Chapter five, first paragraphs, Show Me!

I hope all you weekend warriors had some time to spend in your “other universe” and got some words on the paper. I’ve been enjoying seeing little slices of your work this past couple of weeks, so I hope you keep pushing forward along with me.

Today I’m posting the first few lines of chapter five in my WIP, SKINS. I’m back in Fenix’s POV, and it is a slow start. I originally had a one-line of dialog to begin it, but the setting is a little unusual, and I felt that dropping back and bracketing it with a little description help the reader get settled faster.

Chapter Five – SKINS

Debbie had been right. Her assistant knew what she was doing, the woman’s fingers working his foot with a firm, professional strength. Even so, Fenix could not seem to relax and let go. Yes, she was good, but she wasn’t Debbie.

“Are you sure you don’t want any music, Mr. Fenix?” she asked, and Fenix stifled a sigh, muffled as he lay face down on the massage table with his head in the cradle. Not only wasn’t she Debbie but she would not shut up.

Your turn!

And when you’re done, check out my list of fav fantasy reads at Goodreads! How many have you read? https://www.goodreads.com/blog/show/984-author-kim-harrison-s-favorite-fantasy-series

 

33 Comments

Filed under Drama Box

33 responses to “Chapter five, first paragraphs, Show Me!

  1. Chapter 5: Into the Shadows

    Cindra’s party was in good spirits this afternoon, having recovered from the wet and eerie evening of two nights before. The weather had become clear and crisp, and the sun shone with a mild warmth on their shoulders. Aside from the muddy road and moist pickings for firewood, the journey had become far more pleasant. They had passed a scattering of farmsteads, but the pale smoke rising from the chimneys was the only sign of human habitation. No traffic met them or followed them. No other nightly visitors had been seen, spectral or otherwise.

    • Mark! Dude! I didn’t know you lurked on my blog. Let me sharpen my pencil.

      You set the time well, and do a quick backstory to help set the scene. You’ve given me chapter five, so you have some leeway on getting to dialog or action. I’m wondering if it could be a tad stronger if instead of telling us about the mild warmth, if you main character “feels” it. Or perhaps feels relieved that there were no spectral visitors last night. Get us into someone’s head right away.

  2. *Thank you for doing this, Kim! It’s fun reading others works as well.*

    This is the beginning of Ch.1 from the Blood Ties WIP, book 2 of the Blood Promise series.

    “This has got to be your room,” I said to Odin while my eyes traveled about the opulent room layered in gold and jewels. He simply gave a slight smile.

    A stunning gold chaise was against a red and gold-swirled wall with a luxurious gold canopy draped above. An intricately carved oak and cherry table with matching chairs for four sat across the room. Upon closer inspection, the detailing on the table legs and chairs depicted scenes of naked men thrusting swords into each other as naked women cried out in woe, while a large serpent wove about in between the men and women; it was horrific yet hauntingly beautiful at the same time.

    • You’re welcome, Tonya. I’m glad you’re taking part.

      I love the description of the table. But I’m wondering . . . Did he pick it out? Gift from someone he can’t stand? Someone he likes? Remind him of something he’s done? Someone make it for him? The table is so unique, make it serve two purposes. One, set the scene, and two, tell us something about Odin.

    • I hadn’t even thought of doing that…thank you!

  3. Jhen Fry

    Thank you so much for the opportunity you’ve given us all to share in your story, and to share our own with you. You rock!

    Chapter 5

    “Having fun yet?” She says, smiling.
    “Was I just dismissed?” I ask.
    “Abso-fucking-lutely.” She says. “He likes you though.”
    “And you can tell that how?”
    “Trust me. Right now, he’s thinking about wearing your little booty shorts as a hat.”

  4. Daegan sat in the chair behind his desk with a glass of his best scotch in hand and stared at the male sitting across from him. He didn’t want to take him to the condo. He didn’t trust him enough for that yet. Something just seemed…off about him.

    “So, just where have ye been all this time…Rourke. That is what she called ye, aye?”

    Rourke gave him a smirk as he leaned back against the chair. “Yes, that is my name…Dad.” He grinned wider as he saw Daegan flinch. “Yes, whether you like it or not I guess I am your son,” Rourke said as he looked around the office. “If I had known you were this well off, I should have tried to find you sooner. But…I just assumed you were dead. I mean…if my mother couldn’t be bothered to come find me, at least my father should have been trying…unless he was no longer part of the living.”

