In case you didn't know, it's that time of year... time for Nathan Bransford's 3rd Sort-of-Annual Stupendously Ultimate First Paragraph Challenge, in which you and now 1,171 others pit your first paragraph against each other for a battle of words royale! The prize? Glory, glorious glory! And a partial critique by Nathan Bransford (among other things). He's tweeting about it, in case you're a twit, and yes, I entered. Here's the first paragraph to my wip, as edited as I could make it with only my own brain to rely on:
Julia had two options: a dress with sleeves like something out of an eighties bridesmaid catalog, or the sexy, strapless dress she fell in love with before being marked by magic. The mark, very tatooish on her upper-arm, could lead to some less-than-special junior prom memories. Getting chewed out in front of her almost-boyfriend and the inevitable Disappointed in You speech were definite possibilities. Maybe she could keep it covered with her hand, just until Mom took the requisite pre-prom pictures? She wrapped her fingers around her arm, smothering the symbol that was currently slick and gritty with sunblock and sand. She checked out crystal figurines and beaded jewelry, casually one-armed on the Venice Beach boardwalk, just a girl who liked her own half-hug. Meanwhile a third option whispered through her mind: telling Mom the truth. The symbol appeared by itself. Because she was one of three girls alive who could join together like Justice Friends for some secret, as yet undisclosed reason. Yeah. That was the ticket to having her room ransacked and weeks of “talks” about saying no to drugs. She’d be rocking the bridesmaid dress before she did that.
Has anyone else tried to read through each and every entry? I admire agents now more than ever. My eyes were swimming before I got through the first two hundred. Nathan (may I call him Nathan? Sigh) has put up an update in case you haven't checked his site recently. Find it HERE.
And now, because I'm in need of a little food, I leave you with a game: Comment with your prediction of how many entries Nathan will receive by the Thursday deadline, without going over. The winner gets to wear my ermine cloak and carry my jewel-encrusted scepter for the whole of one day. Good luck!!!!!