The first 100 words

I entered two of my stories in BookEnds first 100-word Romantic Suspense contest. Sending the first one gave me palpitations. The second had me reaching for my inhaler. I love what I write until I have to share it with someone else. Then… I’m not so confident.

So… the first 100 words… entering this contest made me realize how much lead-in I usually have. My current WIP, the one I’m doing for the Book-in-a-week, had about three paragraphs I thought were vital to the opening of the story. When I highlighted the first 100 words to submit to this contest, I realized they did nothing to grip a reader. They tell important details, they’re vital to the story. But they’re in the wrong place.

My wonderful and amazingly supportive critique partner, Linda Ford, made a logical suggestion – start with the action. I balked at first. The ‘action’ in this opening is a car-jacking, but that happens after I set up the status quo. It happens halfway down the first single-spaced page. How would a reader feel anchored in my story if I begin with something from way down there?

How about if the reader isn’t given a chance to feel anchored but rather is gripped by the first few words and willingly taken along for the ride, always wanting to know what’s happening and seeing when s/he keeps reading that the answers are all provided… though not before other questions are created.

I hope that’s what I’ve done. I don’t see a chance of winning the contest – some of those entries are phenomenal. But I entered. I’ve leaped the first hurdle of fear. And I’ve learned tons by revising the opening until those first 100 words were as tight and as gripping as they could be for the story I wanted to tell.

I’m not new to revisions. With my second completed, it took a while but I realized my first chapter didn’t work. Well, part of it did. The other part? Not so much. How did I fix it? I lopped off the first 12 pages. Just like that. I cut them off without second thought. They were the dead limb drawing the life force from the rest of the body. The story grew so much stronger after I deleted them… and was requested by an agent at my dream agency. Twice. Alas… 

I know I still have a lot to learn, but being honest with myself about my own work has been the biggest and most important lesson of all.

When you write, and when you revise, do you think you’re as hard on the work as you should be? Or are you intimidated by the prospect of cutting the precious words you labored for hours to put on the page? 

127 Responses to The first 100 words

  • Debbie,
    Cutting words I have labored over is the hardest thing imaginable. However having to hook a reader in 100 words is an excellent way to prove to yourself what you need. I once had 8 pages to win a contest and learned a lot by the amount of I could whack off in order to present my most gripping stuff. I think the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded. Hook me, explain later.

    Bravo on submitting 2 entries to this contest

    Linda

  • Debbie,
    Cutting words I have labored over is the hardest thing imaginable. However having to hook a reader in 100 words is an excellent way to prove to yourself what you need. I once had 8 pages to win a contest and learned a lot by the amount of I could whack off in order to present my most gripping stuff. I think the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded. Hook me, explain later.

    Bravo on submitting 2 entries to this contest

    Linda

  • Debbie,
    Cutting words I have labored over is the hardest thing imaginable. However having to hook a reader in 100 words is an excellent way to prove to yourself what you need. I once had 8 pages to win a contest and learned a lot by the amount of I could whack off in order to present my most gripping stuff. I think the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded. Hook me, explain later.

    Bravo on submitting 2 entries to this contest

    Linda

  • Debbie,
    Cutting words I have labored over is the hardest thing imaginable. However having to hook a reader in 100 words is an excellent way to prove to yourself what you need. I once had 8 pages to win a contest and learned a lot by the amount of I could whack off in order to present my most gripping stuff. I think the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded. Hook me, explain later.

    Bravo on submitting 2 entries to this contest

    Linda

  • Debbie,
    Cutting words I have labored over is the hardest thing imaginable. However having to hook a reader in 100 words is an excellent way to prove to yourself what you need. I once had 8 pages to win a contest and learned a lot by the amount of I could whack off in order to present my most gripping stuff. I think the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded. Hook me, explain later.

    Bravo on submitting 2 entries to this contest

    Linda

  • Debbie,
    Cutting words I have labored over is the hardest thing imaginable. However having to hook a reader in 100 words is an excellent way to prove to yourself what you need. I once had 8 pages to win a contest and learned a lot by the amount of I could whack off in order to present my most gripping stuff. I think the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded. Hook me, explain later.

    Bravo on submitting 2 entries to this contest

    Linda

  • Debbie,
    Cutting words I have labored over is the hardest thing imaginable. However having to hook a reader in 100 words is an excellent way to prove to yourself what you need. I once had 8 pages to win a contest and learned a lot by the amount of I could whack off in order to present my most gripping stuff. I think the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded. Hook me, explain later.

    Bravo on submitting 2 entries to this contest

    Linda

  • Debbie,
    Cutting words I have labored over is the hardest thing imaginable. However having to hook a reader in 100 words is an excellent way to prove to yourself what you need. I once had 8 pages to win a contest and learned a lot by the amount of I could whack off in order to present my most gripping stuff. I think the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded. Hook me, explain later.

    Bravo on submitting 2 entries to this contest

    Linda

  • Debbie,
    Cutting words I have labored over is the hardest thing imaginable. However having to hook a reader in 100 words is an excellent way to prove to yourself what you need. I once had 8 pages to win a contest and learned a lot by the amount of I could whack off in order to present my most gripping stuff. I think the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded. Hook me, explain later.

    Bravo on submitting 2 entries to this contest

    Linda

  • Debbie,
    Cutting words I have labored over is the hardest thing imaginable. However having to hook a reader in 100 words is an excellent way to prove to yourself what you need. I once had 8 pages to win a contest and learned a lot by the amount of I could whack off in order to present my most gripping stuff. I think the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded. Hook me, explain later.

    Bravo on submitting 2 entries to this contest

    Linda

  • Debbie,
    Cutting words I have labored over is the hardest thing imaginable. However having to hook a reader in 100 words is an excellent way to prove to yourself what you need. I once had 8 pages to win a contest and learned a lot by the amount of I could whack off in order to present my most gripping stuff. I think the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded. Hook me, explain later.

