Friday, February 26, 2010

The LiLa Write-Off

Laura had a brilliant idea to do a little exercise where we both had a one-line prompt about our favorite girl detective and then we each write a paragraph about the sentence. Only one Neither of us managed to stick to these rules. Shocker.

Anyways, we thought it would be fun to show you how different our writing styles actually are (this will be even funnier when you read the samples) and even better we'd let you guys decide which sample belongs to which Roecker.

So what do you say? You ready to play?

The prompt: Kate Lowry loses her pearls.

Sample #1:
I groped the velvet seats of the auditorium, using them as a guide, not daring to put my heels to the floor. I knew their click would give away my location. It felt as though my eyes were squeezed shut, but really it was the darkness—thick and suffocating. But that wasn’t the reason I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t breathe because he’d hear. As I moved down the row, I hunched my shoulders attempting to take up as little space as possible, to disappear.

“I’m not going to hurt you,” he yelled. His words came from in front of me, forcing me to silently switch directions.

And that’s how it happened.

My long strand of pearls caught on an armrest or a chair number or a nail or a something and snapped. Pearls dropped to the tile like bombs, tearing through the silence giving me away one by one by one.

Sample #2:
I eyed my 10-speed warily. Obviously, I couldn’t ignore Seth’s cry for help, but I really just wished I had another way to get from point A to point B. Even worse, a brand new, shiny pink helmet hung off one of the handlebars with a sticky note stuck onto it. “Remember the deal. No helmet, no bike! We love you!” It was in my mom’s handwriting. Of course.

I grabbed the helmet and stuffed it on my head. Seth better appreciate the lengths I was willing to go to save his ass. I mean, it’s one thing to be a 15-year-old forced to publicly ride her bike. It’s quite another to have to do so in an adult sized Barbie helmet.

I sped out of my driveway, enjoying the feel of the wind on my face in spite of myself. Riding a bike might be dorky as hell, but it’s also sort of fun. My pearls bounced against my chest as I picked up speed, I swung a left under Farrow’s Arches and skidded to a halt in the garden. I leaned my bike against the frost bitten brick and my breath formed tiny little clouds around my face as I scanned the garden for Seth. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something felt…off.

I felt the warm breath on my neck and started to turn around, relieved that I’d found him.

“Seth?” His name died on my lips as a hand grabbed my pearls and started pulling. Hot panic flooded my body and my hands flew to my neck, clawing at the smooth white beads that dug into my skin. But my fingers kept slipping away, the vice-like grip of the pearls was too tight. My lungs burned and my nails scratched at the delicate skin of my neck even though I knew it was no use.

And then I heard the tiniest pop, and saw the tiny pearls scatter all over the bricks like snow. I fell to the ground and gulped the air greedily, my breath rasping in the quiet of the garden. My head snapped around, looking for my attacker, but the garden was empty.

There was nothing left for me to do except get on my hands and knees and pick up the pearls. One by one.

***

Hmm...one of us is certainly long winded, no? Leave us your best guess in the comments and stop back on Monday to see who wrote what and to read all about the inevitable fight that erupted afterwards.

Have a fab weekend everyone!

55 comments:

Alissa said...

Apparently both of you define a paragraph a little differently than I (and the rest of the world) do!

Still, both great responses to the prompt, and now I even more impressed that the two of you were able to write a book together.

Well, I've got a fifty-fifty shot here so my guess is first entry: Laura and second entry: Lisa.

Alissa said...

also just realized I needed to edit my comment which should read:

now I AM even more impressed . . .

Sorry for the Tarzan-speak!

storyqueen said...

Funnest post ever.

Isn't it soooo cool that both of your Kate's pearls dropped "One by one".

Are you two sisters, or what.

You're attached at the brain or something.

Shelley

Emily J. Griffin said...

The first is Laura and the second is Lisa. I feel VERY confident in this ascertation.

The first one contains long, descriptive sentences - so Laura. While the second sample is made up of short, sarcastic ones - so Lisa.

Confession: I know all of this because I've been stalking you. Don't worry, I just want to be friends... *creeps back behind bushes*

Christine Danek said...

This was really cool to see the difference. I will say the first is Lisa and the second is Laura.
How fun:)

Danyelle said...

You guys are amazing! Talented! Hilarious! I can't wait until your book comes out. :)

Loretta Nyhan said...

OMG, best post ever!

The first one is Laura and the second one is Lisa.

And, I'm not struck by how different they are, but how similar. No wonder your writing styles meld together so easily!

Frankie Diane Mallis said...

I say first paragraph Laura, second Lisa. Also, loved them, both I cannot wait to buy your book!!!

Claire Wilson said...

Lol. loved the fact that neither of you could stick to the rules, but isn't that always the way when you're in the flow of writing? :-)

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

I'll guess Laura then Lisa. It's so neat to see your different takes on the same prompt. :)

Jonathon Arntson said...

