Blog Hop: 7/7/7 Challenge

Blog HopBack in May, Myk Pilgrim tagged me in a Facebook chain post, challenging me to post 7 lines from the 7th line at page 7 of my WIP. I promptly did so, and after tagging a bunch of my writing friends, I enjoyed having a sneak peak into what they were working on (and I do hope I get to read their finished pieces!). Then I forgot about the challenge, though I still saw the post and tags circulating along my Facebook acquaintances. I didn’t know the challenge moved to blogs (or maybe this was where it originated?) and last week Sara Letourneau tagged me on her blog, bringing the challenge back to me.

Since not all of you are friends with me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter, I thought I’d share the excerpt from the original challenge first: I treated the 7/7 rule quite freely to ensure the fragment had enough context to be fun, but for the new one I promise to stick to the rule. Just one thing, before you proceed: these are from the novels I’m working on, which means both pieces are unedited, and by no means should be treated as polished, perfect texts. On the bright side: my writing doesn’t get much worse than what you’ll see below.

The excerpt I posted in May came from fantasy novel “By His Will” I’ve finished in June, and featured two main characters, Kamira and Veelk, getting in trouble (as usual).


The second piece I have is from that novel I’m not writing, “Spirit’s Anchor”. As I mentioned before, the first scene I’ve written was supposed to be just an exercise helping me to get over the writer’s block and back then I never thought it would take a turn toward a novel. In fact, I didn’t expect it to take any turns, and I wrote the scene in present tense (which later gets changed, but as I’m nowhere near editing stage yet, I didn’t go about fixing the beginning yet).

If you’ve read my previous post on the “Spirit’s Anchor”, you already know that the main character, spirit speaker Mayven takes part in a summoning that goes wrong and to avert the inevitable tragedy, she strikes a deal with a spirit she has summoned. Below you can have a peek on what happens in the scene. It’s quite long, because I happened to write lengthy sentences.


I hope you enjoyed those fragments. Which one do you like more? Which one makes you think you’d like to read a book?

I work hard on both of the novels so that one day in the future I can present you not the unedited scraps of my words, but fully fleshed and polished stories.

As for the challenge, I won’t be tagging anyone this time around, since I’ve already tagged a bunch of people for the Dragon Loyalty Award, but if any of them want to join this blog hop as well, they can feel tagged!

Joanna Maciejewska

Joanna Maciejewska is a fantasy and science fiction author who enjoys all things SFF: books, movies, and video games. Her short stories appeared in magazines and anthologies in Polish and in English. Her epic fantasy adventure series, starting with By the Pact, is available in ebook and paperback at all major retailers.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. sjhigbee

    Hi Joanne, I really enjoyed reading both of these extracts. Your writing is sharp and polished, but I do prefer the first extract. The dialogue is punchy, enjoyable and helps the reader get a strong sense of what is happening within an action scene. Nicely done.
    The second scene, though well written, is more in tell mode – which doesn’t mean that it’s bad, but it makes it a little more tricky to really bond with the character in quite the same way. Does that help? And I’d like to read both books…

    1. melfka

      Thank you for your comment, Sarah!
      I like the first one better too, but to be fair, I’ve written it as a part of a thoroughly plotted novel, while the other one was more of “I’ll just write _something_” and it grew into a novel. And I’m painfully conscious the whole novel will require a lot of work before it passes even my standards.
      Still, it makes me smile when people react positively to the fragment from “By His Will”, because that little bit shows how the two main characters relate – and it makes me think they will like the characters and find their adventures enjoyable. Great motivation for me to keep working on it. 🙂

  2. Sara L.

    Very nice, Joanna! I also liked the first excerpt more. There’s a sense of impending danger there, and the dialogue flows smoothly.

    1. melfka

      Thank you, Sara! (also, thank you for tagging me 🙂 )

  3. anachronist

    I am with Sara here – I liked the first one more. It was more intriguing and more polished. Apart from that I often have issues with the present tense narration.

    1. melfka

      I’m glad you like the first one better, because this is the novel you’ve agreed to beta-read for me 😛 (and this time is coming! 😉 ).
      As for the present tense, I know what you mean. When I wrote it just as an unrelated scene, it was fine, but when it started to grow, my first thought was “Hell no, I’m not writing a whole novel in the present tense.” I just didn’t go about fixing the initial pages yet or I’d drown in the edits instead of writing.

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