    Bravo on submitting 2 entries to this contest

    Linda

  • Debbie,
    Cutting words I have labored over is the hardest thing imaginable. However having to hook a reader in 100 words is an excellent way to prove to yourself what you need. I once had 8 pages to win a contest and learned a lot by the amount of I could whack off in order to present my most gripping stuff. I think the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded. Hook me, explain later.

    Bravo on submitting 2 entries to this contest

    Linda

  • Debbie,
    Cutting words I have labored over is the hardest thing imaginable. However having to hook a reader in 100 words is an excellent way to prove to yourself what you need. I once had 8 pages to win a contest and learned a lot by the amount of I could whack off in order to present my most gripping stuff. I think the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded. Hook me, explain later.

    Bravo on submitting 2 entries to this contest

    Linda

  • Debbie,
    Cutting words I have labored over is the hardest thing imaginable. However having to hook a reader in 100 words is an excellent way to prove to yourself what you need. I once had 8 pages to win a contest and learned a lot by the amount of I could whack off in order to present my most gripping stuff. I think the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded. Hook me, explain later.

    Bravo on submitting 2 entries to this contest

    Linda

  • Debbie,
    Cutting words I have labored over is the hardest thing imaginable. However having to hook a reader in 100 words is an excellent way to prove to yourself what you need. I once had 8 pages to win a contest and learned a lot by the amount of I could whack off in order to present my most gripping stuff. I think the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded. Hook me, explain later.

    Bravo on submitting 2 entries to this contest

    Linda

  • Debbie,
    Cutting words I have labored over is the hardest thing imaginable. However having to hook a reader in 100 words is an excellent way to prove to yourself what you need. I once had 8 pages to win a contest and learned a lot by the amount of I could whack off in order to present my most gripping stuff. I think the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded. Hook me, explain later.

    Bravo on submitting 2 entries to this contest

    Linda

  • Debbie,
    Cutting words I have labored over is the hardest thing imaginable. However having to hook a reader in 100 words is an excellent way to prove to yourself what you need. I once had 8 pages to win a contest and learned a lot by the amount of I could whack off in order to present my most gripping stuff. I think the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded. Hook me, explain later.

    Bravo on submitting 2 entries to this contest

    Linda

  • Debbie,
    Cutting words I have labored over is the hardest thing imaginable. However having to hook a reader in 100 words is an excellent way to prove to yourself what you need. I once had 8 pages to win a contest and learned a lot by the amount of I could whack off in order to present my most gripping stuff. I think the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded. Hook me, explain later.

    Bravo on submitting 2 entries to this contest

    Linda

  • Debbie,
    Cutting words I have labored over is the hardest thing imaginable. However having to hook a reader in 100 words is an excellent way to prove to yourself what you need. I once had 8 pages to win a contest and learned a lot by the amount of I could whack off in order to present my most gripping stuff. I think the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded. Hook me, explain later.

    Bravo on submitting 2 entries to this contest

    Linda

  • Debbie,
    Cutting words I have labored over is the hardest thing imaginable. However having to hook a reader in 100 words is an excellent way to prove to yourself what you need. I once had 8 pages to win a contest and learned a lot by the amount of I could whack off in order to present my most gripping stuff. I think the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded. Hook me, explain later.

    Bravo on submitting 2 entries to this contest

    Linda

  • Debbie,
    Cutting words I have labored over is the hardest thing imaginable. However having to hook a reader in 100 words is an excellent way to prove to yourself what you need. I once had 8 pages to win a contest and learned a lot by the amount of I could whack off in order to present my most gripping stuff. I think the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded. Hook me, explain later.

    Bravo on submitting 2 entries to this contest

    Linda

  • Debbie,
    Cutting words I have labored over is the hardest thing imaginable. However having to hook a reader in 100 words is an excellent way to prove to yourself what you need. I once had 8 pages to win a contest and learned a lot by the amount of I could whack off in order to present my most gripping stuff. I think the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded. Hook me, explain later.

    Bravo on submitting 2 entries to this contest

    Linda

  • Debbie,
    Cutting words I have labored over is the hardest thing imaginable. However having to hook a reader in 100 words is an excellent way to prove to yourself what you need. I once had 8 pages to win a contest and learned a lot by the amount of I could whack off in order to present my most gripping stuff. I think the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded. Hook me, explain later.

    Bravo on submitting 2 entries to this contest

    Linda

  • Wow, Debbie, good for you on overcoming the fear — AND on trimming so much of your chapter! (I don’t know which is harder; they’re both incredible challenges.)

    I’m betting they’ll both get easier, the more you do of ’em. But cutting stuff always hurts. At least for me. I save the cut material in a document called “leftovers,” because it’s less painful moving it to another document than deleting it altogether!

    Laurie, who (once in a great while) has actually salvaged some material from Leftovers

  • Wow, Debbie, good for you on overcoming the fear — AND on trimming so much of your chapter! (I don’t know which is harder; they’re both incredible challenges.)

    I’m betting they’ll both get easier, the more you do of ’em. But cutting stuff always hurts. At least for me. I save the cut material in a document called “leftovers,” because it’s less painful moving it to another document than deleting it altogether!

    Laurie, who (once in a great while) has actually salvaged some material from Leftovers

  • Wow, Debbie, good for you on overcoming the fear — AND on trimming so much of your chapter! (I don’t know which is harder; they’re both incredible challenges.)

    I’m betting they’ll both get easier, the more you do of ’em. But cutting stuff always hurts. At least for me. I save the cut material in a document called “leftovers,” because it’s less painful moving it to another document than deleting it altogether!

    Laurie, who (once in a great while) has actually salvaged some material from Leftovers

  • Wow, Debbie, good for you on overcoming the fear — AND on trimming so much of your chapter! (I don’t know which is harder; they’re both incredible challenges.)

