Celebrate Your Sentence!

Psst! Hey, you. Yeah, I’m talking to you. That writer in the corner with the bloodshot eyes and caffeine shakes. Okay, so I know you’re “super busy” with that book you’ve been slaving over. (btw, I totally air quoted as I wrote that–proving I can defy psychics & reason)

BUT, can I just offer a teensy, weensy revelation about that Work In Progress (aka: WIP) that could alter the course of your life???


Oh for sure, parts of it do. I’m not a complete sunshine blower. But trust me, it doesn’t suck nearly as much as you think. So why can’t we seem to help our obsessive WIP-picking? Why must we compare them to the polished, refined magnificence before them? Well, WIP’s are easy targets–what, with all that frizzy red hair, freckles, and gangly awkwardness. But there’s beauty there, I swear it! You just need to see it with gentler eyes. You need to be reminded that your ugly ducker of a story, will one day be swan. And it will. However…


This is where you come in with your Mother Theresa well of patience. Yep, I just broke out the P word. Because. You will need to love that WIP even if no other human in the history of ever could. Why? That other P word–potential. You know that behind the head-hopping, stilted dialogue, and cardboard characters aimlessly meandering from one page to the next, there is something special. And it is the promise of ‘something special’ that keeps you up at night wondering…what if? Isn’t that every writer’s aphrodisiac? So I’ll pose a mind blowing question.


What if instead of lamenting the awful shortcomings of our WIP, we take a moment, to see the good in it? You all know what I’m talking about. It’s that sentence…or two or three, that holds you captive enough to finish an entire manuscript. Or maybe just a chapter. 🙂 Whatever it is and whatever the reason, you adore it. And it’s worthy of celebrating because those are the precious lines that will sustain you during writing drought and famine.

So why not celebrate those sentences together?! I’ll go first. I’ll even try not to throw up! A generous bargain if you ask me. 😉 Here are a few lines from my WIP, (W)HOLEHEARTED…

I run my fingers along the bumps of my scar. It reads like braille. And the message is so achingly clear—never fall in love.  ~Lark Salinger

As to keep the scales balanced (emotionally & chromosomally), I’ll leave you with some parting words from my hero…

And since I don’t know my ass from an ashtanga hole in the ground—I’m having to fake my way through every one of these yoga classes in hopes of spotting her before I openly wail like a baby. Because it’s downright unnatural to have your bellybutton that close to your mouth. ~Seth Walker

  DO YOU HAVE A LINE OR TWO TO CELEBRATE? I’d love to bask in your words!

Write on, lovelies! Write on!


Writer's Life

24 Responses to Celebrate Your Sentence!

  1. Thanks for the morning chuckle, Darcy.

  2. AE Jones says:

    Darcy – you hit the nail on the head with this…
    “what if? Isn’t that every writer’s aphrodisiac?”
    Goodness yes, that is the reason we all come back for more and torture ourselves. I love reading the lines that give me goosebumps and the interesting thing is when I go back and read them later they still give me goosebumps…those are the keepers in the story.
    Thanks for telling us to look for the good. It is SO easy to wallow in the muck that we forget the beauty.

    • Darcy says:

      Cheers to the un-wear-out-able goosebumps, AE! They get us through a lot, don’t they? It makes me endlessly happy to know you’re celebrating yours, my talented, little Lucky!!! Now, go forth and see beauty with your pretty word goggles! 🙂

      Thanks for joining me.


  3. Sharon Wray says:

    This was exactly what I needed today, Darcy. I am struggling with whether or not to even finish this third draft of a book I’ve been working on forever, or just ditch it and do something else.
    But I think I’m going to give it one more try. I loved it once, maybe I can love it again.

    • Darcy says:

      Oh yay! Your comment posted! Sharon, you raise such an EXCELLENT point here. It’s that whole Kenny Rogers thing–“you gotta know when to hold ’em. Know when to fold ’em…” And I think the answer’s going to vary for every writer (and more maddeningly) with EVERY project. But if the book, even after a number of years, continues tugging your hand like an impatient child…I think you have your answer, my sweet. 😉

      Thank you for sharing!


  4. Well I love those words you allowed us to peek at! I’ve had the experience of bashing through my UFD (ugly first draft) then going back and reading it and realizing it wasn’t even that ugly to begin with (though much work was still needed). Very encouraging post, and let me add this– my husband was literally a red-headed stepchild and grew up to be a total hottie– and he’s all mine! 😉

    • Darcy says:

      LOL! Love this, Amy! And so glad you clarified what the “F” in UFD stood for. My gutter mind was meandering elsewhere. 😉

      Delighted you are not only celebrating your wondrous words, but also that once upon a time red-headed stepchild hubby! You guys are breaking the hot-o-meter now!

      Appreciate the flyby and lovely tweets, darling girl!


  5. Thanks for posting the words I needed to read, Darcy, as my WIP and I aren’t on speaking terms at the moment. But your request for us to share our words did inspire me to look through my icky, horrid pages to find a passage I like enough that I’m willing to share it:

    “Yes, I know you’re concerned about my diabetes and the birthday cake,” Lily said.
    “Then you’ll understand if I ask you to eat this instead.”
    Mrs. Tanaka held out a bright red apple that bore no resemblance to a piece of birthday cake. It reminded Lily of what the Wicked Witch wanted Snow White to eat.

