Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Closest Book


The GREAT Karen Lee has tagged me with another Meme. This one states that I am to find the closest book to me, open it to page 123, jump to sentence #5, and post the next 3 sentences here.

What a fun idea! It gives all of us the chance to spy on what our friends are reading. And more importantly, we get a glance into what writers are including at around pg 123 in the progress of their plots.

But before I lay my closest book out here, you must know that several friends and I just spent this past weekend at the beach where we discussed our Myers-Briggs Types extensively. I am classified as a "J" not a "P." This means (among other things) that spontaneity isn't exactly my thing.

But -- I'm trying to learn.

So, when I got this meme from Karen I looked around on my desk. The first book I saw was the Writer's Market -- but Karen already used that for her meme. So I prepared to look a little farther. Then it occurred to me...

The closest book to me at my desk is MINE. MY BOOK. It's on my computer; my own, not yet published (and no-where near ready yet either,) novel manuscript.

And though it's not yet on bookstore shelves, it IS a book to me. (I guess that's a good sign related to my psychological growth as a writer, eh? I believe my manuscript to be a book! But, don't worry. I'm sure that tomorrow will be another one of those days when I become convinced that I have no talent, realize that I have no motivation, and become once again certain that the little things I have gotten published so far have been only because editors saw how pathetic I was and took pity on me...)

But, nevertheless, today is a day for taking risks. So without further adoo -- (ok, well, and bearing in mind that this is definitely a first draft and that it will likely be totally different when finally sent to an editor... and, um, uh, erg... Ah- whatever!) Here is my moment of spontaneity:

Sliced from my own page 123

"Jolie stepped off the tram at the University, and glanced down at the pencilled map Sasha had sketched of the grounds. The Orchestral building was to her left, as expected, and Jolie was amazed again that in two seconds, on a napkin, at a bus stop Sash had still managed to capture the campus in perfect scale.

She slid in through the archway that he had starred on the map and the sound of a violin trilling behind a closed door greeted her."

And, from a book sitting near my desk which actually HAS been published...

Pg 123 Line 5-8 of The Clue in the Crumbling Wall (Nancy Drew) By Carolyn Keene

"Hey, come quick!' he shouted. `I've got something to show you!'
Cob was irritated..."

And now I tag my fellow writer-friend, Bish Debnam. And I recommend that all writers scroll to p 123 in our manuscripts and ask ourselves: Is this paragraph, this plot arc, this little drop of action, this brief dialogue good enough to send to an editor? Or would I be embarrassed to post it online? Eh hem...

May all of our page 123's get more and more glorious with every draft!

7 comments:

Bish Denham said...

Ahh, Janelle...it's come full circle! I originally tagged you, but I guess you didn't get the message. Still, somehow the tag got to you anyway! Cool.

George Anthony Kulz said...

Hi Janelle

I just happened to come by your site again today, since I hadn't visited in a long time. So I thought I'd post "The Closest Book" info here. The closest book to me right now is The Neverending Story, which I never got to read as a kid. So here are the 3 sentences starting at sentence 5, on page 123:

"Look, my wounds are almost healed."

Then for the first time Atreyu noticed that his own wound too was healed. The herb dressing had fallen off.

Now let's see what happens when I do the same for one of my own books. Here are 3 sentences starting at sentence 5 of page 123 of my book, Oliver and the Underlings:

He thought he had a pretty good plan on how they could proceed.

“Before we start descending the ladder, we can shine the flashlights down the shaft to make sure no one is waiting for us at the bottom. Then we’ll throw down the backpack and the suitcase.

So there ya go. Enjoy.

Bonnie Adamson said...

What a great exercise to remind us to polish our writing! I discovered the sentences on page 123 of my mid-grade WIP didn't sing as much as I would have liked when taken out of context, so I tweaked them a bit (it's still a first draft, though, right?) :)

Here goes:

Simon told us to face northwest and look toward the constellation Leo, hanging about a hand’s width above the horizon. Fran was the first to spot one, and then they filled the sky — shooting stars, dozens of them, raining like spent fireworks. I was so dazzled I forgot to make a wish, but I did find Fran’s hand in the dark, and I figure that counts.

Sigh. More work needed!

And btw, the closest published book to me right now is Photoshop 7for Dummies, because I've been updating my web site--I won't bore you with the actual sentences from that indispensable tome!

Thanks for the post, Janelle!

Janelle said...

Wow! George and Bonnie - thanks for being brave enough to take the plunge and share your page
123's with the world. I am so honored that you did it here!

I'm very impressed with your characters, George, wanting to hop down into a dark shaft! Wonder what they'll find at the bottom...


And I love that little hand clasp in the dark, Bonnie. Clearly romance is on the horizon!

Anonymous said...

The YA novel I am working on has only 48 pages so far. (That is 48 manuscript pages)

So, I will give you sentences #5,6 and 7 from page 23 (instead of 123).

Here they are:

From here on out, I draw a blank. I think the movie was about some spy or something. I remember about half way through the movie, I got up the courage to hold her hand.

Thanks...I hope that this wasn't cheating.

Don Robinson

Craft Write said...

Hi Janelle, I'm also sharing with the group my 123 sentences from my closest novel on my computer, Zeylandicus: "With the acquisition of your wings, you assume the greatest responsibility of your lives. You will now be able to pass through the Rainbow Wall at will. This should not be taken lightly; and, by the way,” Aubrietia raised her eyebrows as she said this, “There will be no passing through tonight."
Kathy Jacoby

Janelle said...

Don, Kathy, I love it! Two great hooked endings there! Looking forward to reading more of both! - Janelle