    I’m betting they’ll both get easier, the more you do of ’em. But cutting stuff always hurts. At least for me. I save the cut material in a document called “leftovers,” because it’s less painful moving it to another document than deleting it altogether!

    Laurie, who (once in a great while) has actually salvaged some material from Leftovers

  • Wow, Debbie, good for you on overcoming the fear — AND on trimming so much of your chapter! (I don’t know which is harder; they’re both incredible challenges.)

    I’m betting they’ll both get easier, the more you do of ’em. But cutting stuff always hurts. At least for me. I save the cut material in a document called “leftovers,” because it’s less painful moving it to another document than deleting it altogether!

    Laurie, who (once in a great while) has actually salvaged some material from Leftovers

  • Wow, Debbie, good for you on overcoming the fear — AND on trimming so much of your chapter! (I don’t know which is harder; they’re both incredible challenges.)

    I’m betting they’ll both get easier, the more you do of ’em. But cutting stuff always hurts. At least for me. I save the cut material in a document called “leftovers,” because it’s less painful moving it to another document than deleting it altogether!

    Laurie, who (once in a great while) has actually salvaged some material from Leftovers

  • Wow, Debbie, good for you on overcoming the fear — AND on trimming so much of your chapter! (I don’t know which is harder; they’re both incredible challenges.)

    I’m betting they’ll both get easier, the more you do of ’em. But cutting stuff always hurts. At least for me. I save the cut material in a document called “leftovers,” because it’s less painful moving it to another document than deleting it altogether!

    Laurie, who (once in a great while) has actually salvaged some material from Leftovers

  • Wow, Debbie, good for you on overcoming the fear — AND on trimming so much of your chapter! (I don’t know which is harder; they’re both incredible challenges.)

    I’m betting they’ll both get easier, the more you do of ’em. But cutting stuff always hurts. At least for me. I save the cut material in a document called “leftovers,” because it’s less painful moving it to another document than deleting it altogether!

    Laurie, who (once in a great while) has actually salvaged some material from Leftovers

  • Wow, Debbie, good for you on overcoming the fear — AND on trimming so much of your chapter! (I don’t know which is harder; they’re both incredible challenges.)

    I’m betting they’ll both get easier, the more you do of ’em. But cutting stuff always hurts. At least for me. I save the cut material in a document called “leftovers,” because it’s less painful moving it to another document than deleting it altogether!

    Laurie, who (once in a great while) has actually salvaged some material from Leftovers

  • Wow, Debbie, good for you on overcoming the fear — AND on trimming so much of your chapter! (I don’t know which is harder; they’re both incredible challenges.)

    I’m betting they’ll both get easier, the more you do of ’em. But cutting stuff always hurts. At least for me. I save the cut material in a document called “leftovers,” because it’s less painful moving it to another document than deleting it altogether!

    Laurie, who (once in a great while) has actually salvaged some material from Leftovers

  • Wow, Debbie, good for you on overcoming the fear — AND on trimming so much of your chapter! (I don’t know which is harder; they’re both incredible challenges.)

    I’m betting they’ll both get easier, the more you do of ’em. But cutting stuff always hurts. At least for me. I save the cut material in a document called “leftovers,” because it’s less painful moving it to another document than deleting it altogether!

    Laurie, who (once in a great while) has actually salvaged some material from Leftovers

  • Wow, Debbie, good for you on overcoming the fear — AND on trimming so much of your chapter! (I don’t know which is harder; they’re both incredible challenges.)

    I’m betting they’ll both get easier, the more you do of ’em. But cutting stuff always hurts. At least for me. I save the cut material in a document called “leftovers,” because it’s less painful moving it to another document than deleting it altogether!

    Laurie, who (once in a great while) has actually salvaged some material from Leftovers

  • Wow, Debbie, good for you on overcoming the fear — AND on trimming so much of your chapter! (I don’t know which is harder; they’re both incredible challenges.)

    I’m betting they’ll both get easier, the more you do of ’em. But cutting stuff always hurts. At least for me. I save the cut material in a document called “leftovers,” because it’s less painful moving it to another document than deleting it altogether!

    Laurie, who (once in a great while) has actually salvaged some material from Leftovers

  • Wow, Debbie, good for you on overcoming the fear — AND on trimming so much of your chapter! (I don’t know which is harder; they’re both incredible challenges.)

    I’m betting they’ll both get easier, the more you do of ’em. But cutting stuff always hurts. At least for me. I save the cut material in a document called “leftovers,” because it’s less painful moving it to another document than deleting it altogether!

    Laurie, who (once in a great while) has actually salvaged some material from Leftovers

  • Wow, Debbie, good for you on overcoming the fear — AND on trimming so much of your chapter! (I don’t know which is harder; they’re both incredible challenges.)

    I’m betting they’ll both get easier, the more you do of ’em. But cutting stuff always hurts. At least for me. I save the cut material in a document called “leftovers,” because it’s less painful moving it to another document than deleting it altogether!

    Laurie, who (once in a great while) has actually salvaged some material from Leftovers

  • Wow, Debbie, good for you on overcoming the fear — AND on trimming so much of your chapter! (I don’t know which is harder; they’re both incredible challenges.)

    I’m betting they’ll both get easier, the more you do of ’em. But cutting stuff always hurts. At least for me. I save the cut material in a document called “leftovers,” because it’s less painful moving it to another document than deleting it altogether!

    Laurie, who (once in a great while) has actually salvaged some material from Leftovers

  • Wow, Debbie, good for you on overcoming the fear — AND on trimming so much of your chapter! (I don’t know which is harder; they’re both incredible challenges.)

    I’m betting they’ll both get easier, the more you do of ’em. But cutting stuff always hurts. At least for me. I save the cut material in a document called “leftovers,” because it’s less painful moving it to another document than deleting it altogether!

