Share A Sentence From Your WIP

Hey, word-nerds.

Here’s what I want you to do, if you’re comfortable with it. Some of you are presently in the midst of writing or editing stories — in particular, a great heaping helping of you ARTFUL MOTHERFUCKERS are probably knee-deep in the word slurry of NaNoWriMo now — and so I think it’s time to share a little teeny tiny sliver of the work.

Just a taste.

An amuse-bouche.

*smacks lips*

Take a sentence from the work and post it in the comments below.

I’d say to choose a favorite sentence, but I don’t want to hem you in too much — also possible you’d choose a sentence you feel that you just can’t get quite right (and if you are seeking help with said sentence, feel free to ask for exactly that).

So, go, deposit a sentence below.

If, again, you’re comfortable.

*stares*

*smacks lips some more*

*drools*

522 comments

  • It stands to reason that when one part of your life goes spectacularly wrong, that all other parts should at least stay on some sort of level. It’s only fair really, if one hopes to retain any sort of sanity, but apparently ‘fair’ isn’t the same thing as ‘reality’.”

    This is my opening sentence(s). Would love some feedback as it’s not really ‘there’ yet.

    • As a reader, my first question is: is this a fiction or non-fiction story? Your opening statement is a tad ambiguous and it could go either way. If you start your reader off confused, it can work against you. I would suggest tightening this up a bit when you revisit this to edit. Try working from your strongest statement (which for me is:) “Fair isn’t the same thing as Reality.” and see where that takes you. An even tighter sentence: “Reality is never Fair.”

      Also, be mindful of your Point of View while you write the rest of your script. You jump from “your life” in the first sentence to “one hopes” in the second. You’ll want to be consistent in order to keep the reader engaged. Using “you” is risky because like in theater, you break the fourth wall illusion anytime you address the audience directly, so I would chose to use “one”. But ultimately it boils down to what fits your story and your voice the best.

      I hope this helps. Good Luck! :)

      • I submit that the confusion between fic/nonfic isn’t problematic. If you’re looking at one sentence, yeah, but marketing/packaging is going to make it explicit. If the book is in a library or a bookstore, it will be in the appropriate section. If it’s loaned from a friend, and the book cover doesn’t say it, the friend almost certainly will. First sentences are to grab you, not define the limits of the book.
        “In a village of La Mancha, the name of which I have no desire to call to mind, there lived not long since one of those gentlemen that keep a lance in the lance-rack, an old buckler, a lean hack, and a greyhound for coursing.”
        “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
        “A few months ago after my twenty-first birthday, a stranger called to give me the news.”
        “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
        “If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born”
        None of those give information about whether it is fiction or not. (only one of them is nonfiction)

    • Added the beginning paragraph:

      It took almost 20 years of his life to figure out what caused the pressure he felt in his head. It was the spinning of the world. The back and forth sway of warm and cold fronts bearing down on him as they moved down invisible paths. It was the anger of shifting tectonic plates, and the desparate grasping of roots of the trees that rode them. The pressure was more than just the world alone though; it was the people in it as well. The people with their happiness, sorrows, and judgement. The screaming of their machinations and the visions of their self-induced destruction.

      For Jacob Moors, the pressure, the anxiety and the stress he had always felt was because he was one with the world he wanted nothing to be a part of.

  • First line of a YA novel…would love any feedback at all…unless it’s completely mean and shitty and not at all related to the sentence below…

    “Two hours before I found myself laying in the dirt outside a rest stop in Truckee, I was making my best friend, Cade, quiz me on SAT words.”

  • Paul Divine didn’t know he’d be meeting Satan later that morning. He brushed his teeth as usual, dragged a brush through his black hair as usual, and gently touched the purple scar that ran from his forehead to his chin as usual. In the kitchen, he grabbed a piece of cold toast and his backpack, then opened the screen door of the trailer and limped to school.

  • I’ve enjoyed these sentences/excerpts/passages so much! And I want to read more. Consider – later when they are complete works – revisiting this list and sharing access to the finished products.

  • He had given William and Tristan enough money for them to be comfortable for the rest of their lives and after they left, he had no idea if he would ever see them again.

    • November 14, 2014 at 1:33 PM // Reply

      This is kinda foreboding…as in, it makes me wonder what happens to William and Tristan…Are they children and if so, are they properly cared for? is the money squandered? Definitely catches my interest.

  • “Sweet of you to keep to the rules of the little people. I chose a job that practically encourages frequent inebriation. Art and politics. Neither would produce much if someone involved was not tipsy.”

  • The smell of the Markets eeled through the streets of the Old City, mingling with the ever-present miasma of river-mud, the black, storm-cloud smog and the hum of the great unwashed. The smell of pineapples and slow-cooked goat curry, of cinnamon and the great, hanging chains of garlic and chillies all mixed together with the spice-burning-smoke flavour of marijuana and the bitter-acid smell of other, more dangerous, more addictive chemicals.

    Technically two sentences, but hey…

  • Plenty of people thought of him as unfriendly, even arrogant, and the few people he was friend with totally got why.

    • I thought it would be interesting (or possibly stupid and odd) to reply to my own sentence. I read it over, noticed that I had a typo (friend instead of friends) and thought, what a dork, Brian. One whole sentence and you can’t manage a clean copy! Fuck!

  • November 14, 2014 at 1:30 PM // Reply

    And farther, he could just make out, glistening like quick-silver in the gray winter light, Cloud Lake; the place where her brother had drowned all those years ago; where her mother had later committed suicide after her breakdown.

    From my NaNo story: Mermaid’s Song

  • You cannot try to please all of the people all of the time. Preach was a pleaser extraordinaire. He spoke to the people, soothed them and whispered lies, brought them inside – the meek, the weak – and slithered around their defenses insidiously injecting his special poison.

  • The creature’s poisoned, blistered fingertips brushed the screaming trees. It laughed as the bark peeled back in scorched layers like burned skin from an intense fire.

  • I wondered what it would be like to have hundreds of eyes on me, ones that followed my every move, listened intently to my voice, and thought me beautiful.

  • He created a water planet, one that was billions of years old in a nanosecond. The surface was soft and the fabric was magical for his masculine organic beings to gain consciousness by taking on seed. The nanosecond took many years in linear time, but he was no longer in a linear time field. The idea that another lover hits the universe hadn’t the same meaning. But still, the readiness was all. The first times of experience living in the third dimension were part of him. Realities, the programs from parental units, what one did for money, the piano, the voice, the acting on stage of scripts, the service to others, unforgotten and worthless vibrations to the universe, Atlas Shrugged, The FountainHead, Romeo and Juliet, and even Ragged Angels …..all of it was still his; and now he was the beginning, the geomancer of new creation was his. The nanosecond had become manifest, an earthly word that came from the sea.

  • Cruel silence greeted her pleas as Reed stared up into the deep, endless abyss of night.
    Nothing answered her.
    Not even a single sound.
    For even her gods, on this lonely night, had forsaken her.

  • She knew and understood the limitations of firepower and her own physical abilities; she just couldn’t stand by when she could do something to make things better.

  • My muscles locked tight at the red and blue lights flashing behind me. The only words that ran through my head were ‘please don’t let me go to jail’, ‘please don’t let me go to jail’, ‘please don’t let me to go jail’ as I pulled over and waited

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