Work in Progress Blog Challenge

I was invited by author Zenobia Southcombe to participate in the ‘Work-In-Progress Blog Challenge,’ and I accepted.

Zenobia Southcombe (hereafter referred to as “Zee”) lives in the beautiful country of New Zealand, where she spends her time writing, reading, teaching, playing her ukulele, and drinking tea (incidentally, she is currently drinking Twining’s wonderful NZ Earl Grey blend…. Mmmm!)

She has an undying interest in humanity and the way we work, so as Zee works on her personal health & wellness, she shares her inspiration on the blog “Making Happiness”.

Zee’s inspiration for writing comes largely from a childish sense of wonder for the world around her, nourished by the magical children that touch her life, and a love of children’s literature.

Zee is an avid blogger and you can find her blog at


It’s a fun challenge – the rules are to post the first line from each of the first three chapters in my work-in-process (WIP), and select four other writers to do the same.


My WIP at the moment in called  Traces of Red and is the first in a brand new series that I have been working on for some time. At the moment, it is in its third draft and still some way to go. The premise for the series is based on a ‘What if?’ scenario.

‘What if your teenaged daughter failed to come home one night?

How would you react? What would you do?

Would it change you? Change your perspective on the world? Would it change the direction, the priorities of your life?


As a mother of five grown up children, two of them daughters, I have to say, “You’re darn tooting’ it would!”

I reckon it would cause seismic changes, and these are what I try to imagine as I write this series. All the stages of anger, grief, fear and uncertainty, to say nothing of euphoria and disappointment.


Mirabelle is a feisty, fun and rather eccentric lady…until her daughter, Summer, goes missing. In this first book, Traces of Red, we get to know Mirabelle and her family, see how her daughter’s disappearance changes her and how she sees the world. And, when Summer can’t be found, how it changes the focus of her life.


So, the first sentence of the introduction of Traces of Red:

Mirabelle thought they were happy.

The first sentence of the first chapter:

The letter had finally come and Mirabelle suggested they should go out for a meal and to the cinema to celebrate.

The first sentence of the second chapter:

Sam had never met Summer, he and Mirabelle having met up a couple of times for coffee in the police canteen, more or less by accident, and a couple of times for a stroll in the Botanic Gardens, more or less by design, before he found out she had a daughter.

Finally, the first sentence of the third chapter:

It rained all night and Mirabelle lay listening as heavy showers battered against her window until, sleep driven away, she gathered the duvet round her and stood there in the dark, watching the rain curtain the street lights, tracing the drops that ran down the other side of the glass, watching for moving shadows


I really wish I could give you more, even a paragraph or two, as that doesn’t seem enough to make much sense or to tell you anything about the story — but them’s the rules!

Doing this is making me think about the importance of that first sentence, and I wonder now, ‘Is it strong enough? How can I make it stronger? More meaningful?’ Something to work on.

Thank you, Zee, for tagging me. It has been a valuable challenge.


And now I must nominate four bloggers to carry on the challenge.

Hmmm! Let’s see…

I’m tagging the following writers, and can’t wait to see their chapter lines!

Travis Neighbor Ward at

Elizabeth Hein at

Bisky Scribbles at

Leanne Dyck at


Have fun everyone!


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Teagan Kearney
    Aug 30, 2014 @ 20:25:42

    Hi Christine! A great response to the work-in-progress blog challenge. I liked the way you gave us an outline of the plot. Generally the first chapter sets the scene for the story, so to just give one sentence certainly makes you focus on those first lines. Looking forward to seeing your progress.

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Zee
    Aug 31, 2014 @ 05:42:34

    It made me think about the strength of those sentences as well! I’m glad you accepted the challenge, and have passed it on.

    The first sentence of the second chapter was particularly good – and funny! – and you’ve picked an enticing title. Wonderful!



  3. jumpingfromcliffs
    Sep 02, 2014 @ 10:17:13

    This is great Christine, I love the way you write. Every word seems hand-picked for the job and is carefully and skilfully stitched together with the others to create some really lyrical prose. Brilliant. And as for that first line, I definitely think it’s strong enough. The use of “thought” imbues a very short sentence with a whole host of intrigue and power. I’m with Zee on the first sentence of the second chapter as well – had to re-read it a couple of times for the sheer joy of it. Don’t change a thing!



    • cicampbell2013
      Sep 05, 2014 @ 20:15:47

      How very encouraging, Jon. Thank you.
      It’s funny, isn’t it, how after a while of editing, you can begin to doubt everything you write. I’m almost through the third edit of this one and needed that encouragement, kind sir. Thank you. 🙂



  4. Vashti Quiroz-Vega
    Sep 10, 2014 @ 13:28:54

    Hi Christine! Very well done! I enjoyed reading your lines. It is difficult introducing each chapter with just one sentence—that’s the challenge. That first sentence has to intrigue the reader enough to make them want to continue reading. You passed the test! You left me wanting more! 😉



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