    Laurie, who (once in a great while) has actually salvaged some material from Leftovers

  • Wow, Debbie, good for you on overcoming the fear — AND on trimming so much of your chapter! (I don’t know which is harder; they’re both incredible challenges.)

    I’m betting they’ll both get easier, the more you do of ’em. But cutting stuff always hurts. At least for me. I save the cut material in a document called “leftovers,” because it’s less painful moving it to another document than deleting it altogether!

    Laurie, who (once in a great while) has actually salvaged some material from Leftovers

  • Wow, Debbie, good for you on overcoming the fear — AND on trimming so much of your chapter! (I don’t know which is harder; they’re both incredible challenges.)

    I’m betting they’ll both get easier, the more you do of ’em. But cutting stuff always hurts. At least for me. I save the cut material in a document called “leftovers,” because it’s less painful moving it to another document than deleting it altogether!

    Laurie, who (once in a great while) has actually salvaged some material from Leftovers

  • Wow, Debbie, good for you on overcoming the fear — AND on trimming so much of your chapter! (I don’t know which is harder; they’re both incredible challenges.)

    I’m betting they’ll both get easier, the more you do of ’em. But cutting stuff always hurts. At least for me. I save the cut material in a document called “leftovers,” because it’s less painful moving it to another document than deleting it altogether!

    Laurie, who (once in a great while) has actually salvaged some material from Leftovers

  • Wow, Debbie, good for you on overcoming the fear — AND on trimming so much of your chapter! (I don’t know which is harder; they’re both incredible challenges.)

    I’m betting they’ll both get easier, the more you do of ’em. But cutting stuff always hurts. At least for me. I save the cut material in a document called “leftovers,” because it’s less painful moving it to another document than deleting it altogether!

    Laurie, who (once in a great while) has actually salvaged some material from Leftovers

  • Wow, Debbie, good for you on overcoming the fear — AND on trimming so much of your chapter! (I don’t know which is harder; they’re both incredible challenges.)

    I’m betting they’ll both get easier, the more you do of ’em. But cutting stuff always hurts. At least for me. I save the cut material in a document called “leftovers,” because it’s less painful moving it to another document than deleting it altogether!

    Laurie, who (once in a great while) has actually salvaged some material from Leftovers

  • Wow, Debbie, good for you on overcoming the fear — AND on trimming so much of your chapter! (I don’t know which is harder; they’re both incredible challenges.)

    I’m betting they’ll both get easier, the more you do of ’em. But cutting stuff always hurts. At least for me. I save the cut material in a document called “leftovers,” because it’s less painful moving it to another document than deleting it altogether!

    Laurie, who (once in a great while) has actually salvaged some material from Leftovers

  • Linda,

    I think you said it perfectly – “the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded.” They want a story that will take them into another reality. They don’t want to be told what’s happening (as it was in my first paragraphs, though I didn’t realize it), they want to SEE what’s happening. It’s hard to drop those blood-soaked words of ours, though. But when it’s for the greater good – the STORY – we have to do it.
    ~Debbie

  • Linda,

    I think you said it perfectly – “the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded.” They want a story that will take them into another reality. They don’t want to be told what’s happening (as it was in my first paragraphs, though I didn’t realize it), they want to SEE what’s happening. It’s hard to drop those blood-soaked words of ours, though. But when it’s for the greater good – the STORY – we have to do it.
    ~Debbie

  • Linda,

    I think you said it perfectly – “the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded.” They want a story that will take them into another reality. They don’t want to be told what’s happening (as it was in my first paragraphs, though I didn’t realize it), they want to SEE what’s happening. It’s hard to drop those blood-soaked words of ours, though. But when it’s for the greater good – the STORY – we have to do it.
    ~Debbie

  • Linda,

    I think you said it perfectly – “the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded.” They want a story that will take them into another reality. They don’t want to be told what’s happening (as it was in my first paragraphs, though I didn’t realize it), they want to SEE what’s happening. It’s hard to drop those blood-soaked words of ours, though. But when it’s for the greater good – the STORY – we have to do it.
    ~Debbie

  • Linda,

    I think you said it perfectly – “the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded.” They want a story that will take them into another reality. They don’t want to be told what’s happening (as it was in my first paragraphs, though I didn’t realize it), they want to SEE what’s happening. It’s hard to drop those blood-soaked words of ours, though. But when it’s for the greater good – the STORY – we have to do it.
    ~Debbie

  • Linda,

    I think you said it perfectly – “the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded.” They want a story that will take them into another reality. They don’t want to be told what’s happening (as it was in my first paragraphs, though I didn’t realize it), they want to SEE what’s happening. It’s hard to drop those blood-soaked words of ours, though. But when it’s for the greater good – the STORY – we have to do it.
    ~Debbie

  • Linda,

    I think you said it perfectly – “the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded.” They want a story that will take them into another reality. They don’t want to be told what’s happening (as it was in my first paragraphs, though I didn’t realize it), they want to SEE what’s happening. It’s hard to drop those blood-soaked words of ours, though. But when it’s for the greater good – the STORY – we have to do it.
    ~Debbie

  • Linda,

    I think you said it perfectly – “the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded.” They want a story that will take them into another reality. They don’t want to be told what’s happening (as it was in my first paragraphs, though I didn’t realize it), they want to SEE what’s happening. It’s hard to drop those blood-soaked words of ours, though. But when it’s for the greater good – the STORY – we have to do it.
    ~Debbie

  • Linda,

    I think you said it perfectly – “the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded.” They want a story that will take them into another reality. They don’t want to be told what’s happening (as it was in my first paragraphs, though I didn’t realize it), they want to SEE what’s happening. It’s hard to drop those blood-soaked words of ours, though. But when it’s for the greater good – the STORY – we have to do it.
    ~Debbie