  5. Four nights later, we stood two leagues off Alvandir, and considered our options.

    The weather was not unfavourable. The day had been unseasonably hot, humid, and still: one of those last kicks of summer’s memory before the winds change and autumn takes a true hold on things. The light breeze that came up at dusk was just enough, I thought, to take us on a slanting course between Alvandir’s western edge and the nearest spit of rock that could be termed an island.

  6. Jennifer Vanderkamp

    Adara’s POV

    “If you want information about her, you need to visit the Library of Life.” The female’s voice is raspy as if she’s smoked a few packs of cigarettes a day for the last fifty years.

    “It’s been over a millennium and a half since I’ve been in there. Thanks, Clothos,” Alastor says.

    Somthing solid scraps across the stone floor as if someone, likely Alastor, gets up from a chair. I dart away from the wall before he catches me eavesdropping and then retrace my path in slow tight-walker steps. Sure he’ll see me as childish, but it beats being caught. It’ll look suspecious if I jump off the bench so close to the doorway.

  7. You are such an amazing person for hosting this. Your helpful words mean so much to me and all your fans here. Plus it is fun reading everyone’s writing (especially Skins. 🙂 )

    Retaliation – Chapter Five
    “Bloody f-.” Ody gaped at the enormous dusky violet sky not even caring about her spinning head. Sky. She was surrounded by sky! After being stuck under a dull grey brown boring ceiling for a decade, being engulfed in this array of beauty sent euphoria sweeping up her bones. It was much more massive than she remembered. Everywhere her gaze traveled, there was something new to look at. Little speckles of stars glimmered through the darkness, and she thought of how much Seda would love this too. Her eyes stumbled upon a cluster she recognized, and her feet hopped with a giddiness she forgot was even in her. The Big Dipper. Next to it was The Little Dipper, and not too far away was Orion. When she was a child, she had all the constellations memorized and constantly competed with her brother in who can point to and name the most at night. Maybe one day she would try and memorize them again. She was free now.

    • Thanks, Mel. I’ve been enjoying it, too.
      I like what you’ve got here. I’m wondering though if you’re cheating yourself with all that descriptions. It works, but again, just as an exercise, try rewriting it and take out a third to leaving only the big reactions and shocks. It forces you into a more active voice, and you will be surprised at how much you can lose, forcing the reader to focus on the big stuff.

    • Thank you! I had a feeling it was way too flowery. 🙂

      “Bloody f-.” Ody gaped at the enormous dusky sky not even caring about her spinning head. After being stuck under a dull grey brown boring ceiling for a decade, being surrounded by all this violet was the perfect welcome home gift. It was much more massive than she remembered. Everywhere her gaze traveled, there was something new to look at. Little stars speckled through the darkness, and she thought of how much Seda would love this too. When her eyes stumbled across The Big Dipper, her feet hopped with a long forgotten giddiness. Next to it was The Little Dipper, and not too far away was Orion. When she was a child, she had all the constellations memorized and constantly competed with her brother in who could point to and name the most. Maybe one day she would try and memorize them again.

    • This made me smile, Mel. You’ve captured the feeling of release pretty well! Then gave me a tidbit of backstory. Great.

  8. From THE LAST PRINCESS – MG Contemporary Fantasy

    Chapter Five:
    The Magic Box

    Around midnight the next night a loud bang and squealing tires jarred the whole family awake. Alex went out front with a flashlight to investigate while Mom stayed with Thomas and me, huddled in the doorway in our PJs. Someone had smashed our mailbox to pieces – it lay twisted and bent in the grass a few feet from the leaning post. Alex told us not to worry, it had probably been some teenage vandals driving by with a baseball bat and we should go back to bed.

    But the next morning he showed me the note.

    “I don’t want to worry Mom. So maybe don’t tell her about this.”

    “Okay.” The little envelope had “Princess” scrawled across it in sloppy green crayon, and my stomach lurched in panic.

    • This is pretty good, John. You have a lot of “Tell, not show” in the first paragraph, though. Just as an exercise, try starting the chapter with Alex handing the note over, and your main character reacting, then tell about what happened at night.

