#Lucky7 – Page 77, Line 7 And Those 7 Sentences

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I like the occasional writerly gauntlet being hurled my way. So today, I’m taking up the latest challenge.

I noticed on the Goodreads (Annie Gracie) website: “there’s a new twitter thing going around between writers. When you get tagged, you’re supposed to go to the current manuscript, to page 7 or page 77, count down 7 lines and then post the next 7 lines of your manuscript on your blog. Then tweet about it and tag 7 more writers, including #Lucky7 in the tweet.”

And now a big thanks to Ali (@AliBacon), who has tagged and included yours truly, too. The one Ali sent me was about posting “the next seven sentences”, so I have stuck to that. Does every sentence do its work, asked Ali. See Ali’s example and her synopsis of A Kettle Of Fish over on her blog, Between The Lines.

Like Ali, I have had to refer to the first draft of my most recently completed novel. Otherwise, I had bits of this and that, short stories (not 77 pages long) or I have a half formed children’s novel in roughly sketched, non-sequential scenes and that wouldn’t have done because I don’t know yet what would be the true page 77! Pedantic? Me? Never!

The current WIP is very much at the research/outline/synopsis stage. So I’ve chosen the last complete draft novel, written in November, and variously called To Do or To Die, Twenty Four Seven Three Six Five, and A Crappy First Draft. Actually, that last one is beginning to sound like the most appropriate title!

On looking at mine, the next line after my seventh sentence contained reference to something that, taken out of context, looks utterly incongruous in this scene, so I’m only too glad we weren’t doing Lucky 9s or 13s. Here we are, then:

“I’m a changed man,” he said, holding out his hands as though offering me a new product, “and prison did me the world of good.  Never did an honest day’s work in my life till I went there.”

“Hmm,” I nodded, chewing my lip.

“Full of failed suicide bombers and terrorists, though, Belmarsh,” he nudged me as I cringed, squirmed and contorted, arms folded and legs in a twist, “but, the upside was…” and here he leaned in, grinning, “I had some brilliant lessons in bomb-making.”

He laughed and winked as if I, of all people, would somehow enjoy his sick joke.

At that moment, I vividly remembered how pathetic he’d seemed across the courtroom, how I’d finally got him locked up: those seconds when the judge had turned to me and asked if I wanted him incarcerated, or not.

In the end, it had been that simple, and I’d been convinced I would never see him again.

That’s it! It was interesting to do. Thanks, Ali. Any comment welcome. I’ve probably overdone the body language in this seven-sentence clip. Elsewhere, I’ve completely forgotten about it. Ha.

Now I have to challenge seven more lucky writers to post their #Lucky7. And they are (this is the hard bit!):

@BerwickBabs (co. Barbara Henderson)

@Gerald Hornsby (Gerald Hornsby)

@mariekreft (Marie Kreft)

@RobynLeatherman (Robyn Leatherman)

@melindamcguire (Melinda McGuire)

@beccajcampbell (Becca Campbell)

@AlisonWells (Alison Wells)

I must admit to agonising over this list but there’s no obligation to take up the challenge. Please do let me know if you do, as I’m already curious about your #lucky7 (or I wouldn’t have chosen you) – and no cheating!

Number 7 graphic from: http://mysticalnumbers.com/Number_7.html

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About Tessa Tangent

I write and I often go off at tangents. Tessa Tangent's my nickname and, at home, I'm called Tessa more than I am my real name, Heather. In the 90s, I had short stories published in magazines like Ludus and For Women. I also won a cherished second prize in a BBC travel writing competition, was the writer of a newsletter for a dry ski slope and had a newspaper article about the slope published. At the same time, I wrote half a first draft of a novel then, for reasons I may reveal, I stopped writing. After a long fallow period, I am writing again - and not a moment too soon...
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9 Responses to #Lucky7 – Page 77, Line 7 And Those 7 Sentences

  1. mariekreft says:

    That’s great – thank you for including me! I will send out my #lucky7 very soon …

    • Very Tessa Tangent says:

      Great! It’s fairly short and sweet, I thought, in the circumstances. The hardest bit was choosing tweeps, especially those who’ve not recently done anything similar.

  2. Just finished it! That was fun. Thanks for thinking of me 🙂 Your seven lines were intriguing.

  3. Pingback: #Lucky7 – Strange, but Interesting | melindamcguirewrites

  4. geraldwriter says:

    Hiya! I’ll get on to this tomorrow, I promise. I was going to do the 77th page, but after tacking all my chapters together, I only had 50-odd pages. Maybe I should double-space it?
    It’s a good idea, though. Thanks for inviting me to do it.

    • Very Tessa Tangent says:

      Hi Gerald, that’s great. I hadn’t even thought about line-spacing so I’m glad you brought that up. Mine was double-line-spaced as still rough first draft, so that would be fine, I’m sure. I’ve just converted it to sls and it’s a quite different part of the story we find from line 7 (which is actually a Chapter heading). I’ll show you:

      CHAPTER FOURTEEN
      One Hell of a Night

      “Where are you, Billie? Have you been drinking?” I asked, trying to stay sensible for a minute. She could have been at her flat in South Staples or at the children’s dad’s flat. But surely she wouldn’t be doing this with the children around? As I knew only too well, you wouldn’t know or care who was around if you were in blackout.
      “Oh, I don’t know, it’s all gone tits up! I was doing really well, bloody hell, but all this business with Kieran and Dawn…” (then some garbled speech I couldn’t catch) “… has got right out of hand!”

      So, as it’s just over halfway through in the new page order, that’s not too bad. Though awful circumstances. Billie has rung FMC at end of last chapter, drunk, raving and suicidal. Hey ho! 😉

      So yes, do dls and see what you find. That’s the interesting bit. As Ali said in her blog post, it helped me to see whether every sentence did it’s job.

  5. Very Tessa Tangent says:

    You’re welcome, Melinda! I was glad it was optional as I didn’t want to impose 🙂 It’s great if just one small snippet intrigues, isn’t it, and that’s what I found with yours. Nelson & Cora – a firm future, or simply a stop on the journey for Cora.

  6. barbarahenderson says:

    It was really interesting – and fun! Thanks for the tag. Lovely pic on your blog!

    • Very Tessa Tangent says:

      Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it. Although it was optional, it was like Ali said interesting and revealed whether each sentence did its work. The main blog pic was from honeymoon in our motorhome in France. We arrived at Montherme and that was how it looked from the bridge. Gorgeous in autumn. I liked the tangent lines created by the pic 🙂

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