  • Linda,

    I think you said it perfectly – “the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded.” They want a story that will take them into another reality. They don’t want to be told what’s happening (as it was in my first paragraphs, though I didn’t realize it), they want to SEE what’s happening. It’s hard to drop those blood-soaked words of ours, though. But when it’s for the greater good – the STORY – we have to do it.
    ~Debbie

  • Linda,

    I think you said it perfectly – “the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded.” They want a story that will take them into another reality. They don’t want to be told what’s happening (as it was in my first paragraphs, though I didn’t realize it), they want to SEE what’s happening. It’s hard to drop those blood-soaked words of ours, though. But when it’s for the greater good – the STORY – we have to do it.
    ~Debbie

  • Linda,

    I think you said it perfectly – “the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded.” They want a story that will take them into another reality. They don’t want to be told what’s happening (as it was in my first paragraphs, though I didn’t realize it), they want to SEE what’s happening. It’s hard to drop those blood-soaked words of ours, though. But when it’s for the greater good – the STORY – we have to do it.
    ~Debbie

  • Linda,

    I think you said it perfectly – “the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded.” They want a story that will take them into another reality. They don’t want to be told what’s happening (as it was in my first paragraphs, though I didn’t realize it), they want to SEE what’s happening. It’s hard to drop those blood-soaked words of ours, though. But when it’s for the greater good – the STORY – we have to do it.
    ~Debbie

  • Linda,

    I think you said it perfectly – “the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded.” They want a story that will take them into another reality. They don’t want to be told what’s happening (as it was in my first paragraphs, though I didn’t realize it), they want to SEE what’s happening. It’s hard to drop those blood-soaked words of ours, though. But when it’s for the greater good – the STORY – we have to do it.
    ~Debbie

  • Linda,

    I think you said it perfectly – “the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded.” They want a story that will take them into another reality. They don’t want to be told what’s happening (as it was in my first paragraphs, though I didn’t realize it), they want to SEE what’s happening. It’s hard to drop those blood-soaked words of ours, though. But when it’s for the greater good – the STORY – we have to do it.
    ~Debbie

  • Linda,

    I think you said it perfectly – “the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded.” They want a story that will take them into another reality. They don’t want to be told what’s happening (as it was in my first paragraphs, though I didn’t realize it), they want to SEE what’s happening. It’s hard to drop those blood-soaked words of ours, though. But when it’s for the greater good – the STORY – we have to do it.
    ~Debbie

  • Linda,

    I think you said it perfectly – “the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded.” They want a story that will take them into another reality. They don’t want to be told what’s happening (as it was in my first paragraphs, though I didn’t realize it), they want to SEE what’s happening. It’s hard to drop those blood-soaked words of ours, though. But when it’s for the greater good – the STORY – we have to do it.
    ~Debbie

  • Linda,

    I think you said it perfectly – “the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded.” They want a story that will take them into another reality. They don’t want to be told what’s happening (as it was in my first paragraphs, though I didn’t realize it), they want to SEE what’s happening. It’s hard to drop those blood-soaked words of ours, though. But when it’s for the greater good – the STORY – we have to do it.
    ~Debbie

  • Linda,

    I think you said it perfectly – “the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded.” They want a story that will take them into another reality. They don’t want to be told what’s happening (as it was in my first paragraphs, though I didn’t realize it), they want to SEE what’s happening. It’s hard to drop those blood-soaked words of ours, though. But when it’s for the greater good – the STORY – we have to do it.
    ~Debbie

  • Linda,

    I think you said it perfectly – “the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded.” They want a story that will take them into another reality. They don’t want to be told what’s happening (as it was in my first paragraphs, though I didn’t realize it), they want to SEE what’s happening. It’s hard to drop those blood-soaked words of ours, though. But when it’s for the greater good – the STORY – we have to do it.
    ~Debbie

  • Linda,

    I think you said it perfectly – “the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded.” They want a story that will take them into another reality. They don’t want to be told what’s happening (as it was in my first paragraphs, though I didn’t realize it), they want to SEE what’s happening. It’s hard to drop those blood-soaked words of ours, though. But when it’s for the greater good – the STORY – we have to do it.
    ~Debbie

  • Linda,

    I think you said it perfectly – “the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded.” They want a story that will take them into another reality. They don’t want to be told what’s happening (as it was in my first paragraphs, though I didn’t realize it), they want to SEE what’s happening. It’s hard to drop those blood-soaked words of ours, though. But when it’s for the greater good – the STORY – we have to do it.
    ~Debbie

  • Linda,

    I think you said it perfectly – “the reader wants to be hooked more than she wants to be grounded.” They want a story that will take them into another reality. They don’t want to be told what’s happening (as it was in my first paragraphs, though I didn’t realize it), they want to SEE what’s happening. It’s hard to drop those blood-soaked words of ours, though. But when it’s for the greater good – the STORY – we have to do it.
    ~Debbie

  • Great idea, Laurie! “Leftovers” I love it. (I’m honored to have you visit here AND comment, btw. Wow. Laurie was here! 😀
    ~Debbie

  • Great idea, Laurie! “Leftovers” I love it. (I’m honored to have you visit here AND comment, btw. Wow. Laurie was here! 😀
    ~Debbie

  • Great idea, Laurie! “Leftovers” I love it. (I’m honored to have you visit here AND comment, btw. Wow. Laurie was here! 😀
    ~Debbie

  • Great idea, Laurie! “Leftovers” I love it. (I’m honored to have you visit here AND comment, btw. Wow. Laurie was here! 😀
    ~Debbie

  • Great idea, Laurie! “Leftovers” I love it. (I’m honored to have you visit here AND comment, btw. Wow. Laurie was here! 😀
    ~Debbie

  • Great idea, Laurie! “Leftovers” I love it. (I’m honored to have you visit here AND comment, btw. Wow. Laurie was here! 😀
    ~Debbie

