Rachael Harrie is doing an incredible job over at her blog, Rach Writes, where she has launched her third annual Platform Building Campaign. I just joined in the nick of time on August 30, and am so excited by the generous and valuable efforts Rachael is making to help writers who blog connect with each other in genre or other groups. I'm really looking forward to getting to know the other bloggers in my groups (adult fiction, cozy mystery, suspense and thriller, and historical). Since Heather and Karlene and I all write different genres, we cover a lot of Rachael's territory! I'm looking forward to participating in the challenges, too. Unfortunately I'm MIA for the one starting today :-( due to family priorities this week. But I'll be there for the next one. Thank you so much, Rachael. This is fabulous.
Now, on to First Paragraph Critiques:
Here at CSC, we're doing critiques once a month. In August Heather set up a first sentence critique, which concluded August 24 with these critiques. In September, we're focusing on first paragraphs.
What makes an excellent first paragraph? Like a first sentence, it must hook the reader's attention. It must also set the frame of mind for entering the narrative, and pull the reader in to an intriguing set up. We are all so close to our own writing it's hard to be objective, no matter how good we are at offering critiques to others. Getting insightful perspectives from experienced outside readers is invaluable, and that's what we hope to provide you here.
With first sentences, we were able to include three great entries from blog readers who wanted to participate. Given the length of paragraphs vs. sentences, we'll have to limit it to two this month, but everyone who's interested, please leave us a comment that includes:
1) a little about your story (one or two sentences max, and they don't have to be lyrical), and
2) follow that with your first paragraph.
You are welcome to send your entry signed 'anonymous' if you prefer that to attaching your name. (Also, this blog site is copy protected, so no one can right-click and copy and paste your work.)
We'll use Random.org to randomly select two of the entries, and next Monday I'll post them here, and open the comments up for feedback (constructive criticism only, please). The Monday after that I'll post the two paragraphs with feedback from each critique sister.
Come join us, and let's dig in to some good, enjoyable and worthwhile critiques.
Yay for the campaign! First paragraph critiques sound brilliant, too, although I'm not quite to critiquing-ready yet.ReplyDelete
Yay for campaigners! I'm having so much fun with it and meeting so many great people. Now to spread the word about paragraph critiques...ReplyDelete
We'll be here when you're ready, Su. (Campaigner high five!) Thanks for dropping by.ReplyDelete
The Campaign is fantastic, isn't it, Heather? Yes, spreading the word--a little tough on a holiday like today, but here comes tomorrow. . .ReplyDelete
The campaign sounds like fun! I did the last one in the spring and met so many great new bloggers.ReplyDelete
I'll tweet your post, Linda. I'm to shy to have my stuff critted online. *hides face*
I've been really enjoying the campaign and have met so many fabulous writers and bloggers.ReplyDelete
Thanks Linda! Yeah for campaigners! I'm off to Tweet your post!ReplyDelete
Love this! Yours is one of my fave blogs. You'd never know it since I haven't been around in forever, but I'm back! And will be around more often now! Woot! I'm (We're) Campaigners again too! Okay, I'm in for this crit thing. I'll be back with my entry! Thanks!!! ChristyReplyDelete
What a commitment on your part. Love the energy. Just wanted to stop by and introduce myself as a fellow thriller Campaigner. Look forward to reading more of your blog.ReplyDelete
Looking forward to seeing the paragraphs. I really enjoyed the first sentences. You ladies did a really great job! :)ReplyDelete
Lydia, you should definitely put your stuff up--you can do it anonymously. Oops, I meant to say that in the post. Think I'll go fix it. Thanks so much for tweeting.ReplyDelete
Lynda, thanks so much for stopping by. I'm so impressed with the Campaign. What a great way to meet wonderful blogging peeps.ReplyDelete
Yay, Christy! So glad to 'see' you again, and so glad you're going to share some of your great work with us!ReplyDelete
Jacqui/Worddreams, so nice to meet you! Which Campaigner group/genre are you in?ReplyDelete
Thanks so much, Karen. I know we'll get some great ones. There are so many wonderful writers out there.ReplyDelete
Karlene, how'd I get past that comment? Thank you so much for tweeting! Love Campaigners, and I even think I've come to love Twitter!ReplyDelete
Hi Linda - I'm in your Campaign group - or one of them - just feeling my way around - my life seems one endless revision right now but hope to make it to all my group. The 1st paragraph crit sounds great - mine is in limbo right now but who knows what this week will bring.ReplyDelete
Great, Jan, I hope you'll send it. I'm slowly making my way around the Campaign group, too. So nice to meet you!ReplyDelete
Christy's Entry: Fixing Shelby is a YA Contemporary novel about a girl with mean friends, an annoying locker neighbor, a critical mother, and the will to find happiness despite all of them.ReplyDelete
“Seriously, Shelby Honey, you could put on a little more make-up. You look pale.” Mom held the steering wheel with one hand and grabbed her purse with the other. She plopped the large leather bag on my lap. “I know I have several shades of blush in there. Help yourself.”
Thanks, Christy. It's great to have your entry, and I'm already intrigued!ReplyDelete
I was supposed to put it in the comments, right? If not...oops and I'm blushing. ChristyReplyDelete
Hi. Okay. I'm a little nervous about this story, which is a YA medieval fantasy. I follow the perspectives of three characters, one of whom will later be accused of witchcraft. Here goes the first paragraph. (I hope it makes sense.)ReplyDelete
From the cottage doorway, she looked like a doll left on the bed: small and fragile. Even the hill of the child she carried seemed dwarfed by the faded patchwork quilt.
Hi, guys. You know I've followed your blog for a while, along with Heather.ReplyDelete
Anyway, oddly enough this first paragaraph is actually a sentence, and, like you say, you're too close to your work. I don't know if it's a strong enough opening.
This is fom my 4th book, "Crechendo", which I'm still working on; Urban Fantasy.
It is Thanksgiving, and Grandma Rose is Sabrina Strong's paternal grandmother. Constance is Sabrina's sister-in-law, where this takes place.
"You're cooking the gravy too hard!" Grandma Rose grumbled as she peered over Constance's shoulder.
Absolutely, Christy. You did it right! I'll be sloshing the entries through Random.org this weekend (don't worry, I won't let them merge) to select the paragraphs for critique.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Lin! Ah, nerves, the writer's perpetual enemy. Don't be nervous. This is meant to be a chance to get valuable feedback in a safe environment! I'm interested already.ReplyDelete
Lorelei, thanks so much for the entry! Personally. I love one-sentence paragraphs.ReplyDelete
We're together in the Adult fiction group. I'll also love to take part in the first paragraph critiques.ReplyDelete
My book is a romance where a 30years old lady vacationing in Nigeria from the US is seduced by the local hottie.
“Dunni, when are we going to come and cook for your wedding?” In the dull light of dawn, Dunni glanced at the inquisitive eyes of the woman slicing onions beside her mother and looked away.
Hi, Myne, so happy to meet you! And thank you for sending the great entry to the first paragraph critique.ReplyDelete
Wow, I'm sorry I missed this. You guys look like you're doing great stuff on this blog. Nice to meet you through the campaign!ReplyDelete
Deniz, so glad to meet you! I just dropped by your blog and it looks great. This Campaign is excellent for finding great people and their blogs.ReplyDelete