777 Challenge

I’ve been challenged by fellow VCFA alum (and Philadelphia area resident) Nicole Valentine to participate in the 777 Challenge. I’m supposed to share 7 lines of text, 7 lines down, on the 7th page of my work-in-progress. Here’s the link to Nicole’s post, where she shared seven lines from a smart and poignant middle-grade time-travel novel I’ve heard her read from a few times and can’t wait to read in its entirety!

I’m working on the first draft of a humorous middle-grade epistolary novel tentatively titled NOT SOME TRAGIC HEROINE, which features two very different main characters, Juliet and Claire. Claire is a PK (a preacher’s kid), and Jules is the daughter of two artistic parents with an unconventional relationship. Jules and Claire have been best friends throughout middle school, but now, in the spring of eighth grade, their friendship is falling apart. They used to dare each other to do silly things all the time, and in their first big fight, they each dare the other to do something huge, and completely uncharacteristic.

I’ve actually been feeling a bit discouraged and exhausted lately and have let myself take a couple of weeks off of drafting with the hope that I’d start to feel more energized before November, when I want to set a clear word-count goal and make some real progress. Nicole’s challenge came at a good time because I was just feeling ready to turn back to my draft (phew!), and this weekend I’ve been enjoying reading back through what I have so far and asking myself questions about what I want this story to be. Here’s the seven-line excerpt from page 7 (the last sentence cuts off because it continues on to line 8, which felt like cheating, and any of you who know me will know that I am nothing if not a rule follower):

           “But, I mean, it was Lucas’s idea, right?” I asked.

            She sighed and shook her head again. Her neck was probably getting achy. But that’s Claire for you. All about forgiveness. Except when it comes to herself.

            “I knew it was wrong,” she said. “I should have been a better…person.” She paused before person, and I knew what that meant. She wanted to say “Christian,” but she’d censored herself for me, because she knows it weirds me out when she gets all Jesus-y. I’m trying to be less visibly weirded out by that kind of thing, though, because…

I’m supposed to tag other writers, but I’m not sure who’s already been tagged and who hasn’t. So please consider this an open invitation to share seven lines of text, seven lines down, on the seventh page of your work-in-progress if you’d like to!

10 Responses to “777 Challenge”

  1. Nicole Valentine

    Love this, Laurie. I want to read this just from this small taste. Also, “Jesus-y” feelings are a theme I could totally dig my teeth into.

  2. dksalerni

    Great excerpt and I am stunned by just how small the world is because I met you through the Project Mayhem blog and a Facebook group … and I met Nicole Valentine at dinner earlier this month in West Chester. Seriously. What are the odds?

    Keep going and don’t give up! First drafts are the toughtest. In fact, by commenting on blogs, I’m hiding from my own first draft right now … (shhh!)

    • laurielmorrison

      Thanks, Laura! I’m glad you feel that way because as you might have guessed, I’ll probably be asking you to read it when it’s ready for other eyes. 🙂

  3. L. Marie

    Oh Laurie. I’m sorrry you’re feeling discouraged. I’m rooting for you! I love your writing and will be thrilled with any book you produce.

    • laurielmorrison

      Thanks, Linda! I think it hits us all at one point or another. 🙂 I usually don’t write much at all in September because of the craziness of the start of the school year, but this year I managed to keep going through September but then kind of crashed in October. I think sometimes a break is a necessary thing, though!