  • Great idea, Laurie! “Leftovers” I love it. (I’m honored to have you visit here AND comment, btw. Wow. Laurie was here! 😀
    ~Debbie

  • Great idea, Laurie! “Leftovers” I love it. (I’m honored to have you visit here AND comment, btw. Wow. Laurie was here! 😀
    ~Debbie

  • Great idea, Laurie! “Leftovers” I love it. (I’m honored to have you visit here AND comment, btw. Wow. Laurie was here! 😀
    ~Debbie

  • Great idea, Laurie! “Leftovers” I love it. (I’m honored to have you visit here AND comment, btw. Wow. Laurie was here! 😀
    ~Debbie

  • Great idea, Laurie! “Leftovers” I love it. (I’m honored to have you visit here AND comment, btw. Wow. Laurie was here! 😀
    ~Debbie

  • Great idea, Laurie! “Leftovers” I love it. (I’m honored to have you visit here AND comment, btw. Wow. Laurie was here! 😀
    ~Debbie

  • Great idea, Laurie! “Leftovers” I love it. (I’m honored to have you visit here AND comment, btw. Wow. Laurie was here! 😀
    ~Debbie

  • Great idea, Laurie! “Leftovers” I love it. (I’m honored to have you visit here AND comment, btw. Wow. Laurie was here! 😀
    ~Debbie

  • Great idea, Laurie! “Leftovers” I love it. (I’m honored to have you visit here AND comment, btw. Wow. Laurie was here! 😀
    ~Debbie

  • Great idea, Laurie! “Leftovers” I love it. (I’m honored to have you visit here AND comment, btw. Wow. Laurie was here! 😀
    ~Debbie

  • Great idea, Laurie! “Leftovers” I love it. (I’m honored to have you visit here AND comment, btw. Wow. Laurie was here! 😀
    ~Debbie

  • Great idea, Laurie! “Leftovers” I love it. (I’m honored to have you visit here AND comment, btw. Wow. Laurie was here! 😀
    ~Debbie

  • Great idea, Laurie! “Leftovers” I love it. (I’m honored to have you visit here AND comment, btw. Wow. Laurie was here! 😀
    ~Debbie

  • Great idea, Laurie! “Leftovers” I love it. (I’m honored to have you visit here AND comment, btw. Wow. Laurie was here! 😀
    ~Debbie

  • Great idea, Laurie! “Leftovers” I love it. (I’m honored to have you visit here AND comment, btw. Wow. Laurie was here! 😀
    ~Debbie

  • Great idea, Laurie! “Leftovers” I love it. (I’m honored to have you visit here AND comment, btw. Wow. Laurie was here! 😀
    ~Debbie

  • Great idea, Laurie! “Leftovers” I love it. (I’m honored to have you visit here AND comment, btw. Wow. Laurie was here! 😀
    ~Debbie

  • Debbie,

    It sounds like deciding to enter that contest was a great decision for you since it led you to tighten your opening pages. It’s not always easy, but it’s so important for us to find enough distance to evaluate our own work objectively. Finding the balance between hooking the reader and establishing the character’s “ordinary world” can be quite a challenge. Writing is an ongoing learning process and no one ever graduates, LOL.

    Linda / Lyndi

  • Debbie,

    It sounds like deciding to enter that contest was a great decision for you since it led you to tighten your opening pages. It’s not always easy, but it’s so important for us to find enough distance to evaluate our own work objectively. Finding the balance between hooking the reader and establishing the character’s “ordinary world” can be quite a challenge. Writing is an ongoing learning process and no one ever graduates, LOL.

    Linda / Lyndi

  • Debbie,

    It sounds like deciding to enter that contest was a great decision for you since it led you to tighten your opening pages. It’s not always easy, but it’s so important for us to find enough distance to evaluate our own work objectively. Finding the balance between hooking the reader and establishing the character’s “ordinary world” can be quite a challenge. Writing is an ongoing learning process and no one ever graduates, LOL.

    Linda / Lyndi

  • Debbie,

    It sounds like deciding to enter that contest was a great decision for you since it led you to tighten your opening pages. It’s not always easy, but it’s so important for us to find enough distance to evaluate our own work objectively. Finding the balance between hooking the reader and establishing the character’s “ordinary world” can be quite a challenge. Writing is an ongoing learning process and no one ever graduates, LOL.

    Linda / Lyndi

  • Debbie,

    It sounds like deciding to enter that contest was a great decision for you since it led you to tighten your opening pages. It’s not always easy, but it’s so important for us to find enough distance to evaluate our own work objectively. Finding the balance between hooking the reader and establishing the character’s “ordinary world” can be quite a challenge. Writing is an ongoing learning process and no one ever graduates, LOL.

    Linda / Lyndi

  • Debbie,

    It sounds like deciding to enter that contest was a great decision for you since it led you to tighten your opening pages. It’s not always easy, but it’s so important for us to find enough distance to evaluate our own work objectively. Finding the balance between hooking the reader and establishing the character’s “ordinary world” can be quite a challenge. Writing is an ongoing learning process and no one ever graduates, LOL.

    Linda / Lyndi

  • Debbie,

    It sounds like deciding to enter that contest was a great decision for you since it led you to tighten your opening pages. It’s not always easy, but it’s so important for us to find enough distance to evaluate our own work objectively. Finding the balance between hooking the reader and establishing the character’s “ordinary world” can be quite a challenge. Writing is an ongoing learning process and no one ever graduates, LOL.

    Linda / Lyndi

  • Debbie,

    It sounds like deciding to enter that contest was a great decision for you since it led you to tighten your opening pages. It’s not always easy, but it’s so important for us to find enough distance to evaluate our own work objectively. Finding the balance between hooking the reader and establishing the character’s “ordinary world” can be quite a challenge. Writing is an ongoing learning process and no one ever graduates, LOL.

