Clarissa Johal: The Author Look Challenge

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Author Look Challenge

The Look Challenge is this: find the word look in your latest work in progress and post the neighboring paragraphs. Then, go tag five authors to do the same. Easy-peasy.

My fellow authors who started this:

Sharon Ledwith, author of The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis

and  Sloane Taylor  author of Claire De Lune, Masquerade and Czech Mate

(trouble makers, both of them) will be immortalized in my next novel and subjected to a million different tortures for throwing this Challenge my way.

Struck, my latest paranormal horror novel work-in-progress, had 222 occurrences of the word look when I ran a check.
Curses, Batman.
And back to edits to see if all 222 of them stay. 
So, which paragraphs to choose, which to choose...?

Here's a synopsis (also a work in progress) and paragraphs/excerpt from my paranormal horror titled, Struck
You are the only ones allowed to peek as I just finished the first draft--so no telling anyone you saw it. 
Or I may have to set my minions on you.


After a painful breakup, Gwynneth Reese moves in with her best friend who gets her a job at a retirement home. One evening, she learns that one of the residents has died and goes to the funeral home to pay her last respects. On the way home, Gwynneth is caught in a thunderstorm and is struck by lightning. She wakes in the hospital with a vague memory of being rescued by a mysterious stranger. Following her release from the hospital, Gwynneth is visited by the stranger who seems to appear at will. He shares with her that he has a gift to bestow. At first, Julian seems to be offering a true gift, one that will stay the hands of death. But the gift comes with an exchange that Gwynneth is unsure of, something she can't define. As time progresses, Julian’s price for his gift becomes more demanding. Is he all he claims to be or is there something more sinister to his motives?


“I really appreciate this.” I shut the door hastily and hurried along behind him. “I didn’t really know her family. I wouldn’t feel comfortable inviting myself to the funeral.” Liar, my brain scolded. I knew them. They had visited Mrs. Engel twice and that was all I needed to see. “I just wanted to…” I stopped, catching my breath, “say good-bye, I guess.”

“Yep, got it,” he dismissed my ramblings. “Poppy’s finishing up her make-up for tomorrow. All the way down the stairs. Last door on the left.” 

He gestured with a neatly manicured hand toward the general direction of a door which I presumed led to the basement or cellar...or wherever the dead bodies were stored for safe-keeping. So nice, Gwen. Just keep those thoughts coming

“Thanks.” I followed his gaze to the puddle I was making on the wood floor. “Sorry. It’s raining outside.” Duh. You can shut up now. I slipped out of my worn jean jacket and hung it on one of the mahogany coat racks that flanked the foyer.

He glared at me. “Whatever.”

I watched as Mr. Compassion sauntered down one of the hallways into the darkness. Maybe he saved his best manners for the dead. “Not everyone has to be nice, Gwen,” I murmured. “Just pay your respects and leave.” Warily, I opened the door that led downstairs. It was dark down there and distinctly uninviting. Of course it is. My hand felt for a switch light. Finding none, I headed carefully toward a lit room at the end of the hallway. How ironic. The light at the end of the tunnel is in a bright yellow Addams family house with an asshole for a caretaker. As I made my way down the hall, I could hear talking coming from the room.

“Now you’re just being rude. I didn’t put too much on at all. You look fine. Stop being so persnickety.”

I peeked into the room to see a young woman with a long, red ponytail high on her head, holding a tube of red lipstick and talking to a corpse. Except it wasn’t a was Mrs. Engel.  
Oh, good god, my brain whispered. 

For this Look Challenge, I'm going to tag five of my fellow authors--and then I'm going to run away laughing.

Rhea Rhodan, author of romance with a twist of magic and touch of the paranormal.
Author webpage
Amazon Author Page
Rhea's blog

Laura Hardgrave, author of LGBT science fiction and fantasy.
Debut novel; Captive by the Fog coming from Musa Publishing October 26th
Laura's blog

Liz DeJesus, author and poet.
Author website
Amazon Author Page
Liz's blog

Peter Lukes, science fiction and fantasy author.
Author website
Amazon Author Page
Peter's blog


Sharon Ledwith said...

Oh, boy, we started an avalanche. Best cast senario: more exposure for my author peeps! Thanks for pimping me, Clarissa! In this market, it doesn't sound so dirty! Tweeted and shared! Cheers all you tagged ones!

Rhea Rhodan said...

Well, I have to thank Sloane and Sharon because their tag resulted in you posting your synopsis and excerpt, which sound FANTASTIC.

As for "look," my wonderful writing software (Scrivener) has a word frequency check. I go through every scene for favorite words and phrases (after the rough draft and major fixes are done--or while I'm doing them).

I don't really have a blog to post the assignment to, though I love the idea. Sniff. So sweet of you to call on me!

Clarissa Johal, Author said...

Heehee, Sharon! It forced me to get a "work in progress" synopsis together for "my work in progress" (:
I thought you had a blog, Rhea? I guess it's more of a website and news info, isn't it? Oh well. Thanks for taking a peek here (:

Sloane Taylor said...

Shush, Clarissa, you're giving away my deep dark masochism secret. LOL Blame it on Ledwith! She started it!!

Clarissa Johal, Author said...

Uh-huh, sure, sure... (: