Writers in the Storm

A blog about writing

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November 4, 2019

Share Your Favorite Line at WITS!

We've all been working hard on writing goals, NaNoWriMo and butt-in-chair. Let's reward ourselves with some FUN!

Share a favorite  sentence or paragraph of your current WIP (work-in-progress) or even one from someone else in the comments. Be sure to include the title and genre with your paragraph.

Feel free comment on others' as well!

We'll get you started...


Jack Schmidt clenched his hands at his sides and glared at his father. The man, aged beyond his years, sat collapsed on his chair, staring at his fragile wife through a whiskey fog. As his once-spirited mother fell deeper into her illness, his father slipped farther into his liquor bottle, barely acknowledging the existence of his three children.

-- Untitled YA Historical Fiction, set in 1905 (Wausau, WI to LA's Bunker Hill).
[For all of Ellen's books, including her middle-grade Charlie Chameleon series, visit http://ellenbuikema.com]


Fear stalked through my childhood, a rabid dog that refused to be put down. As the child of a retired military officer, who cuddled his glittery narcissism beneath a shadowy cape of PTSD, I grew used to navigating a world filled with fear.

-- The Six-Percent Baby, unpublished memoir


Rachel looked past me, and a pained expression flashed across her face.

I turned to see Cade Wilson, another baseball player and long-time friend of Wes and Hunter, staring into my window. "Speaking of idiots..." Pushing open the door forced Cade out of my way.

"Hey"—he jumped back—"you could have injured my jewels."

I smirked. "Fake jewelry ain't worth much."

Sharing Hunter (Click here to pre-order!)

Laura Drake stopped by too!

Most days, I feel like a human Golden Retriever: loving, loyal, dependable. But in my experience, humans with those traits tend to go unnoticed. The dogs, on the other hand, people find adorable.

Cowboy for Keeps (Click here to pre-order!)

She’s probably headed for a convention on, ‘Saving the Universe Through Toe Massage’ or something.” My grandmother was New-Age before it was new, trying every religion, every weird philosophy out there. Hampering her enlightenment is the fact that she has the intellectual depth of a kiddie pool, and the attention span of a caffeinated gnat.

The Road to Me, unpublished Women's Fiction

We can't wait to see your favorite lines! Please share them down in the comments.

51 comments on “Share Your Favorite Line at WITS!”

  1. "He considered himself a pillar of the rural community between two rivers that might have five hundred people living there. A big fish with half the little fish in the pond not caring what he and his farm did down that long dirt road. Mini-Hawk, he called his enterprise, and the only person who considered St. Clair Simmons a badass was St. Clair." ~C. Hope Clark, from an untitled WIP in The Carolina Slade mystery series

    1. That paragraph shares so much in a compelling way! Good for you. And LOL on the ending: .."the only person who considered St. Clair Simmons a badass was St. Clair."

  2. Tainted Love by Soft Cell hummed in the background. The bar was lit, frustratingly so. Bars should be dark, no one wants flashlights on their indiscretions. The stool below me was the color of the tin man, dented and cold. But there it was- that indescribable de ja vu sensation spreading up my spine and clenching onto my brain stem, seeking life. I have history here.

    "Her Captive Mind" /Unfinished manuscript/suspense

  3. Always Magnolia stood before her, perched on a rugged Louisiana hillside, its presence there as natural as the huge magnolia trees guarding it, naming it. The structure pulsed with living energy and drew all the light of the rapidly sinking sun. Cindi swung the steering wheel, following the curve of the driveway and came to a stop before the closed doors of a double garage.

    “Wish I had the password to open these,” she grumbled, a prickly, uneasy feeling flooding her while she opened the car door and left behind the cloistered safety there.

    My present WIP, an updated passage from a book once published by Amber Quill and my rights were returned.

    1. This is lovely, especially this line: "The structure pulsed with living energy and drew all the light of the rapidly sinking sun."

      Thank you for sharing it!

  4. Thank you for this opportunity to share some lines from my recent release The Scrooge of Loon Lake. It's a November Harlequin Special Edition. This is an exchange between the scrooge-like hero and the heroine.

    “Contrary to the popular consensus, I believe you have a lot buried under all that grumpiness, including a sense of humor.” She squeezed his arm before letting her hand drop.

    As reason returned and he became capable of speech once again, he lifted a finger and wagged it. “See? That’s where you’d be wrong. I’m grumpy on the outside, morose and malcontented on the inside. Unlike you, I don’t do optimism.”

    “Oh my, you say optimism like it’s a communicable disease.”

  5. All this post did was make me see how few good lines I have in the WIP! But that's what second drafts are for, right?

    This is one of the few that might have potential so far.
    Untitled mystery.

    Gordon opened the file folder. Laurie had fit two pages on each sheet, and he leafed through them. Names, addresses and phone numbers. Some had birthdays, some were starred—Gordon would ask Millie what those meant, but he was sure it wasn’t "Might have a motive for killing Nate."

