Some friends of mine recently tagged me in the 7/7/7 challenge (you go to page 7 of your current manuscript, post 7 lines from it, and tag 7 friends to do the same) and it got me thinking about how important it is to share your work with others. This may be totally obvious, but I think sometimes we underestimating the power of sharing your work with others. Not only is it cool to have work that you are proud enough to share with others in the first place and feedback is a great bonus, but it also keeps up your excitement about what you are working on and makes you rethink what of your work you are sharing and how you are sharing it with others.
Personally, I am not a huge fan of sharing a ton of work with others other than my critique group who are great givers of feedback and critique during all stages of the writing process, but sometimes it's nice to just share snippets of your current work in progress with a wider audience. After all, writing is something we all pour our heart and soul into and sometimes it's just fun to share a tiny piece of that, just to get the word out there, but also to show your work to those whose usual response to "I'm a writer!" would be a smile and a nod.
I think it was Lisa Mangum who mentioned at a local writing conference how she used to practice pitching her book to random people at Costco on a Saturday. In a way, this is just that. (Okay, maybe a little less up in the business of unsuspecting Costco-shoppers, but you get the idea.) In the end, the more you talk about your work, the easier it gets and the better you get at doing so until it becomes but second nature. And isn't that what we all are aiming for when we talk to industry professionals and try to act normal when in reality we're about to totally and positively implode with all the nerve jitters?
So, let's do that, okay? Tell me what you're working on! Post 7 lines from page 7 of your manuscript in the comments or link it from your blog if you feel so inclined. If not, talk about your work with a random stranger today. If nothing else, it's excellent pitch practice and makes talking to others about your book a little less scary.
Here are my seven lines from both my WIP and the MS I am currently querying:
“Adam?” Ollie barely caught him as he fell backward, his body nearly slipping through scrambling fingers. She blinked. The fog cleared, but lingered in the corner of her eye. It smudged the edges of her sight, conjuring shadows where a second glance revealed nothing but empty stillness. Her partner’s blood was shockingly red against her hands, her gun a dead gleam in the dark. “Adam?” It was Ollie’s voice, not her hands that shook. “What happened?”
EMPIRE OF LIGHT:
“I’m fine,” he said again, lips curved in the beginning of a smile, but his eyes weren’t with it. At least they’d turned back to their usual bright cat-green. Definitely a step up from his creepy-ass Voyant eyes. “Liked my escape plan?” “Escape plan. That what you call this?” I waved at the giant hole in the wall along with the mess of jagged glass and bricks around us. Aris shrugged. “I guess it might need a little refining as far as accuracy is concerned.” “No shit.” “Well, it worked.”