Share A Snippet!!

We’re 16 days into the 2018 Winter Writing Festival, and participants have spun out hundreds of thousands of new words, whether joining in the writing sprints or working in the privacy of their own writing caves. 

I love hearing folks in the Chat Room come back after  20 or 30 or 45 minutes of sprinting and say, “I wrote 673 new words!” or “I finished a chapter of my time-travel romance!”

All that wonderful writing didn’t exist before the Festival began, and now it’s HERE!!

Four years ago, during the 2014 WWF, I got nosy one day and asked folks to post brief samples of something they wrote during the Festival. We’ve got so many people writing so many different kinds of books–zombie romance, romantic suspense, gritty sci-fi romance, erotic romance, historical, paranormal, humorous, YA, women’s fiction, you name it. And it was awesome to see the huge variety of creation going on! I can’t wait to see some again this year!

Be brave today, and (in one of the comment boxes below) post a quick little taste of something you’ve been working on during the last couple weeks. It’s doesn’t have to be much: a paragraph or two from anywhere in your manuscript, or even just a single line that came out well. Even a story concept or clever bit of backstory that’s come to you. Let’s see a little of what’s sprung into being even during the depths of winter.

117 responses to “Share A Snippet!!”

  1. Lenee Anderson says:

    Through the mist and drizzle, across the humped muddy mounds of new graves, I saw her, weeping.
    I had taken leave from my own cavalry regiment, the 2nd Regiment of Life Guards, stationed now in Paris as part of the army of occupation, and travelled to this grief burdened piece of ground to visit my brother and to see the stone I had cause to be erected. Here lies Captain Jeremy Royce, the letters carved clear and sharp into the dark granite, Died, June 18, 1815. Beloved brother of David. The voice of thy brother’s blood cryeth unto me from the ground.
    For me, an officer in His Majesty’s Household Guard, with no private income, the stone had cost a small fortune and I’d had to borrow the money for it. But had it cost five times as much, I still would have done it. One day time and weather would wear away those crisply carved and expensive words, lichen and damp would marr the polished granite surface but no man’s life deserved to go unrecognized. Jeremy had been my other half. I’d never again be a whole person without him.

    Eh. Needs work.

  2. Marc held the door open for Emi. By the time they had reached the top step he had fallen in beside her taking her hand in his. On the other side, Hip walked along behind the couple. Emi didn’t try to remove her hand from Marc’s firm grip. It felt like ti belonged there.

    “What’s so important you need to talk to me alone?”

    There was an edge to her voice warning Marc to choose his words carefully. Instead of speaking, he stopped, took her face in his hands and kissed her. When he heard a soft moan escape Emi’s lips, he stepped away. It was Emi’s turn to reach for him.

    “I don’t think you’re quite done Mr. Rannek!”

  3. Lille says:

    “I am so stupid!” she says under her breath as she begins to cry.
    “Johanna? Is everything alright?” HRH says.
    Hot, wet sobs are her only answer.
    HRH finds a clear area to land his vehicle and descends. The whir of the engines softly halt as he opens his overhead hatch and hops down to the ground.
    “Johanna, maybe you should come down and take a break.” He says hopefully. “We are almost there.”
    She composes herself as best she can to hide her tears. I am making too much of this, him and I. It is unlikely he even feels the same way about me. Snap out of it!
    She hops down to the ground and immediately starts to sob. HRH goes over to her to put his arm around her.
    “No! I can’t do this any more! It has to stop!” she puts her arms up to prevent him from touching her. If he touches her, then she will be lost.
    “Johanna, I am sorry. This is all my fault and I do not know what to do to make it right.”
    “I have tried so hard!” she sobs. “I have tried so hard to not love you. But I just can’t do it any more! I love you and I can’t stop!” she stands there crouched over with her hands on her knees trying to catch her breath between sobs. “If there is some trick to it, please tell me because I just can’t do it!”
    HRH stands there looking at her dumbfounded.
    “Johanna, I…we can…” and then his emergency alarm signals through his crystal. His training kicks in and he answers it.
    “HRH!” he yells as he watches Johanna get up into her place in the jet and close her hatch.
    “Yes! I will be there. I promise!” he says with a curse under his breath. He gets into the jet and they resume their journey to Franconia Base.

