Do the Pros Measure Up to the Lucky 7 Meme?

I had a lot of fun with the Lucky 7 Meme that swept through the blogosphere not too long ago, but it made me think. Would the blogging game work for published work? Remember, you go to page 77, down 7 lines, and share 7 lines or paragraphs. Granted, the page numbers and line numbers would be different than on manuscript pages, but I could not let it go. I had to see how some of my favorites measured up. So, for this post I chose five different science fiction books one each by Frank Herbert, Orson Scott Card, Madeleine L'Engle, Dean R. Koontz, and Margaret Atwood.

Bookcover of Dune by Frank Herbert
Dune by Frank Herbert
“There are men in the great hall say they've been sent by the Duke to get young master Paul,” Mapes said. “They’ve the ducal signet and the guard has identified them.” She glanced at the door, back to Jessica.
A cautious one, this Mapes, Jessica thought. That's a good sign.
“He's in the fifth room from this end of the hall, the small bedroom,” Jessica said. “If you have trouble waking him, call in Dr. Yueh in the next room. Paul may require a wakeshot.”

Book cover for Ender's GameEnder's Game by Orson Scott Card
Ender wanted to hit them, to throw them in the brook. Instead he walked into the forest. He found a path, which soon became an ancient brick road, much overgrown with weeds but still useable. There were hints of possible games off to either side, but Ender followed none of them. He wanted to see where the path led.
It led to a clearing, with a well in the middle, and a sign that said, “Drink, Traveler.”

Book cover for A Wrinkle in TimeA Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Her heart tried to beat; it gave a knifelike, sideways movement but it could not expand.
But then she seemed to hear a voice, or if not a voice, at least words, words flattened out like printed words on paper, “Oh, no! We can’t stop here! This is a two-dimensional planet and the children can't manage here!”

Book cover for The WatchersThe Watchers by Dean R. Koontz
After finishing the job at the Yarbeck house, he had screwed a fresh silencer onto the barrel, one of the new short ones that, thanks to the high-tech revolution, was half the length of the older models. He set the gun aside.
He had a six-inch switchblade knife. He put it in the right front pocket of his trousers.
When he had wound the wire garotte into a tight coil, he tucked it into the left inside pocket of his jacket.

Book cover of The Handmaid's TaleThe Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
I'm taken to the doctor's office once a month, for tests: urine, hormones, cancer smear, blood tests; the same as before, except that now it’s obligatory.
The doctor's office is in a modern office building, we ride up the elevator, silently, the Guardian facing me. In the black-mirror wall of the elevator I can see the back of his head. At the office itself, I go in; he waits, outside in the hall, with the other Guardians, on one of the chairs placed there for that purpose.

That was fun! Now for the hard part.

What do these widely different novel excerpts have in common with one another? One thing I can see is that each has a very strong viewpoint. Another interesting point is that each viewpoint character is doing something, acting on something. And I am very happy to say, I think my seven lines compare favorably to theses.

Tell me, what do you see that these excerpts have in common? Do you think they pass the Lucky 7 Meme test?

I am aware that everyone has incredibly busy lives. So please know that you've made my day by taking the time to read my post. And when you take the extra time to comment below, I am tickled and honored that you chose to spend precious minutes with me. Thank you!

16 thoughts on “Do the Pros Measure Up to the Lucky 7 Meme?

  1. I love this twist on the Lucky 7 Meme. What a perfect idea to look at successful works. I think the lesson we can all walk away with is to never allow our characters to do anything boring.

  2. Lynettte,
    Nicely done, and you are so right in that all these authors had a strong point of view and that, I think, is what we all need to take a chance on in our own writing. Thanks for the very inspiring post.

  3. Brilliant idea, Lynette. You’re right about the strong action in every snippet you posted. In just 7 short lines each author grabs my interest and I want to learn more about the story. Marcy put it really well: “Never allow our characters to do anything boring.”

    1. Thanks, Coleen. Yes, I think it’s a great thing to keep the reader turning pages, too. Doing this has helped me see my own writing a little more clearly. What a great lesson this has turned out to be!

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