voice you've established. It's very "Homer" (thinking the main character in 'The Cider House Rules') and I like that.

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    1. Thanks. And to associate it with 'The Cider House Rules' is quite a compliment. :)

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  10. I didn't look through the comments, so sorry if someone said this. The only thing that stuck out to me is the use of the word "move" in both the first and second sentence. I'd recommend finding another. Echoes stick out to me a lot.

    I like it though and am curious as to what follows.

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    1. I didn't realize it was an echo...good catch, and yes, that has to change. Thanks!

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    1. And I LOVE your one sentence!!! Thanks for stopping by and putting my mind at ease. :)

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  12. I think this is great! I mean you've done a lot here in a very short span. We know that he is a guy's guy cause he likes fishing and beer but we also know he has a compassionate side because he let the fish go. Then we get a sense that he is kind of weary and even among revelers he seems to feel lonely. It makes me wonder what is beneath the surface with him, what's going on? I think this is great! Well done.

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    1. Wow Lisa! If you were doing an essay in English class you'd get an A+ for getting in the writer's head and knowing what she was trying to portray! I am most impressed!!

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