  4. Elise Hayes says:

    Yay chatroom partner!! Thanks for sharing some of your work. LOTS of emotion happening here 🙂

  5. This is the scene I’m editing right now, which takes place just after our heroine has done something that her mother would disapprove of, but her mother lets it go, so she relaxes…

    Until Lord Caxton sat beside her. It was as if the air left the room when he smiled at her, and every muscle in her body tensed. She pasted a smile on her face.
    “You look bilious, Miss Leslie.”
    The breath whooshed from her lungs in a half snort, half laugh that earned her a disapproving look from her mother.
    So much for the reprieve.
    “You are the soul of charm, Lord Caxton,” Judith said.
    “I am simply honest. You did look a bit bilious, but now, when you smile, you are stunning.”
    She laughed again, this time without the snort. “Charming indeed. You could quite turn a girl’s head.”
    “Have I?” His eyes twinkled, the corners of his lips turned up.
    “Have you what?”
    “Turned your head.”
    She was silent for a moment. Had he? Certainly, before he’d gotten engaged to another woman. Now she couldn’t afford to let him get close again. It would not end well.

  6. Catherine Moore says:

    Adam Masters rushed to change screens on his computer. It looked to be photos of a naked woman. Before she could recover, he stood and advanced toward the door. His eyes blazed menacingly.

    “Janet is out of the office to pick up something for me. I could have sworn I’d locked the door. You can’t just barge into my office unannounced Miss McCann.”

    She fell back a step then another and another until she stood outside his office beside his secretary’s empty desk. At the doorway to his office, his jaw ticked with an angry pulse.

    “I’m- I’m sorry. I- I knocked first. I just wanted to let you know the Landon contract is signed,” Erin stuttered.

    “Well, maybe you should stop and listen for me to answer before you fly into my office unannounced. That’s singularly unprofessional. You won’t do that again.”

    He spun on his heel and slammed the door behind him. She felt her cheeks blaze and noticed her co-workers peeking over the maze of cubicles then disappearing like prairie dogs in an urban meadow. Adam successfully side-tracked any question of what she’d seen on his computer screen. She scrambled back to her office. Now what?

  7. Cynthia Huscroft says:

    I thought to myself, wait until she hears about the letters! She might not even know about them since they were all to Matt. I wish we never had to tell her but at some point she’ll have to know just as the Dunns would have to know…& Dad, too.

    There wouldn’t be an easy way to tell any of them but at least we didn’t have to tell them right now.

    While I was deep in thought, Gram had gone on. She said, “I know you must have so many questions and I only wish I could answer them for you but right now, you as much as we do.”

    Gram had lied again. This time I knew why…well, I kind of understood why she did the last time, too, but was beginning to understand better now.

    Matt, Sr.said, “Clara, I don’t know where to begin or what to think. I think we need a bit of time to process all of this.”

    “I would, too, Matt, if things were reversed. And there’s something else I wanted to tell you and Mora. The Barrington’s are coming for the festival on Saturday. They plan to come in on Friday and are spending the weekend at Smith House. We’re going to meet them for lunch after they get here on Friday. Would you like to join us?”

    “They’re coming all the way from Columbus for our little festival?” Mora said.

    “Yes,” Gram said. “I was going to call them and let them know but Lizzie beat me to it. Apparently they must have inquired about it or checked the website for Eastlake. Maybe being here for Bill’s funeral made them think of it.”

  8. Jo Jackson says:

    Soon two sets of soaking wet clothes were hung near the fire to dry, jeans and shirts hung over her sole chair and table, and the pair of them were sat on her bed. Blankets wrapped tightly around themselves.

    “Well this is…different,” Callum said eventually, his blanket wrapped once around his middle and then the rest draped over his shoulder almost like a toga. Bright eyes looking around the tiny cottage curiously.

    “Not the day I think either of us had in mind.” Maggie giggled, her own blanket wrapped around her chest and under her arms, creating a brown woollen dress for all intents and purposes.

    The fire crackled and popped, the beginnings of steam starting to rise up from their clothes.

    “I’m sorry, for shouting,” Callum admitted quietly.

    “I’m sorry I shouted back.” Maggie’s voice was equally soft.

    “I just…” He started without really knowing where he was going to end. “I don’t know what to do. And I feel like time’s running out.”

    “What do you want to do?” She turned slightly to face him, fingers hooking a lock of slowly drying hair behind her ear and met his eyes. Both of them looking like they wanted to say so much and neither being sure of how to start. “About the house, I mean.” She smiled shyly.

    “It’s a big house,” Callum was surprised how quiet his voice had gotten and yet it felt like he was shouting again, the words echoing around in his head. “Too big to really live in on my own.”

    “So, don’t live in it alone.”

    “You mean…?” Callum was trying to look into her eyes but it was getting harder not to keep glancing down towards her mouth. He could feel his heart picking up the pace ever so slightly too.

    “The lodge idea, remember? Have paying guests stay there. You won’t be alone then.” Maggie replied smoothly although the disappointment that flashed across his face made it hard to sound excited about what she was saying.

    “Oh. Oh right.” His smile was shallow when it came, his eyes no longer meeting hers. “Of course.”

