Last first-paragraph invite for a while

I know I said I wanted to keep the sharing going for a few months, but my time has crunched in and I’m going to have to suspend it for a while. But this is a good thing! Most of you have caught on to what I’ve been trying to convey and you need some time to internalize it and make it second nature–and I need to focus on what just happened on my desk.

And then there is DragonCon, soaking up my time as well. (my schedule is here for all four days.)

So one last sharefest before I get too busy. Show me your first paragraphs of your next chapter utilizing everything we’ve been talking about for the last month. I’m terribly impressed with how you have all polished off that newbie shine and sound so very much more ready for an editor/publisher’s eye.



Filed under Drama Box

29 responses to “Last first-paragraph invite for a while

  1. Neonjuju

    Is it too late to jump in on this first paragraph invite, seeing as it’s now November? Thinking it might jump start (a few days late) my attempt at NanoWriMo. Thanks!

  2. Vampyre

    Happy Fridat, have a great week end. It’s about to get a bit windy and wet here in S.E. Ga.😎

    • Vampyre


    • Hi Vampy. I hope you weathered Irma okay. We just got clouds and fog here. Our bad weather usually comes in the form of snow.

    • The storm was not too bad by the time it arrived here. The rain fall was intense but the win did go much higher than 45 mph. My area didn’t lose power but we were the fortunate ones. My nephews live less than a mile from me and they lost power for three days

      A lot of branches and pine cones did fall. While I was cleaning up the yard yesterday, I noticed something., fall is arriving. The leaves are starting to change. The air has that cool under tone to it, it won’t be much longer until you all start getting that snow you mentioned. I do not miss snow. 🌎

  3. Jhen Fry

    Thank you again for giving us the opportunity to share and be shared with. This has been a great experience for growth as a writer, and your observations and critique has been invaluable in gaining new perspectives. It’s not everyday that one’s beloved author takes the time to do what you’ve done for us here.

    It’s all I can do not to just hurl my tablet across the room, crystal drive and all. It’s so much worse than I suspected. There is nothing in my body that hasn’t been fucked with.


    The cyber-organic hybridization is complete. Every system in my body is rigged and wired. Sections of my brain cut out and chipped.
    Sections that control things like violent impulses and empathy.
    I knew there was some tampering, some wiring. My body wouldn’t function without it, but I had no idea the extent of it all.
    They told me it was all to speed up my reaction time,

    They lied.

    • Hi Jhen. Sorry this took so long for me to get back to. Time kind of vanished for a few weeks.
      This is a fantastic first few paragraphs. The short sentences winding down to one or two-word utterances really give the reader a good feeling for what the mc is feeling. Keep it up!

  4. Thank you so much for your advice. I never would have thought to make that table do double duty otherwise. I’ve been enjoying what others are writing as well.

    Ch. 6 of WIP Blood Ties

    Pete sat at the table in my enormous kitchen. I picked up a cup with the slogan ‘Werewolves Are People Too’ written in bold black. “Would you like coffee?”

    He stretched and yawned, scratched at the stubble on his chin and pulled down his wrinkled shirt. “Coffee sounds great. I need something to keep me going. This case is something else.”

    He was definitely right about that.

    Glancing out the window, I filled his cup. Night had fallen, and a light breeze with the scent of jasmine blew my hair. I closed the pane before turning to him to hand him his jolt of caffeine. Once seated, I tapped my nails on the table as I aligned my thoughts, unsure of how to explain things to him. “I’ve been getting letters…poems…that I believe are from the killer.”

    His eyes widened. “You’re kidding? Why are you getting them?”

    Shrugging, I lifted a mug to my lips. “Maybe the killer knows me.”

    • Hi Tonya. Sorry this took so long for me to get back to. Time kind of vanished for a few weeks.
      This works really well. You set the scene, the time, and the mood of both characters with very few words by tying the description in to some action. Well done!

  5. Jennifer Vanderkamp

    Thank you for doing this, Kim. I found if very helpful and encouraging. Looking forward to continuing when things settle down.

    Chapter 11 Alastor
    The memory of Adara’s screams when I locker her in that tower reverberates through my mind and sends chills across my skin. Her surprised-filled eyes were like a blade to my chest, cracking the walls I built around it. Hurting her couldn’t have been avoided. She’ll understand once this is all over and she’s back in the mortal realm. And she’s safe, for now. Three days…

    “No, I have to figure something out,” I growl and beat my enormous wings hard as if punching invisible monsters set out to stop me.

