The Contest of First Paragraphs

Today’s been busy. Put in a few hours in on the manuals for CA, then started a draft for this week’s D*I*Y Planner article, and attended a free teleconference on “Knowing When to Let Go of Your Work”. That gave me a few good steps to knowing when my work is done and I should get it submitted to where it needs to go.

When I came back to Smudge, my friend Jenn sent me a link to Nathan Bransford’s 2nd Sort-of-Annual Stupendously Ultimate First Paragraph Challenge “contest”. Nathan’s a literary agent who’s doing a fun-yet-informal contest on novel first paragraphs. The winner gets their choice of: “a partial critique, query critique or 15 minute phone conversation in which we can discuss topics ranging from reality TV shows to, you know, publishing. Your choice. Runners up will receive query critiques and/or other agreed-upon prizes.”

So, not one to back down an informal contest, I submitted the following paragraph for Touched:

The chair is old but well padded. Its brown vinyl is smooth from years of wear and use by others. It squeaks as she shifts her position, drawing her legs up and under her body. She’s not uncomfortable, but she’s not comfortable either. It’s sunny outside. Cassie can tell that it’s cold even though she’s not outside to feel it. This is the magic of autumn. When leaves turn colors and the temperature stays cold even when the sun shines. The wind taps on the window, calling for her to come out and soak up the magic. Cassie shifts her weight in the chair, feeling left out.

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