    “And in the ‘off’ season?” Maggie dropped her gaze to her lap. “You’ll always have me there, if nothing else.”

    “I will?” Callum asked softly.

    “Of course,” She looked back up and smiled. “I’ll always be around.”

    “I don’t honestly think I could do it without you.” He admitted with far more honesty than he was expecting.

    “I’m sure you couldn’t.” Maggie tried to laugh but she couldn’t, not about that.

    “I wouldn’t want to. I need you.”

    “Well, even if I wasn’t around, I’m sure there are plenty of other housekeepers just as good as-” Maggie shrugged emphatically, trying to find the words to change the focus slightly. Having him talk about her, about needing her, it was almost too much.

    “That’s not what I mean.” Callum caught her flailing hand with his, making her meet his eyes and for a moment everything went quiet. “And you know it.”

  9. Elisa Beatty says:

    This is so fun!!

    Thanks to everyone who’s shared so far!!

    Keep ’em coming!!

  10. Kate Parker says:

    I read them all and loved them. Everyone is going to have to tell us when they publish these stories they’ve given us a taste of so we can read the rest!

  11. Darynda Jones says:

    OMG these excerpts are so fantastic!!! Way to go everyone, for both the writing and the sharing of the writing. There is some fantastic stuff here. It’s so exciting.

  12. Awesome job, ladies. Really. And Kudos for having the gumption to post them. Loved them all.

    We have a lot of writers participating this year. I hope more of them will post.

  13. Hywela Lyn says:

    This is an excerpt from my current WIP – a ghost story set in Wales, with two separate story lines, one in the distant past and one in the present day.

    “Run, Seren run.” Leaning low over the pony’s neck the girl urged her into a mile eating gallop, the mare’s hooves scarcely touching the ground as she seemed to fly across the rolling landscape.

    Rhiannon cast one last swift look over her shoulder at the cottage, rapidly receding into the distance. It shrank into the shadows, appearing forlorn in the soft moonlight, almost as if it knew she would never return.

    “Oh Sion,” she whispered silently. “Sion, where are you when I need you?” Her father’s words rang in her head and a shudder ran through her which had nothing to do with the chill night air.

    “Gwynfor Pryce will be here in three days’ time. We have already agreed on the marriage settlement and the wedding is arranged for a week today. There will be no more argument.”

    No, she would not marry a man she hated, a man who was rumoured to be a master of the dark arts. “Faster, Seren, faster,” she whispered, clutching her hand to her breast to feel the reassuring bulk of the kerchief, holding the only wealth she possessed.

    The pony stretched her neck and increased her speed even more, so that it seemed her feet never even touched the dark earth. The silver bells on the girdle at Rhiannon’s waist jingled furiously, their tiny, melodic tones in rhythm with the pounding of the pony’s hooves

  14. Lille says:

    Wow! Runaway bride on the loose….I felt myself flying with the pace of this scene. It makes me want to read more.

  15. From a PNR short I’m working, where two VERY different hunters are forced to pair up on a rural job. 🙂

    “Camping?” Rachel’s voice was ominous, some of the creepy Selkie voice magic filtering in and visibly darkening the atmosphere in the car.

    “We have to find the wisp first. The hikers all disappeared from the same general site, but that’s still a crap load of acreage to cover.” I pulled into the furthest parking slot and hopped out, stretching for the sky and loosening stiff muscles.

    The pissed Selkie mouthed something that involved my ancestry and farm animals, glowering through the closed window and not moving from the comfort of the truck.

    “You say the nicest things.” I opened the hatch, transferring items into backpacks, and dropped one to the dirt outside her door. “Saddle up or go hitch a ride out.”

    Her fair skin colored, eyes going swamp-gas green around the edges.

    “You can sit your ass in the truck for three days, ‘cause I’ve got the keys and newer trucks are almost impossible to hot wire, and you still won’t have fulfilled your oath. Alternately, you can risk getting Georgia clay on your lovely shirt, discharge your obligation, and get to kill something in a thoroughly gruesome and satisfyingly horrific manner.” I buckled my pack, pulled out the map and compass, and ducked into the soft shade of the trail.

    A metal door thumped forcefully, accompanied by swearing in Scottish Gaelic. Rachel appeared beside me, heavy pack dangling from one shoulder.

    • Paula Huffman says:

      Love this voice!

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      LOL! I always adore your work. Great humor and sass…and of course promising tension under the surface!!

      Love the “Alternately, you can risk getting Georgia clay on your lovely shirt, discharge your obligation, and get to kill something in a thoroughly gruesome and satisfyingly horrific manner” line!

  16. Cynthia Huscroft says:

    Love the “static electricity”…!!