    • Darcy says:

      BONNIE! Your words are pure sugar magic! *shakes celebratory pom poms* Thank you so much for bravely sharing and letting us revel in them. Of course, now I want cake. I trust you’ll send cabana boys to help with this. 😉

      And I’m over the moon you’re seeing some good in your story. I’d bet my cake there’s more greatness than you think in this WIP, my dear Savvy!

      Keep on keeping on…


  6. Darcy, I would buy your book based on those few little sentence alone!

    Thanks for the encouragement. I just looked at my ugly ducker and could feel the blood drain from my upper body. Your words give me courage!

    • Darcy says:

      Oh, Miranda, you’re making me blush. Thank you for that.

      You’ve raised another great point–writing takes guts! It takes enormous amounts of courage. Thank goodness your lioness spirit is well-equipped! Now go nuture that ugly ducker to a swan. YOU CAN DO IT!!! 🙂

      And congrats again on your latest sale to Montlake! We’re all so proud and happy for you, dearest! Thanks for joining me today.


  7. Gail Hart says:

    Great post, Darcy!

    This is near the end of my ugly first draft:
    “I needed that,” Sarah said, brushing up against Matt’s side.
    He ruffled her hair as they started up the stairs. “I’m glad. I felt kind of bad about telling you how much I respect you, and then taking you against a wall like a five dollar whore.”

    • Darcy says:

      Hahaha! That’s priceless, Gail! Er, wait. I guess there was mention of $5, wasn’t there? 😉 Congrats on nearing the end of your UFD and pausing a moment to celebrate those rib-tickling exchanges!

      So appreciate you stopping by to share & tweet!


  8. Sandra Owens says:

    Wow, Darcy, I read Lark’s sentence and I feel like crying. Then I read Seth’s and I’m all out laughing at the image of his mouth near his belly button. I totally agree with Miranda that I would read this book just based on these two sentences.

    I’m on book four of my series and at that middle of the manuscript “this sucks” mode. In desperation to liven things up, I gave my hero a rabbit and the most creative thing he can think to call it is Mr. Bunny.

    Off to research rabbit habits. 🙂

    • Darcy says:

      Awww, Sandy! What an incredible compliment! Yeah, my style tends toward a swinging pendulum–one second it’s sort of poignant, the next, utterly ridiculous.

      But know I’m cheering you through the saggy “this sucks” middle. The only way out is through, right? I believe in you and your bunnies and the beauty of your words. You’ll get there! Lucky rabbit’s foot and all. 😉

      Thanks for visiting, my sweet friend!


  9. Darcy,
    What a fun and great post. I know exactly what you mean. I put my WIP away for quite a while, and when I find myself returning to it, I see that potential. Maybe. Hopefully…
    I’m trying to work on sections instead of reading the whole thing since it’s like that ugly duckling looking in the mirror and seeing all the flaws at once. I think I’ll just peek at select parts in low lighting. Definitely not with that 10x magnifying cosmetic mirror. 🙂
    Your sentences in your WIP are wonderful. I’m not quite willing to put mine out there. lol.

    • Darcy says:

      Thanks so much, Kim! I have absolutely NO DOUBT in the potential of your story! And I think it’s smart to find the bits and pieces that keep you motivated and seeing the good that’s there. Sometimes it really is a matter of taking baby steps…and making use of a dimmer switch. 😉

      Appreciate your kind comment, my darling Savvy. And no worries! You don’t have to show me yours just because I showed you mine. I’ll use my imagination. 😉


  10. Joanna Shupe says:

    Awesome pep talk! Every time I start a new story I think, “WHY am I putting myself through this?!?!” It’s always so much harder than you can imagine it will be. But we can’t *not* do it, right?

    • Darcy says:

      A thousand times YES, Joanna! I was recently telling someone contemplating a career in writing, that if she can live without it, she should. But if it is your oxygen, the thing you do against ALL reason–it is meant to be. 🙂

      Thank you for stopping by!


  11. Better than hearing my own or my husband’s or my mother’s pep talk because hearing it from someone who lives it makes it believable. Thanks for reminding us that We. Do. No. Suck.
    I wrote the following yesterday while editing my WIP:
    “I’ve got the infamous Luczynski family fine and fuzzy hair, causing me to live in fear of the day I have to hit Wanda’s Wonderful World of Wigs on Burnside. And let’s not start on my boob to butt ratio.” ~Jane Murphy to her BFF’s on the fact that none of us are perfect.

    • Darcy says:

      Bhahaha! Oh, Jane, that is terrifically fabulous! Thank you for sharing that little gem from your swan-like WIP. 😉

      And yeah, sometimes those well-meaning encouragements from “outsiders” can be nails on a chalkboard! I’m glad the post gave you a writer-in-arms boost!


  12. I’m arriving a day late, but YES – Thank you for the morning chuckle and for the sharing your lovely words with us. I can’t wait to read all of (W)HOLEHEARTED!

    • Darcy says:

      Oh, Jacqui, you are so sweet! This story still has plenty of ducky-ness but I’m making headway!

      Delighted you started the day with a chuckle and ALWAYS happy to see you whenever you arrive at the party! 😉


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