I recently got tagged on Facebook with the “Game of Sevens” wherein you’re supposed to go to page 7 or 77 of your latest manuscript, then go down 7 lines and copy and post the next 7. Then, of course, you tag 7 more folks.
The thing is, I don’t know 7 writers on FB with whom I interact, and I never tag people I really don’t know. Still, it got me wondering about my two open manuscripts, both detective stories written in the 1st person. Were the two narrators different? Can random excerpts really give one insight into the books? Being intrigued, here’s my Game of 7s Experiment.
The Brooklyn Trace
Narrated by Eddie Daley. Eddie is handsome and a bit of an imp, though with a kind, true heart. He’s not one for flowery language, though nor is he the typical noir hard case.
Tanya said, “You aren’t fighting very hard.”
“What makes you think I’m trying to win? You’re actually turning me on a little bit.”
“Ew,” she said and twisted her body. She managed to get me in an arm bar. When I tried to counter she released it, grabbed my right hand, and torqued it behind my back. I calmed again and she took the other one and locked it.
Albuquerque and Boulder come close, but Flagstaff’s prettier, like it’s been frozen in time. Albuquerque’s like a stain somebody spilled in the desert. Still, adopted home or no, I couldn’t shake the feeling something was missing. I think Apache felt it too, even though this was his first time in Flagstaff. I could tell, because he was pissing on the floor of the Camaro even more than normal. I was going to need to get it professionally cleaned. No self-respecting girl was going to be seen in a classic convertible that smelled of chicken grease and puppy piss.
Narrated by Foster Cain (and his partner, Jeanne Dark, though not in these excerpts). Whereas Eddie is comfortable in either a suit or jeans, Foss likes to relax by loosening his $80 tie. Eddie’s more down-to-earth, and Foss is educated, lyrical, and more serious. The one thing they have in common: women dig ‘em.
I knew she was a naturalized U.S. citizen with family still overseas, and I learned she absolutely refused to renounce her French citizenship, which is a requirement for gaining both a U.S citizenship and a TS/SCI clearance. That gave me two important bits of insight: one, she was stubborn to a fault, as are most brilliant or successful people, and two, whatever her skill set, the U.S. government was willing to break its own security protocols to obtain her services, or at least keep them away from its enemies. I presented my assessment to my Government contact, Hardesty, who grunted an affirmation and added that Dark was being considered for some work, which I wasn’t cleared to know, involving people who were none of my business. However, it wasn’t difficult to figure it involved covert ops in the Intel sector. For them to bring me in meant they were targeting her for a very risky operation—one that required a steady hand—and they needed to know if she was stable. To be fair, that was a pretty easy guess. It was pretty much my entire job.
Behind her, Hardesty snickered. He had good reason to. I stood, impressing her with the full volume of my indignation. Even in her she-wolf cloak of measured indifference, I could tell the lady dug the way I was built. It was mutual, and I was hoping her alpha female ego would require her to stand in defiance against me. She did, and we stood that way, toe to toe, glaring. Were it not for Dark, I’d have asked Hardesty to step out into the hall for a few minutes while Samuels and I worked things out.