    Linda / Lyndi

  • Debbie,

    It sounds like deciding to enter that contest was a great decision for you since it led you to tighten your opening pages. It’s not always easy, but it’s so important for us to find enough distance to evaluate our own work objectively. Finding the balance between hooking the reader and establishing the character’s “ordinary world” can be quite a challenge. Writing is an ongoing learning process and no one ever graduates, LOL.

    Linda / Lyndi

  • Debbie,

    It sounds like deciding to enter that contest was a great decision for you since it led you to tighten your opening pages. It’s not always easy, but it’s so important for us to find enough distance to evaluate our own work objectively. Finding the balance between hooking the reader and establishing the character’s “ordinary world” can be quite a challenge. Writing is an ongoing learning process and no one ever graduates, LOL.

    Linda / Lyndi

  • Debbie,

    It sounds like deciding to enter that contest was a great decision for you since it led you to tighten your opening pages. It’s not always easy, but it’s so important for us to find enough distance to evaluate our own work objectively. Finding the balance between hooking the reader and establishing the character’s “ordinary world” can be quite a challenge. Writing is an ongoing learning process and no one ever graduates, LOL.

    Linda / Lyndi

  • Debbie,

    It sounds like deciding to enter that contest was a great decision for you since it led you to tighten your opening pages. It’s not always easy, but it’s so important for us to find enough distance to evaluate our own work objectively. Finding the balance between hooking the reader and establishing the character’s “ordinary world” can be quite a challenge. Writing is an ongoing learning process and no one ever graduates, LOL.

    Linda / Lyndi

  • Debbie,

    It sounds like deciding to enter that contest was a great decision for you since it led you to tighten your opening pages. It’s not always easy, but it’s so important for us to find enough distance to evaluate our own work objectively. Finding the balance between hooking the reader and establishing the character’s “ordinary world” can be quite a challenge. Writing is an ongoing learning process and no one ever graduates, LOL.

    Linda / Lyndi

  • Debbie,

    It sounds like deciding to enter that contest was a great decision for you since it led you to tighten your opening pages. It’s not always easy, but it’s so important for us to find enough distance to evaluate our own work objectively. Finding the balance between hooking the reader and establishing the character’s “ordinary world” can be quite a challenge. Writing is an ongoing learning process and no one ever graduates, LOL.

    Linda / Lyndi

  • Debbie,

    It sounds like deciding to enter that contest was a great decision for you since it led you to tighten your opening pages. It’s not always easy, but it’s so important for us to find enough distance to evaluate our own work objectively. Finding the balance between hooking the reader and establishing the character’s “ordinary world” can be quite a challenge. Writing is an ongoing learning process and no one ever graduates, LOL.

    Linda / Lyndi

  • Debbie,

    It sounds like deciding to enter that contest was a great decision for you since it led you to tighten your opening pages. It’s not always easy, but it’s so important for us to find enough distance to evaluate our own work objectively. Finding the balance between hooking the reader and establishing the character’s “ordinary world” can be quite a challenge. Writing is an ongoing learning process and no one ever graduates, LOL.

    Linda / Lyndi

  • Debbie,

    It sounds like deciding to enter that contest was a great decision for you since it led you to tighten your opening pages. It’s not always easy, but it’s so important for us to find enough distance to evaluate our own work objectively. Finding the balance between hooking the reader and establishing the character’s “ordinary world” can be quite a challenge. Writing is an ongoing learning process and no one ever graduates, LOL.

    Linda / Lyndi

  • Debbie,

    It sounds like deciding to enter that contest was a great decision for you since it led you to tighten your opening pages. It’s not always easy, but it’s so important for us to find enough distance to evaluate our own work objectively. Finding the balance between hooking the reader and establishing the character’s “ordinary world” can be quite a challenge. Writing is an ongoing learning process and no one ever graduates, LOL.

    Linda / Lyndi

  • Debbie,

    It sounds like deciding to enter that contest was a great decision for you since it led you to tighten your opening pages. It’s not always easy, but it’s so important for us to find enough distance to evaluate our own work objectively. Finding the balance between hooking the reader and establishing the character’s “ordinary world” can be quite a challenge. Writing is an ongoing learning process and no one ever graduates, LOL.

    Linda / Lyndi

  • Debbie,

    It sounds like deciding to enter that contest was a great decision for you since it led you to tighten your opening pages. It’s not always easy, but it’s so important for us to find enough distance to evaluate our own work objectively. Finding the balance between hooking the reader and establishing the character’s “ordinary world” can be quite a challenge. Writing is an ongoing learning process and no one ever graduates, LOL.

    Linda / Lyndi

  • Debbie,

    It sounds like deciding to enter that contest was a great decision for you since it led you to tighten your opening pages. It’s not always easy, but it’s so important for us to find enough distance to evaluate our own work objectively. Finding the balance between hooking the reader and establishing the character’s “ordinary world” can be quite a challenge. Writing is an ongoing learning process and no one ever graduates, LOL.

    Linda / Lyndi

  • Debbie,

    It sounds like deciding to enter that contest was a great decision for you since it led you to tighten your opening pages. It’s not always easy, but it’s so important for us to find enough distance to evaluate our own work objectively. Finding the balance between hooking the reader and establishing the character’s “ordinary world” can be quite a challenge. Writing is an ongoing learning process and no one ever graduates, LOL.

    Linda / Lyndi

  • Debbie,

    It sounds like deciding to enter that contest was a great decision for you since it led you to tighten your opening pages. It’s not always easy, but it’s so important for us to find enough distance to evaluate our own work objectively. Finding the balance between hooking the reader and establishing the character’s “ordinary world” can be quite a challenge. Writing is an ongoing learning process and no one ever graduates, LOL.

