The rules are simple:
Post 7 paragraphs or 7 sentences or 7 words. The choice is yours. It can be from a WIP or something you already have published. Your post should be live by 9 am US Pacific Time on Saturday. Put those lucky 7s to work for you!
Like I said, I’m going way, way back in my archives for this septuplet — back to DIVA’s roots. That’s right: These seven paragraphs kicked off the now-deleted first chapter of the story.
After my readers/CP insisted the chapter was really a prologue (it happened five years before the main story) and painted neither hero nor heroine likable enough, I dutifully chopped the scene that I loved. I still love that scene, which has some fantastic lines … but I know how to accept criticism. After a little — okay, a lot — of whining, I deleted the whole darn thing — and blogged about it.
I may have cut the scene from the MS, but I saved it with the hope that one day I could release it as an online extra — a “wanna see how it all began?” teaser. (File name: HowItAllBegan.doc.) That day hasn’t come — yet. But I can offer a tantalizing glimpse of what almost was.
The setup (directly from my query letter):
Melinda Cline was a rash, almost 20-year-old motormouth when her high-school sweetheart dumped her weeks before their wedding. She took solace in the arms of the first hottie she had the pleasure to meet, a sexy-as-sin ballplayer whose name she insisted she didn’t want to know.
Mel meets Dave Reynolds, shortstop for the semipro Arizona Condors, at her favorite watering hole, which she snuck into with a fake ID. These seven paragraphs were the original first seven.
* * *
When Melinda’s now-ex-fiance admonished her to grow up, she doubted playing tonsil hockey with a man old enough to be her father was what he’d had in mind.
The thought jarred Mel just enough to make her end the kiss. Through lowered lashes, she regarded the man whose lap she currently warmed. Saying he was her father’s age wasn’t fair. Old enough to be her slightly older brother, maybe. But definitely not her father.
She took stock of his lithe torso. Defined biceps. Warm, easy smile. Nope. No signs of middle age marring the perfection that was —
What was his name? Dan? Drew? Del? Dave? Why couldn’t she remember?
Who was she trying to kid? She didn’t want to remember. His name didn’t matter — not one whit. It was far more important that he was here, all too willing to distract her from the spectacle in the corner.
Her ex of just two weeks had the gall to be at her favorite bar, canoodling with a blonde who looked — well, old enough to be his mother. No wonder Bud told her to “grow up” if that was his type.
She cast a mutinous glance toward Bud’s corner. He wanted someone older than 19? She’d show him just how grown up she could be.
* * *
Hmm. Reading that now, I can see my readers’ point: Mel isn’t terribly likable here. Dave fares no better as the scene goes on. Perhaps I need to rethink releasing the deleted scene, one-liners or no.
Diva in the Dugout, coming soon from Turquoise Morning Press.