Thursday, October 15, 2009

Work Sample: Paragraph

Nathan Bransford, a literary agent with Curtis Brown Ltd., is having a contest.  You can read all about it here, but basically it's a contest in which writers post a comment on his blog with an opening paragraph for a story that they're working on.  The contest closes this afternoon.

This contest happened with perfect timing for me!  I've had an idea for a while now about a totally different story than the one I'm working on.  Different genre, different tone, different everything!  And I came up with it because the first line sort of popped itself into my head one day... It was present in the back of my mind for a while, and one night before falling asleep, I thought of the first paragraph.  No more than two weeks later - Nathan's contest starts!

So I typed up what I'd been storing in my head, edited it and entered it in the contest.  I took a night off from Project Jane to work on this, and I'm not going to lie - I had a really fantastic time!  Don't get me wrong - I'm having a blast with PJ, but sometimes a little break will do wonders.  I woke up the next morning with full steam for Jane.

Anyway, here it is - here's the paragraph I entered:

         Spencer Irwin had an unfortunate nose. “You think it’s bad from the front,” he’d once overheard someone say, “but from the side, man, it looks like a God damn ski slope.” Laughter ensued. So rang the tune of Spencer’s life. Snubbed by his peers, ignored at work, spurned by women; Spencer knew, without a doubt, his nose was to blame for his adversities. Truth be told, the ski slope comparison was a mild, almost kind, description. His nose began as a ridge protruding unevenly between his brows. It fell past his eyes in a sharp, 30 degree angle and ended right above his thin, always tightly pressed lips. The skin along its bridge puckered into a crooked, ashen wrinkle; one black coarse hair spouted from the center of its fold. When Spencer crinkled his nose in disdain, a somewhat frequent habit, the hair quivered and twisted; it danced to an awkward, inharmonious rhythm. He plucked the hair every week with expensive, stainless steel tweezers. And every week it grew again, a weed determined to flourish in an otherwise rotted garden.

Will it win?  Doubtful!  There are literally thousands of participants - sure to be some great talent.  But it's still fun nonetheless :)

*To give you an idea of how many people have entered - I posted my paragraph last night around 10:30; I was poster #2,134. And today, as of 1:00 pm, the participant number has risen to 2,394. That's a heck of a lot of participants!! So fun :)

♥ me


  1. Love love love it!!

    Good luck Sara. Crossing fingers and toes for you :)

  2. Aw, thanks so much! I definitely had so much fun writing it :)

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Yay! I love when you have things to add :)