    Keeping to the sulfur saturated clouds, I fly for home. I’ll come up with some way to help her. Lucifer can’t corrupt her. He can’t hurt her; break her like he broke me.

    • Hi Jennifer. Thank you for being so patient for me to get back to this. I had a few things pushed right to the front of my desk.
      This is a great start. You do have some action to keep the reader tied in to the story line, and your main character’s state of mind is crystal clear. You might try to add a few more snippets to bring the surroundings back to the reader’s mind, but it’s hard to say if it’s needed if this chapter starts right where the previous left off.

  6. Hannah H.

    Thank you again for doing this…it’s been such a blast and I’ve learned a lot. This is my newest chapter beginning. Still raw, but much improved after what I’ve learned these past few weeks. Thank you! 😁💖

    Beast – Chapter 10:
    “Are you ready?” Adam rumbled, emptying the last dustpan full of salt into the trash.
    “Yes,” I mumbled, checking mu pack one last time. It had taken some doing, but everything we needed to take with us from his pack was now stuffed in mine. I would carry it, and once we were out of town, Adam would carry me. The scale Kantor had given Adam was supposed to hide us, but he didn’t say for how long. Best not to risk it.

    • Hi Hannah. My apologies for taking so long to get back to this. I had some major stuff hit my desk that sucked up all my time.
      Like how you started this chapter, right with dialog to pull the reader in and set up a feeling of anxiety right away. Good job!

  7. Retaliation – Chapter Twelve

    “No no no no no.” Ody’s whole body throbbed as she tried to subdue her panic. How did she end up back here in these boxes of hell? Her cheeks stung as tears fell out of her eyes blurring the sight of that stupid ugly grey brown ceiling she never thought she’d have to see again.
    “I’m guessing you’re new.” The kind lady wrung out the bloody cloth into what sounded like an empty bucket. Did all that come from her face? “Unless you had one hell of a last cellmate.” Her voice had a calming effect, but Ody’s mind refused to concentrate. When she tried to look at the woman, she knew the blur wasn’t just from her tears, but the swollen skin surrounding one of her eyes. What did the Staff do to her?
    She wished Conley were there to heal her and command her to focus. Conley! Ody’s breath caught up in her chest aggravating a broken rib, but she didn’t care about the pain. Her Conley was dead. They killed him.
    “No no no.” She reached up to cover her eyes with her palms quickly retracting them when fire engulfed her whole face. This couldn’t be real. Damn the Regime.
    “It’s alright. You don’t have to talk about it.”

    • Hi Mel. Sorry for taking so long to et back to you on this, but my work slammed my desk shut until just now.
      This is a great beginning to a new chapter. I feel really bad for Ody. And I’ve only seen a few paragraphs, so you’re doing something right!

      Keep it up!

    • Never apologize for doing your work, because we all love it.
      Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for all your feedback. You’re such a wonderful person for hosting these writing prompts.

  8. Emma Marshall

    This is the first paragraph of the first chapter. Please let me know what you think~

    The hot tea made my glasses steam up and for a moment Nephi’s face disappeared. It was my second cup of tea and I could feel the staff grow impatient as more guests entered the restaurant. I didn’t care for their disapproval, because I needed this seat. The waitress with the red hair was busy making more space for a big group that just entered. Her gaze crossed mine and her cheeks flashed red.
    ‘Ana, she’s coming our way,’ warned Nephi. Even before he finished his sentence, the young woman walked towards us. Her eyebrows formed a stern line and her hands tightly gripped the menus.
    ‘Everything alright?’ she forced the words out with her jaws tightly locked.

    • Hi Emma. I’m sorry for taking so long to get back to you, but I had a massive amount of stuff hit my desk all at once.

      This is a wonderful first paragraph, first chapter. You set the scene fast, with no more than we need at this time. You introduce conflict within the first few sentences, and it’s something we’ve all had experience with in a way, so the reader immediately identifies with the main character.
      I really don’t have any advice except to keep it going!

  9. Thanks for everything Kim! I’m in writer’s hell, having three unrelated stories going so I’ll shake things up a bit and post what I wrote last night, the end of Ch8 of book #3 lol

    Moving the ladder out of the way, she stared at the wall as if waiting for answers. Not receiving any, she resumed removing drywall chunk by chunk until she paused and suddenly disappeared from my sight with a sob.
    I silently slid off the bar top and walked to her, finding her huddled on her knees, wracked with sobs. Eyes only on her, I barely touched her back and she exploded with motion, lurching away from me and crab walking backwards to the door until she recognized me. Ripping off her safety glasses to throw them at me, she yelled, “Christ Trey!” as she crumpled to her side and started crying again.
    I sat by her and pulled her to my lap, begging, “Baby please, I’m sorry. You need to calm down. I know you’re pissed at me, tired and hungover but I think you’re overreacting a little.” At that she slapped my arm and pointed at the wall behind me.
    Turning, I found two child-sized skulls staring at us from their resting place in the wall.

