5 Minute Friday - Jump

Five Minute Friday I was checking my email this morning and saw that a friend had posted a Five Minute Friday piece. I had forgotten about Lisa-Jo Baker's Five Minute Friday exercise. Lisa-Jo (AKA The Gypsy Mama) posts a writing prompt each Friday. You set a timer for 5 minutes and write away. Just putting down thoughts on paper (or computer screen). You just let the thoughts flow freely from your mind to your fingertips. It's fun to see where a prompt will take you.  I popped over to Lisa-Jo's blog and saw that today's prompt was jump. Here's what happened in my 5 minutes of free-flow writing...

Hello, my name is Jan and I'm a jumper.

I sometimes feel the uncontrollable urge to jump into the middle of things I have no business being involved in...like the conversation of two friends, the project that is assigned to someone else, a new hobby that requires buying all new supplies, another book when I'm in the middle of two others.

Yes, I'm a jumper, but it isn't all bad. Every morning I open my eyes and jump out of bed. I jump to get a hot cup of coffee, jump into my favorite chair by the window and jump into God's Word. Soon my heart is jumping for joy, so I jump into prayer and praise.

This routine allows me to jump on into the rest of my day, knowing that no matter what difficulty I may face today, God will jump right in and help me.

I'll admit it...I'm a jumper

(I never realized how funny the words jump/jumper sounds until you say them over and over again...jump, jump, jump, jumper! Go ahead, try it.

It even looks funny in print. Jump makes me smile.)

Why not jump over to Lisa-Jo's blog and check out 5 Minute Fridays.

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She had me at "old biddies"

Just picked up Karen Kingsbury's book, A Moment of Weakness, opened to Chapter 1 and read the first sentence...
"The old biddies sat in a circle, their tightly knotted heads turning this way and that like vultures eyeing a kill."
 ...and I was hooked!

As a writer, I no longer read novels the way I used to. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. Good because I learn a lot from analyzing how great writers work their magic, bad because it often gets in the way of a good story.  But noticing what a killer first sentence this was did not interfere with me plowing ahead to see what came next...like I said, I was hooked. 

Karen Kingsbury painted a word picture that clearly portrayed what was happening in this scene. I want to do that. I want to hook readers from the very first sentence, so I thought I'd do a search for "first sentences that hook the reader." The first link that came up was a post on Suzannah Windsor Freeman's site, Write it Sideways -

6 Ways to Hook Your Readers from the Very First Line

 Before I could read the post, however, a window popped up offering me a free ebook called Read Better, Write Better Novel Study Workbook for Aspiring Novelists if I signed up for Suzannah's monthly newsletter, Write It Sideways Resource Wrap-Up. I did.

I've said it before and I'll say it again...writers are the most generous group of folks I know. They're not just willing to share what they know, they're eager to share.

I just received the free ebook and it's printing as we speak. The first page suggests that you...

Choose a novel similar in genre, style, or theme to the one you'd like to write,
then print of a copy of the Read Better, Write Better Novel Study Template.
As you read the novel, fill out the template...
I'm going to do this as I read through A Moment of Weakness to see what I can learn. Thought some of you might want to check out this great resource, hence my post.

Happy Writing!

*Suzannah Windsor Freeman is the founding editor of Write It Sideways, and author of The Busy Mom's Guide to Writing. Her short fiction and poetry have appeared in Grist, Sou'wester, Anderbo, Saw Palm, Best of the Sand Hill Review, and more. 

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