Thursday, March 11, 2010

Let's Share!

I'm going to add a weekly post to my agenda here on Faith, Hope, and Suspense. On Let's Share, I'm either going to post a question for you all to answer--sometimes it may be writing related, sometimes faith related, and sometimes just having to do with life. Sound like fun?

This week, since I'm trying to get back into the spirit of writing, despite all the issues I've had the last several months, I thought I would make it a writing question.

March 15th is the American Christian Fiction Writers annual Genesis contest deadline, and it is my goal to enter this year. I'm debating on entering both The Impossible Choice and Dividing Spirits, or just Dividing Spirits. Hmmm...contemplation. Anyway, in preparation for the deadline, I've been reading over the first fifteen pages of Dividing Spirits, trying to make sure it is absoultely perfect. Perfection is an intimidating prospect...and a great subject for another day. :)

Over the last couple of years, I've read a lot about grabbing the reader in the first paragraph, and about great first lines. Many agents, editors, and professional writers emphasize how readers will often glance at the first couple of paragraphs and determine whether or not they want to purchase a book.

Here is the first paragraph of Dividing Spirits:

Axriel’s shadowed form slithered from the liquid fire. Traveling between rugged stone, he pushed forward until the vast sky opened above. Freedom. He hovered over the sacred mountaintop for the first time in ten years. The resounding calm of the night surrounded him, beckoning him from the caves of hell.

What do you think makes a great first paragraph?

If you're a writer, I'd love for you to share your first paragraph. If you're a reader, do you have any favorites that you've read recently?


  1. Wow Ralene! I want to read more! What kind of sub genre is it? I'm thinking of entering one of my novels but I'm not sure it's CBA material.

  2. I like it! It's intriguing. Keep at it and good luck with Genesis (I'm working on my entry and trying to wrap it up by the 15th! AAACK! :)

  3. Oooo, very nice! I like it! But YIKES! I was under the impression the Genesis deadline was the 31st!!!! I better check on that! :)

  4. T. Anne- Thanks for stopping by! It's a supernatural suspense/thriller. To be CBA, it doesn't necessarily have to be specifically Christian, but should be written from a Christian worldview, if that makes sense.

    Jaime- Thank you! Isn't it crazy all this last minute stuff?

    Sherrinda- LOL! The coordinator recommended that we get our enteries in by the 15th in case they or our payments were lost in cyberspace, we'd have time to fix it. So, yes, technically the deadline is the 31st.

  5. Here's the first paragraph of a short story I wrote recently:

    You are invited to a Masquerade Ball.
    1001 Hoot Street, 9:00 p.m. on Friday, February 13th.

    I read the postcard a third time, wondering who sent it. The curly handwriting intrigued me as much as the picture of a white owl on the reverse side.

    By the way, there's a blog award waiting for you on my blog:

  6. Creepy!! I really like your first line. It makes me think it's some sort of angel/demon/spirit. Mm-mm!

  7. I've got too much on my plate to get mine done in time to enter Genesis. Speech and debate tourney next week. I'm not going to make the deadline. Oh well! Next year, I guess. Boo-hoo! =(


Thank you for taking the time to leave your thoughts/opinions.