  10. Amber

    The start of chapter 12:

    Head bowed against the frigid wind and rain, Jess hurried down the road to the castle. The trees grabbed her hair, tangling it around thin branches. Grabbing the branch, she broke it as she pulled away. With a crash of thunder, one of the dead trees starting coming down on her. She stood frozen by the image of the tree landing on her.
    It hit her. She was trapped. A visage of Gideon floated before her eyes, and she went wild with panic. Shoving at the tree, she felt her side scream in pain.
    “Hold still.” The command in the word made her freeze.
    Craning her head back, she saw Lucien coming towards her. “Help. Please, help,” she begged. Tears sprung as the pain ripped up her side.
    “I am,” he said. Staring at the tree for a moment, he finally grabbed it and pushed it upwards. There was a sucking sound as the branch pulled out of her stomach, and she screamed.

    • Hi Amber. Thanks for being so patient with me. I had a chunk of work fall on me, and I’m just now pulling myself out of it.
      Yikes! This is a great start to a chapter. You have a lot of visceral, gut reactions. My only suggestion would be to give me a little more about the tree falling on her. Make me see it!

  11. Jon

    I’m just coming across this now, but can I play anyway? 🙂 I’m not at the feedback stage for the WIP yet, but I’m still itchy to show it around :). This doesn’t have a chapter number yet, but it’s at about the 90% mark.

    For reference, the chapter’s from Petros’ (the warden) POV, but “the prisoner” is the main character. The story has way too many POVs at present…or just enough…

    Now that I know this exists, I’m going to go back and read others’ previous submissions and Kim’s thoughts…


    Some time later, Petros realized that the prisoner had come to sit opposite him, still on the other side of the bars. The cell door was open; the man could have walked out and up the corridor to make a try for freedom while Petros had sat insensate with tears. Instead, he had stayed inside, sitting with his arms curled around his knees, his back hunched, his head down. Large as he was, the man seemed to be trying to make himself smaller. To make himself disappear entirely, if he could. His sleeves were red to the shoulder with blood.

    A thrill of terror blistered through Petros, and he clutched his walking stick hard in his shaking hands. He turned to the prisoner. Asked through the bars, gently, if he still had the knife.

    The man shook his head miserably, still not looking up.

    “That’s good,” Petros said companionably. If the prisoner hadn’t made a break for the door by now, he wasn’t going to, not if Petros didn’t provoke him. “Where is it?”

    • Hi Jon. Never too late to join in. I’m just sorry it took me so long to get back to the blog.
      This is a great chapter start. It makes me want to see it right from chapter one. You begin with action right away, and everything is in the present, which helps ground the reader fast. The descriptions are just enough. Well done!

  12. I have really enjoyed sharing with everyone and reading everyone else’s posts! Kim, your comments have been so very helpful! Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to help others.

    Chapter 10 – Under a Celtic Moon

    “Stubborn man.” Ahnya huffed out as she cleaned the dishes from the table. That had been one of the longest dinners of her life. Daegan had not spoken a word the entire time. She had sat there and forced herself to swallow around the lump in her throat, just waiting for him to finally say something…anything. But he had reigned in his anger, refusing to let it out. They needed to talk.. Not that it would change the past, but maybe it would help their future. If he still wanted a future. Something wet plopped onto the counter.

    “Oh for the Goddess’ sake!” She wiped angrily at her leaking eyes and threw the towel she had in the sink.

    • It’s been my pleasure, Anya. I just wish I had been able to keep up with you all during my heavy work load this past few weeks.
      This is really good. You start right with dialog, which balances out the next part of past action, and then bring us back with more dialog and action. Really, really effective. Good job.

  13. Cale H

    Been busy myself, so I haven’t had a chance to continue on anything myself but I wrote this quickly while at work during a quiet moment, it is in line with the last couple posts I have submitted:

    She raises her hand, palm outwards and a scroll appeared, floating in mid air for a moment, before settling in her hand.
    “My sister has been murdered,” She states, her voice dripping with disgust.
    The younger sister of my Mistress was in the neighbouring kingdom and had been a strong Mistress in her own right.

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