    Linda / Lyndi

  • Debbie,

    It sounds like deciding to enter that contest was a great decision for you since it led you to tighten your opening pages. It’s not always easy, but it’s so important for us to find enough distance to evaluate our own work objectively. Finding the balance between hooking the reader and establishing the character’s “ordinary world” can be quite a challenge. Writing is an ongoing learning process and no one ever graduates, LOL.

    Linda / Lyndi

  • Hi Debora, yup, as scary as it is, we have to send our stuff out. The first hundred words needs to hook the reader. To do this, the reader has to experience the action of what is happening by knowing the who, what, when, and where. Readers won’t be hooked if they are confused. And, yes, Linda McLaughlin, we will never graduate!

  • Hi Debora, yup, as scary as it is, we have to send our stuff out. The first hundred words needs to hook the reader. To do this, the reader has to experience the action of what is happening by knowing the who, what, when, and where. Readers won’t be hooked if they are confused. And, yes, Linda McLaughlin, we will never graduate!

  • Hi Debora, yup, as scary as it is, we have to send our stuff out. The first hundred words needs to hook the reader. To do this, the reader has to experience the action of what is happening by knowing the who, what, when, and where. Readers won’t be hooked if they are confused. And, yes, Linda McLaughlin, we will never graduate!

  • Hi Debora, yup, as scary as it is, we have to send our stuff out. The first hundred words needs to hook the reader. To do this, the reader has to experience the action of what is happening by knowing the who, what, when, and where. Readers won’t be hooked if they are confused. And, yes, Linda McLaughlin, we will never graduate!

  • Hi Debora, yup, as scary as it is, we have to send our stuff out. The first hundred words needs to hook the reader. To do this, the reader has to experience the action of what is happening by knowing the who, what, when, and where. Readers won’t be hooked if they are confused. And, yes, Linda McLaughlin, we will never graduate!

  • Deb,

    I just wanted to say how proud I am that you took that step. It’s the scariest thing, putting your words out for the world to see.

    You Are A Writer!

    About my “cuttings”… The first books I felt like every word was precious!! *laughs* I created a special “Cuttings” file to put everything I snipped out. That gave me some peace of mind because I knew it wasn’t lost. When I thought something COULD go, I highlighted it, then read without it. After I put it in the cuttings file, I felt better.

    Now, I still put some snippets in that special folder, but I feel much more relaxed. *smile* And I realize that I rarely go back to the Cuttings File, but it’s there if I need it.

    Congrats again on your Big Step!! *clap-clap-clap!!*

    –Chiron

  • Deb,

    I just wanted to say how proud I am that you took that step. It’s the scariest thing, putting your words out for the world to see.

    You Are A Writer!

    About my “cuttings”… The first books I felt like every word was precious!! *laughs* I created a special “Cuttings” file to put everything I snipped out. That gave me some peace of mind because I knew it wasn’t lost. When I thought something COULD go, I highlighted it, then read without it. After I put it in the cuttings file, I felt better.

    Now, I still put some snippets in that special folder, but I feel much more relaxed. *smile* And I realize that I rarely go back to the Cuttings File, but it’s there if I need it.

    Congrats again on your Big Step!! *clap-clap-clap!!*

    –Chiron

  • Deb,

    I just wanted to say how proud I am that you took that step. It’s the scariest thing, putting your words out for the world to see.

    You Are A Writer!

    About my “cuttings”… The first books I felt like every word was precious!! *laughs* I created a special “Cuttings” file to put everything I snipped out. That gave me some peace of mind because I knew it wasn’t lost. When I thought something COULD go, I highlighted it, then read without it. After I put it in the cuttings file, I felt better.

    Now, I still put some snippets in that special folder, but I feel much more relaxed. *smile* And I realize that I rarely go back to the Cuttings File, but it’s there if I need it.

    Congrats again on your Big Step!! *clap-clap-clap!!*

    –Chiron

  • Deb,

    I just wanted to say how proud I am that you took that step. It’s the scariest thing, putting your words out for the world to see.

    You Are A Writer!

    About my “cuttings”… The first books I felt like every word was precious!! *laughs* I created a special “Cuttings” file to put everything I snipped out. That gave me some peace of mind because I knew it wasn’t lost. When I thought something COULD go, I highlighted it, then read without it. After I put it in the cuttings file, I felt better.

    Now, I still put some snippets in that special folder, but I feel much more relaxed. *smile* And I realize that I rarely go back to the Cuttings File, but it’s there if I need it.

    Congrats again on your Big Step!! *clap-clap-clap!!*

    –Chiron

  • Deb,

    I just wanted to say how proud I am that you took that step. It’s the scariest thing, putting your words out for the world to see.

    You Are A Writer!

    About my “cuttings”… The first books I felt like every word was precious!! *laughs* I created a special “Cuttings” file to put everything I snipped out. That gave me some peace of mind because I knew it wasn’t lost. When I thought something COULD go, I highlighted it, then read without it. After I put it in the cuttings file, I felt better.

    Now, I still put some snippets in that special folder, but I feel much more relaxed. *smile* And I realize that I rarely go back to the Cuttings File, but it’s there if I need it.

    Congrats again on your Big Step!! *clap-clap-clap!!*

    –Chiron

  • Deb,

    I just wanted to say how proud I am that you took that step. It’s the scariest thing, putting your words out for the world to see.

    You Are A Writer!

    About my “cuttings”… The first books I felt like every word was precious!! *laughs* I created a special “Cuttings” file to put everything I snipped out. That gave me some peace of mind because I knew it wasn’t lost. When I thought something COULD go, I highlighted it, then read without it. After I put it in the cuttings file, I felt better.

    Now, I still put some snippets in that special folder, but I feel much more relaxed. *smile* And I realize that I rarely go back to the Cuttings File, but it’s there if I need it.

    Congrats again on your Big Step!! *clap-clap-clap!!*

    –Chiron

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