  9. Cale H

    And it came to pass the The Lord’s of the Dead began to fear their creations, The Reapers. The Reapers knew This, but did not act on this fear, for they were clever creatures.
    The would bide their time and when the time was right, then, and only then would they shed the shackles that had been placed on them. For The Reapers knew of something The Lord’s of the Dead did not. They knew of the weapons The Lord’s had kept hidden from them. They knew of the existence of the Soul Scythes. Weapons that only a Reaper could wield, the only weapon that could do harm to a Lord of the Dead.

    (I know that I should be writing something from each chapter but I haven’t actually stuck with any one thing I have written to make consecutive chapters, I write it spurts, random stuff that comes to mind out of the blue)

    • Don’t worry about it, Cale. 🙂

      I like what you have here. Your “voice” feels very settled, and that’s half the battle.

    • Cale H

      Once I start, the words flow until I run out of steam, and usually if it is a random thought that comes to me, I just let it happen and see where it leads. Sometimes it is a scene from something I have already written, sometimes it’s something new

  10. Ch5
    With a stretch and a contented moan, I convinced myself it was time to get up. After hitting the bathroom and getting dressed in jeans and a black tank top under a t-shirt I wandered to the kitchen. I’m not surprised Gordy had frozen chocolate chip waffles so I tossed two in the toaster and slathered them with peanut butter while a cup of coffee brewed. As I’m alone at the moment, I took my breakfast out to the deck to enjoy with the view of the vacant pool and yard. Too bad I didn’t bring a suit, though at a bit after 9:00 it’s a little cool for a swim.

    • SS, you handle a lot of story in a very few lines. Nicely done. Sometimes those transitions are hard to do, but you got it.

    • Thanks for everything Kim! I tend to be ‘bare-bones’ when it comes to writing which most likely means I’ll never have a book over 300 pages (lol) but I like short reads, too.

  11. “Slater, what’s happening to me?” Mira’s voice shook and her body was coiled up tight like wire.

    “I wish I knew.” Slater moved from the chair to retrieve the fork from the kitchen. After he sat on the couch next to Mira, he started to turn the fork over in his hands while he thought. He set it on the trunk, turned towards her, and held his hands out with palms up. Mira reached out, but then pulled back, balling up her fists. Right now she felt as if her own hands were alien to her, out of her control.

  12. Chapter 5 of Alice Worth Book 3 (Working Title: City on Fire):
    Forty-five minutes later, I opened the basement door and staggered out into the living room.
    “What the–Alice, what have you been doing?” Sean was sitting on the couch, his phone in one hand and a small black key fob in the other. He stared at my tattered clothes and the dozens of small burns and welts all over my body. Rogue looked up from his dog bed, chuffed softly, and went back to sleep.
    “Sparring with Malcolm,” I said breathlessly, pulling the basement door closed and stumbling toward the stairs. “I really needed to blow off some steam and work on my magic defenses.”

  13. Derya Erisdottir

    Thank you so much for doing this, Kim! It’s great to see everyone’s work, and I really appreciate your encouraging words.

    Henrik turned out to be some sort of frost giant, or at least a descendant of one. He was tall, heavy with muscle, blond and blue-eyed and could have been cast in one of the Thor movies without raising any eyebrows. If I had to have a bodyguard slash jailer, at least this one was nice to look at.
    »So, do you work for the Queen?« I asked. I hadn’t wanted this guy to mind my safety, which I still didn’t believe for a second needed minding, but I could still be friendly. Being forced upon me hadn’t been his idea, and I had learned first hand how persuasive the Queen could be. Besides, he was the only one in the car to talk to and I was bored on the ride from the Queen’s house, which had turned out to be right in the middle of Garden District, home to Grandma’s place. My place, I guess. But I would forever think of it as Grandma’s.

  14. Shiloh

    In a small building near the temple, the jarls gathered. The main room held a circular table made of the same white wood as the temple, the outside edge carved with proverbs from the Wise Warrior. The table itself had just enough room to seat the ten jarls, while their advisors stood behind them. Jarl Leif of the Mjodr held a young woman on his lap, earning dark looks from many of the other jarls. Such behavior might be acceptable in a jarl’s own court, but here it was disrespectful to the others and showed a lack of care for the importance of the Althing.

    • Nice way to start the chapter, Shiloh. Very descriptive. You might want to play around with this and add a line of dialog to break it up. But again, it’s just an exercise. 🙂

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