Saturday, March 10, 2007

A writerly meme

I found this on debg's LiveJournal:

Turn to page 123 in your work-in-progress. (If you haven't gotten to page 123 yet, then turn to page 23. If you haven't gotten there yet, then get busy and write page 23.) Count down four sentences and then instead of just the fifth sentence, give us the whole paragraph.

I don't really have a work-in-progress at the moment, since I finished The Inconvenient Bride last week and am not planning to start the alternate history for another month or two. But I thought it would be interesting to do the meme for my three completed manuscripts, just to compare.

My first effort, Lucy and Mr. Wright:

The two grooms’ faces were blank and impassive. I had no idea if she was telling the truth or not, but there was no feasible way to argue the point. Besides, while I hated missing the chance to ride, at least this way I could spend more time with Sebastian. “Of course,” I said. One of the grooms sprang forward to assist me into the barouche, and Sebastian smiled a welcome.

My second (and so far my favorite), The Sergeant's Lady:

He halted and drew her against him to whisper in her ear. “The gear is in the square there.” She looked and saw two bored sentries with a single torch for light guarding a great assemblage of wagons. “Stay here,” he continued. “If they catch me, you’ll see it. If they do, go. Slip out, swing around the edge of the village past the sentries, then find the road and walk until you get to the next village or farm. Ask them to hide you. Bribe them.”

My third (a reworking of the first so thorough I count it as a different book), The Inconvenient Bride:

The maid Polly entered, carrying a little bundle wrapped in paper. “A groom from Orchard Park just brought this for you, miss,” she said, her expression correctly bland but her gray eyes alight with curiosity.

Reading that last, I realized that I went a few chapters after this scene without referring to the heroine's maid by name, and then started calling her Molly until the end of the book. Oops.

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