777 Challenge: An Excerpt About Naughty Schoolgirls

Leigh W. Smith of Leigh’s Wordsmithery very kindly tagged me for the 777 challenge back in mid-October (shame-faced at my slowness to respond). Leigh is such a cool writer of most original voice and style. She writes speculative fiction and science fiction, mostly short stories, although she is working on her first novel. Do visit her blog and read some of her awesome creations.

The 777 challenge requires you go to Page 7 of your work-in-progress, scroll down to Line 7 and share the next 7 lines in a blog post. Once you have done this, you can tag 7 other bloggers to do the same with their work-in-progress. This is all a bit of fun: nobody must feel beholden to take part and they are free to bend the rules if they wish.

SarahWritingI’ve already done a similar challenge (Lucky Sevens) twice before, for my Speculative fiction novel that I’m busy submitting to literary agents and publishers just now. What I found interesting about this earlier exercise was that my 7 lines changed from the first draft to the last. For anyone who’s interested, you will find the two different versions in these posts —  Lucky Seven Time! and The Magnum Opus: Where Did that Year Go?  Also, the title has changed several times, with it ending up as Counting Magpies, partly thanks to my fellow bloggers’ input in a recent poll.

At the moment, my work-in-progress involves editing and formatting one of my older novels, possibly with self-publication in mind. It’s not a path I ever envisaged going down but no harm in exploring all avenues. This particular novel, Desiccation, is set in a posh girls boarding school in the 60s and is a darkly comic science fantasy, which I envisage as being suitable for older teenagers upwards. So here’s my extract, although I can’t guarantee that it will appear exactly on Page 7 by the time I’ve finished my edit.

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The head girl despaired at both the skag and the hog, but she could just about tolerate them as long as they didn’t start quibbling about her extortionate commission; not that she was optimistic about making a fortune with such shoddy specimens in her employ.

The sport-mad Skag Rag looked more like a boy than a girl with her flat chest, muscly limbs, and short-cropped hair, while Sweat Hog resembled a large pink blancmange. She could have made something of her white-blonde hair, but instead chose to wear it in a limp ponytail, adding to her general air of neglect. The plus side of both girls’ unattractiveness was their desperation for male attention of any kind.

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And while I’m on the subject of girls boarding school, I’d like to share a picture of me, aged 8, dressed as a St Trinian’s Girl for a fancy dress competition! St Trinians Girl

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Following that brief interlude, here are the 6 (not 7) people I’m tagging for the 777 Challenge (I hear their feet running off into the distance already!):

Blondeusk of Blondewritemore , who is writing her first novel and was my guest storyteller in August (Note: this tagging is strictly under the proviso that Blondeusk doesn’t take up the challenge until December, after she has surfaced from NaNoWriMo as I’m encouraging her not to read back over any of her novel-in-progress until she has typed THE END).

Sherri of A View From My Summerhouse, who’s writing her memoirs. (And shush, this is secret as Sherri doesn’t know it yet, but I’m shortly going to invite her along as a guest storyteller to my blog).

Dave of Dave Farmer’s Blog, whose fantastic zombie novel The Range is due for publication at the end of this month (watch out for the Publication Day special on my blog). Dave was my guest storyteller in June.

Andrea Stephenson of Harvesting Hecate, who is at the submission stage of her poignant novel The skin of a selkie and was my guest storyteller in October.

Ese Klava of Ese’s Voice, who has travelled the world and has written a book titled Butterfly Thy Name.

David Milligan-Croft of There Is No Cavalry, who, like me, doesn’t enjoy the restrictions of genre. I’m not sure where he is with his second novel, Peripheral Vision, re editing, but I’m hopeful he’ll take up the 777 challenge.  The story is about a boy growing up in the 1970s northern England, who descends into crime and whose only chance at redemption is in finding his long-lost childhood sweetheart.