  17. Stephanie Baassler says:

    Hope Harrison didn’t consider herself an idiot, but she was starting to rethink how highly she thought of herself. Who else but an idiot would choose one of the busiest travel days of the entire year to run away from home? Maybe she could lay the blame at the feet of her parents. It was their fault she was running away after all. Three days in on semester break from NYU and her parents had found something to fight about. Every. Single. Day. Yesterday, they pushed her over the metaphorical edge by bringing her twin into it.

  18. Paula Huffman says:

    This scene is from a sprint a couple of days ago. Griffin is the lead singer for an up-and-coming rock band and Shannon, the POV character, is a backing vocalist who’s filling in temporarily with his group while they’re on tour. She’s also a huge fan, but doesn’t want him to know. They’ve slipped out together for an adventure.

    His fingers close around mine—oh, yes, oh yes—and we hurry toward the street. Seconds later, we’re running up a set of stairs, along a path, under the dark canopy of high oak trees and he’s still holding on.

    When we stop between two tall buildings, Griffin takes a deep breath that ends in a laugh. “Think we’re safe?”

    I look back. “Nobody’s following us.”

    “Good. We’re free.” He glances at our hands. “I guess I should let you go now.”

    “I guess so.”

    “Okay.” He releases me. “But I should warn you, we might have to do it again.”

    “And I might let you,” I say, “if you ask nicely.”

    “I’ll remember that.” His gaze lingers on me almost long enough to get my hopes up until he says, “let’s go.”

    Griffin walks fast and sure. Maybe he google mapped the campus earlier, but he’s not looking at his phone now. “Do you know where we’re going?”

    “No. But if you act like you do, no one will stop you. They assume you belong, and they’ll ignore you. Like you’re not there. Why? Do you care where we’re going?”

    Apparently it’s an art, blending in with regular humans. But he could never fool me. I’d know him even here, in the dark, in a place where he should be a stranger. I’ve studied him since I was fourteen. No matter how hard he tries, he’ll never be a stranger to me. “No.”

    “Good. I don’t either.”

    After a few minutes, we stop in a grassy area. At the center is a huge grey monument, a giant crystal in granite, pointing to the sky. “Okay. I give up,” Griffin says. “What’s that?”

    “The bell tower, I think. Most universities have one.”

    Griffin walks forward, hands in the pockets of his jeans, looking up. “I guess I’ve never really been on a college campus before. Except when we’ve played there. And that’s… it’s not the same. You show up, you do some songs and you leave. It’s not like…” He shrugs. “Going to school there. Or taking a tour. I’d like to do that. Just once.”

    “I’ve taken a lot of them in the last year or so,” I say. “It gets old after a while. You walk around with a perky little tour guide who only shows you what they want you to see.”

    Griffin’s attention is locked on the tower. “Everybody shows you what they want you to see.”

    “Even you?”

    “Especially me.”

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Oh my goodness, I just love all of this! Such a sense of intimacy, and the rock star’s personality comes through in such an interesting way!

      I love the whole rhythm and feel of this: “Apparently it’s an art, blending in with regular humans. But he could never fool me. I’d know him even here, in the dark, in a place where he should be a stranger. I’ve studied him since I was fourteen. No matter how hard he tries, he’ll never be a stranger to me.”

      And those last few lines? Wondeful!!!!

      • Paula Huffman says:

        Thank you, Elisa! This story started as pure fun, my “fake fan fiction about a fictional band that’s a fake.” I like to think it’s grown into something more… but it’s also become more of a challenge. I appreciate your support and encouragement!

        • Elisa Beatty says:

          Hey, lots of people have started with “just for fun” fan-fiction-y stories, and then ended up with bestsellers!!! Use that fun energy and run with it!!!

    • Hywela Lyn says:

      Lovedthis, Ilove the line about ‘fitting in like regular humans’ that makes the whole excerpt so intriguing, and I would love to read more!

    • Hywela Lyn says:

      Lovedthis, Ilove the line about ‘fitting in like regular humans’ that makes the whole excerpt so intriguing, and I just want to read more!

      • Paula Huffman says:

        Thank you, Hywela! This has been a fun story to write–all I have to do is channel my inner fangirl and let her talk! Horses and rock & roll have been my two constant passions since childhood, so your story touches on my other love. A stud farm is a wonderful setting! So many hopes and dreams there. I look forward to reading yours when it’s published!

  19. June Love says:

    These are some awesome “snippets” from some obviously talented writers. I loved them! Thank you for sharing and for being courageous enough to allow to post.

  20. Elisa Beatty says:

    Thanks, all!!

    What a fun and inspiring day!!

    We’ll do Share a Snippet Round Two shortly before the end of the Festival. I’m eager to see more!!


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