  6. Jenny, your timing on this couldn't have been more perfect. I just finished the rewrites on Cold Karma, the third James McCarthy novel, last night. Here's a little teaser from chapter 3:

    The deputy didn’t speak, and only gave a single nod. They spent the rest of the walk in silence. At the bottom of the hill Nestor turned and headed a few houses up the street before stopping. He opened the gate in the low chain link fence and waved James toward the front porch. As they stepped through the gate a loud bark burst through the screen door, followed by a bounding mass of white fur, teeth and tongue. James froze in place as the massive canine closed in on him.

  7. First line; “I am so sorry,” my sister keeps repeating after she tells me the bad news. "I am so sorry," she repeats. We have always argued about who gets to die first. Neither of us wants to be the one who is left.

  8. Love seeing what others are doing. Here's mine from my Gilded Age WIP, as yet untitled.

    It must be said. Scandal follows the members of my family like an unwanted but ever faithful hound. No matter how often or how hard we kick it away, it comes slinking around to insinuate itself into our lives time after time.

  9. "Do I really have a have a husband?" Lucy stepped inside the room that had a hospital bed made up with clean sheets and a bathroom.
    Roy stood outside the door. "You do." He pressed a tiny metal angel, still warm from his hand into her palm. "Take care. I'm off duty and won't see you again." He closed the door and was gone. WIP Women's Fiction Woven in Twilight

  10. “What is this? Stupid bitch, you know I hate pickles!”
    “Then don’t eat them.” And we are off; it takes so little to start an argument in this house of lies. He crawled in well after sunrise and even after all of these years, I still worry. Never am I able to completely rest, not sure if he has found a better bed or if the road and alcohol have claimed him. But the real fuel to his fire is that I know where he was at all night.

    from my first book, Old Baggage: It's never too late for a new beginning.

  11. Opening line:
    Vivian Sheridan was born during an earthquake and had been shaking things up ever since. But a tremor of a another sort was about to jolt and jerk her world. And it all started with a long-hidden book of secrets…that was no longer hidden.

    Fun line:
    He'd bellied up to the bad-decision buffet one too many times.

  12. Thanks for the opportunity! Here's the opening line from my memoir ms (completed but not yet agented.)

    "I would come to think of eye-rolling as the beginning of the end of the old Matthew, who was eight."

  13. "If the whole being a lord of the realm thing doesn't work out for you, you can always rest in the knowledge that you could be a barber."

  14. October 31, 1968

    "Am I going to die?"

    "Yes." The teenage girl was sprawled on her back in the middle of a weed-choked field on the western edge of the Cal State Long Beach campus. Half of her face was obscured by blood, black in the moonlight. The slightly overweight man in the sharkskin suit watched curiously while her hands scrabbled in the dirt as she tried to sit up.

    He bent down and gently put his fingertips on her shoulder, pushed her back, looked down at her and smiled. "You're going to die, but not for a long, long time. My apologies, young lady, I sometimes have a sense of humor that others find difficult. You're bleeding from a scalp wound and they -- "

    "Always bleed a lot. Yeah."

    -- from Buzzkill, a novella set in the '60's at Cal State Long Beach

    Thanks for the opportunity!

  15. This is from a submission for a special project, so I'm not giving the title, but I write in romance:

    A knock on her car window jolted her back to reality as she was taking more calming breaths. Tony. What more could he want? Hadn’t he and her cousin said enough. Putting her key in the ignition to turn on the car’s accessory mode and roll it down was harder than it should be as her arms were still shaking. “What do you want?” Bella had almost barked it at him, her voice sounding coarse from the asthma attack brought on by the panic attack and allergic reaction. It was even a mouthful for her.


  16. Every time it seemed she was getting past Kaden’s walls, he constructed a new one. It was clear Dakota needed to erect a fortress of her own. Because today, for a brief moment, she’d caught a glimpse of a man she could easily fall for… one who could build her hopes and dreams and then bulldoze them to the ground. She wasn’t sure her heart could survive a demolition at his hands.

    Point Break (contemporary sweet romance) - Work in Progress

    1. I always enjoy a sweet romance, it's one of the draws I have towards YA. Your wording around buildings and construction works on many levels and I could see this built into the story.

      1. Thanks! YA is my first love, and I two YA novels currently taking a hiatus 😉 And yes, this would be brilliant if the guy (or gal) was in the construction industry, but for some reason I put in my surfer-injured-physical-therapist-saves-him-in-more-ways-than-one romance. *sigh*

  17. “GO!” the old chef shouted, begging him to leave. The man wore work boots caked in mud, and a dusty aviator cap with flaps floating above his ruddy curls. He pulled a stool screeching across the linoleum and straddled it. Bouncing nervously, he didn’t intend to leave without the information. He dropped his metal-rimmed goggles to his neck, dirt coating his face around the clean eyes that brimmed with more questions than answers.

    ~A scene snippet from my #scifi #dystopian #YA novella IMPACT

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