Laura, then Lisa.

Is Kate related to Lois, and if so, is she single. Gotta find an in somehow.

Sara McClung ♥ said...

OMG this is the perfect example for writers who get nervous about their premise not being original enough. You guys took something that started out with the exact same idea and look how far apart you ended up! And even with some similarities, like the pearls dropping one by one (so cool btw).

I'll guess Laura first and Lisa second?

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Those are both wonderful! I'm going to guess that Lila wrote #1 and Lisa wrote #2. I thought #2 had that Lisa sass! :-)

Nicole Ducleroir said...

You are both wonderful writers! I never know who pens which posts, or if you write every one jointly, so I have NO idea which of you wrote Sample A and which did Sample B... Hmmm, well, I have a 50/50 chance of getting it right, so here goes: I'll say Laura wrote A, and Lisa wrote B. LOL -- just a stab in the dark!

I thought it was interesting that both of you had the strand of pearls break, not just get lost. And both of you understood the brilliant tension of the character being aware of them dropping one by one.

Bravo, sisters!
((hugs)) Nicole

Stephanie Thornton said...

Hmmm... I'm totally guessing here, but I'm going to say #1 was Lisa and #2 was Laura.

Funny how us writers have a hard time following writing rules, eh?

Simon C. Larter said...

Oh, how cool! I love, love, love that little challenge!

What's interesting to me isn't necessarily that your styles are different, per se (#1 isn't specifically YA, #2 is), but that you both chose tension-filled ways for Kate to lose her pearls. Both involved danger, both involved a faceless, unseen man (unless a creepy chick was grabbing the pearls in the second), and both had the necklace breaking, as opposed to simply going missing.

Did you coordinate any of that ahead of time? If not, I can see how you'd work well together. That's a really nifty little insight into the L&L writing process, ladies. Thanks!

Lisa and Laura said...

Simon, The only thing we discussed before we started writing was the sentence we shared: Kate Lowry loses her pearls. The similarities are kind of eerie, aren't they?

The image of a pearl necklace snapping and the pearls scattering everywhere was the first image that popped into my mind when we got the prompt.

I was actually shocked by how similar the two entries ended up being.

Erica said...

Great post! Oh I wanna read the rest - you are both very talented!

I'm going with Laura first, then Lisa second ;o) Can't wait to hear who's who. Have a great weekend guys ;o)

Elana Johnson said...

Excellent idea! I love this.

Okay, I think #1 belongs to Laura. And #2 to Lisa. Maybe?

Both of them were great!

K. M. Walton said...

I really would be guessing as to who wrote what, so I won't. But, I'm going out on a limb here and saying I really like #1 - not that I don't like the second, because I do - it's just, #1 got me with the line: "I couldn't breathe because he'd hear." I felt as if I were crawling around with her in that auditorium.

I can't wait until your book comes out ladies...

Jill Kemerer said...

I have no idea who wrote what! But they are completely different styles--and both interesting!

And no, I won't tell you which I liked better, so there!

Have a great weekend!

Solvang Sherrie said...

Excellent samples! But I have to say, I feel like a dork for not knowing who is who. You're like one person! But I'll play along. I think the first is Lisa, the second in Laura. Am I right?

Kerri C at CK Farm said...

Here is my best guess #1 where the pearls fell to the ground like bombs is Lisa. #2 where the pearls fell like snow is Laura. I'm sure it's the wrong guess but hey had fun reading!

Melissa said...

I don't "know" either of you well enough to guess writing styles, but both were great! I love the different interpretations of the prompt. Interesting!

Heather Kelly said...

I thought both passages were excellent, and don't know you well enough to guess, but I also loved that you both ended the "paragraphs" in exactly the same manner. Wonderful.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Oh, very cool excercise!! Actually a bit of a relief for me. I think I always worry that I'll be writing the same thing as someone else, but I suppose even if I were to come up with the same premise, it likely would still be very different. And gads, you guys are even related...so, Carol is happy, happy. Who knew your little exercise would put me at such ease today? ;) Thanks!

Anyway, I suspect the first one is Laura, the second is Lisa. But that is a total guess. And yet, I'm awfully good at guessing the number of beans in a jar. So I'm probably right.

Corey Schwartz said...

OMG. so much fun! (I never even know which one of you is emailing me! Though, if I had to guess, I'd go with Lisa)

Dara said...

I'm going to say the first is Laura and the second is Lisa. The sarcasm and snark in the second one makes me think this but I'm probably wrong. :P

Jen said...

A-M-A-ZING Stories!! I for one am very glad you chose to for-go the paragraph... you needed much more and it left me wanting more! Rules are meant to be broken :)

I say Laura first, Lisa second...

Can't wait to see the results!

Tere Kirkland said...

