(I broke this into a separate post because the last one got long.)
For fun, I also checked out my own page 99s. These are page 99 as it occurs when I have the manuscript formatted in drafting/book layout (approximately 325 words per page, which seems average for most published books I’ve taken the time to manually count the words per page in).
This is page 99 of The Opal Magestone:
“Jane, I… I couldn’t possibly ask you to buy that one,” I said honestly.
“No?” She looked surprised, and cast a quick glance back at the fabric. “But it would suit you so nicely. It’s such a pretty color. And look at the beautiful trim.”
“I know,” I said. “And I bet the price tag matches, and it’s enough that you’ve even offered to buy me a cloak when I’m not your daughter or part of your… group,” I caught myself before saying ‘coven’, since I wasn’t sure whether it was okay or not out here. “And really the green one would be perfectly fine; I’ll write my name inside or something.”
She broke into a grin then, and I tried not to frown. “Oh, my dear,” she said, a hint of laughter in her voice, “that’s really thoughtful of you. But please, don’t worry about that. Pick whichever one you truly like best, you deserve it.”
I paused, and did frown now. “Are you just buying it for me because you feel sorry for me? About my father and stuff?”
She looked genuinely surprised, which quickly melted into mild amusement. “I do think it’s a terrible thing you’ve gone through, but that’s not why I’m offering. I’m offering because I think every girl should own a beautiful piece of clothing. When I was a girl, I would have just loved to own a cloak like this.”
I looked back at the deep blue fabric. I did really want it; there was something in the rich, deep color that spoke to me. But I couldn’t ask her to spend that much on me. I shook my head. “That’s really, really kind of you, Jane. But the green one will be okay, really.”
She shrugged and smiled at me. “If that’s what you’d like, dear.” She took the hanger with the green cloak I’d first pointed at and brought the store owner over to take a measurement for the hemline to have it fitted.
Here’s page 99 of Resident 619, the manuscript I wrote for NaNoWriMo last fall, and which is waiting for me to return to it for first-pass revisions:
“Because this would be a serious transgression. It’d be easy to make up an excuse for in the housing complex, but not for this.”
“So, they might discipline you lightly if they caught you in the complex, but you’ve already been caught once for trying to escape, Crow. They’re not going to go easy on you if they find you doing something serious again.”
“What do you suggest instead, then? That we give up?”
“No,” I said, a little hurt by the accusatory tone in his voice. “Of course not. But I should go, not you.”
He raised an eyebrow. “Sunny, I appreciate that you’re trying to be helpful, but you don’t have much experience with being stealthy, trying to sneak around and avoid danger.”
I bit my lip and tried to give him my most stubborn look. What he said was true, but I knew what I said was true, too. “I can be stealthy. I got the gun the first time, didn’t I? Besides, even if I did get caught, I wouldn’t be disciplined harshly because I’ve never been in trouble.”
A smile tugged at his lips. “So you did, though I wonder no one thought your behaviour strange.”
“No one pays attention, Crow. No one’s expecting anyone to be sneaking around, so no one sees it.”
“Well, that’s true enough,” he admitted. He considered me thoughtfully. “Okay. I’ll let you do it. But on one condition, okay?”
“What condition?” I asked warily.
“Don’t get caught.” He grinned. “So what’s your plan, then?”
And this is page 99 of Where Secrets Are Hidden. It just so happened that page 99 was the last few paragraphs of a chapter. This is a much more interesting excerpt than the ones I posted last week, I think. ;)
He seemed to sense it anyway. “Are you afraid of heights? I’m sorry, I didn’t realize. Here, we can get off…”
“No, it’s okay,” I said, trying to sound confident and failing. “I’m alright here.”
He smiled gently. “Indigo, you’re white as a sheet. C’mon.” He pulled his legs up, turning to hop down off the railing. “We can sit somewhere else. Or walk, or whatever you’d like.”
He reached a hand out to me, and I pried my own from the concrete to take it as I turned. And then, I don’t know what happened; my foot slipped, or got caught, or I lost my balance, or a gust of breeze pushed at me. And suddenly his fingers were sliding out of mine and I was scrabbling at the railing but I couldn’t get hold of anything and Drew was yelling my name and I was screaming his. And then I was falling, screaming, twisting in the air, watching the ground rush up toward me. I curled my hands about my head against the impact.
I don’t know if I’d bother with Magestone if that’s all I had to judge the book by. But I think the page for 619 would catch my interest, and I’d definitely turn the page for Secrets. ;)