I came across this writing meme a while ago, but only recently did it come back to me.
The rules are:
Go to page 7 or 77 in your work-in-progress.
Go to line 7.
Copy the next 7 lines (or 7 sentences), and paste them into your blog. (No cheating!)
Tag 7 authors to do the same.
Now, I don’t particularly care to get tagged in these things, so I didn’t do the last step. But I did like this idea, especially since the way this worked out, it highlights a piece of the story and character/romantic development that comes back into play later in the story (and which I recently felt the need to rewrite).
So, here’s my 7 lines from page 77:
But Amber just stepped over to him and lifted the book from his hands.
“That’s all right,” she said, as she sat down beside him. She flipped open to what seemed a random page, but the way she touched her fingers to the picture of a pretty princess laid out upon a bed of spiralling thorns told him differently.
“This one’s my favourite,” she said. “Brier-Rose.” She looked up from the pages and faced him with a tiny smile. “Sleeping Beauty.”
He smiled back, easing close to her on one arm. “You are quite the romantic,” he said.
She shrugged. “Faery tales are simple. The villain is always defeated; the hero always wins. The princess always finds true love.” She paused, her gaze falling once more to the half-coloured illustration beneath her fingertips. “And the father never forgets his children.”
Ross is right: Amber’s an incurable romantic. But I really like the way that she’s telling him a lot, here, even though she’s not spelling things out for him. That’s the way I like to tell stories, too: letting the reader decide how dialogue, action, or interactions can be interpreted beyond a surface level.
This excerpt happens all the way back in Chapter 5 (which feels like a lifetime of writing ago, though really just November 2011)…but it has repercussions throughout the rest of the story.
If you decide to participate in the Lucky 7 Writing Meme, let me know in the comments. I’ll happily link over to you!
Beautiful excerpt. I agree with you. I prefer not to spell things out and let my readers draw their own interpretations. Of course, I always have a niggling doubt that I actually pulled it off the way I think I did.
I participated in the Lucky 7 meme a while ago and posted it up on my site. It was a fun thing to do because when I read through it, just in that one blurb, I saw it from a reader’s pov. It actually helped me get even closer to the entire scene from which those lines were taken. It also helped me think about it in terms of the storyline. It’s actually a useful exercise, and one that I have thought about doing in other random parts of my novel.
I like the way that excerpts allow me to see things differently, too. Characters’ voices sound right in my own head, but by taking a step back, sometimes I can understand why readers might be surprised by dialogue or action.
It’s also been fun to go to an earlier moment in a longer story, to see how much the characters have grown. I always like seeing them grow. 🙂
Thanks again for stopping by!