Fun!

I'm thinking Laura, then Lisa.

Love this post!

Christina Lee said...

I love this (and sooo want to read your book now!)Ok first Laura, then Lisa. And you both said "one by one"--so aha! you do find middle ground somehow!!

Kim said...

You two are just too cool! What a fun contest.

I closed my eyes to the above comments before writing mine. I say #1 = Laura. #2=Lisa.

What a great post! I love how different your styles are yet you both end with the same line. No wonder I can't tell you two apart!

Tess said...

What fun! I really like both writing samples ... very different and yet you can see how they could mesh together (and how you can share-write a novel).

I don't have a clue on who wrote which but I'm still laughing at the Barbie helmet image in my head.

happy weekend girls :D

Mike said...

Laura the 2nd entry. She still hasn't forgiven me for making her wear a bike helmet on our father/daughter weekend on Put-in-Bay! Lisa, the 1st entry by process of elimination. Being the good Dad that I am, I love both responses to the prompt. Very creative!!

Sarah said...

Love this! *Both* your paragraphs (or "paragraphs", as the case may be ;) were great!

Okay, and here's my guess: the first one is the fierce Miss Laura, and the second is the fabulous Miss Lisa.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

I forgot to mention...loved the writing. Very strong. The image of the pearls in both scenes, falling or being picked up, one by one? Stunning.

Tamika: said...

What a pair! I love both excerpts- they were fresh and suspenseful. One by one..

Lisa for the first prompt. Laura for the second prompt.

Shannon Messenger said...

LOL--I loved both (though you clearly have no idea how to follow rules)

I really have NO clue, so I'm going to take a shot in the dark and say the first one was Laura's and the second one was Lisa's. But both of them were great!

Kristy said...

It's funny that both of you end with the visual of pearls falling 'one by one'. So you do sort of sync up!

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

These are great!!

Um... Lisa is first and Laura is second. :0)

Have a great weekend!

Nisa said...

You are both so talented and creative. Loved this post! I'm gonna say that #1 is Laura and #2 is Lisa. 50/50 chance! (I never was good at those true/false questions back in my school days though...haha! That makes me sound so old!)

Donna Gambale said...

Fun exercise! Both of you have very strong writing, and even though your styles are slightly different, I can see how easily they can be merged.

This makes me even more excited to read your novel!!!

And all the comments I read totally clouded my judgment... but I'll say Laura #1 and Lisa #2. Can't wait to find out if I'm right!

PS - My verification is bransmsh... which I read as BRAINSMASH, kinda like FACEPALM... except more painful.

Marsha Sigman said...

Ok, I am writing this with one closed so I can't see the other comments. I say Laura #1 and Lisa #2.

I think Lisa would say 'ass' quicker than Laura would. I could be wrong.

Both of the samples are really good, they flow so well. Oh...my envy burns....

Kimberly Franklin said...

Isn't breaking the rules fun??!!!

I loved both of these. You two are both brilliant!

I pick Lisa #1 and Laura #2. : )

Have a great weekend!

jessjordan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Krispy said...

This makes me excited to read your book!

The tone in each sample is a bit different, but your writing styles aren't that different. I can see how well they'd mesh! Awesome.

Um, Laura #1, Lisa #2? (Wild guess!)

jessjordan said...

Definitely going with Laura for #1and Lisa for #2. Final answer. (Do I win a million dollars?)

By the by: If Kate #1 is gonna get herself strangled, she should ask to borrow Kate #2's pearls for the day. They'd come off a heck of a lot easier, AND, when they fell and exploded like bombs, that attacker would haul ass. (Plus, it would save Kate #1 a lot of trouble if her pearls fell like snow instead.)

But then again, what kind of fun would that be?

Jemi Fraser said...

I made my decision before I read the comments, but I agree with the ones I skimmed through - Laura is first, Lisa second :)

SB said...

straight away: first is laura. second is lisa. boom. no time to reconsider!
SB


not too serious i hope

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Laura/Lisa. And I would read the rest of either of those stories. You are the bestest sisters.

Sharon Mayhew said...

Great job, ladies! What a fun acivity...I'm going to see if I can get my critique group to do something similar.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I can't really guess b/c I've never been sure which of you is which and whether you post separately or together, whether you take turns, or race to the comment box, each of you elbowing the other aside! But I enjoy your (that's plural "your")writing a great deal and look forward to meeting you two at the big Sourcebooks Fire shindig!

Lori W. said...

Unfortunately, I've come to think of you almost as one person, so I have no idea who wrote what, but both are interesting and SO different except for the "one by one" part. I enjoyed both "paragraphs"!

ASBLACKASOBAMA said...

They were both great!

I'm going to guess #1 Laura and #2 Lisa

Gail said...

Great fun!
I think #1 is Lisa and #2 is Laura