How do you begin writing a novel?
For me, this time, it started with an outline. I wanted to begin actually writing the darned thing earlier, but life intervened. Not in a bad way, mind you (as my 1000 blogs will show), but my time has been limited and I’ve chosen to spend that time doing other things. Blogging. Getting a house ready for sale. Being with my new family.
But today, I finally got my ass in the chair and loaded up a blank screen and began to write.
So I wanted to share the process. Cuz, you know, everyone was just waiting for me to share.
For anyone who’s ever written anything, you know there are 2 scary moments. One is when you actually have to pitch the story to someone or explain to people at a party what you do and what you’re writing. “So, yeah, like I’m a writer and I’m writing a novel about a space vampire who dismembers virgins with laser beams implanted in his penis and…” Yeah. People usually walk away at this point.
And something that also inspires YOU to write more (also known as Not Sucking Complete Ass.)
Cuz that opening matters. It matters A LOT. (Assuming they get past the concept of the book, which I have to say, has sunk me more often than starting out a story with ‘it was a dark and stormy night, dude.”)
Now I don’t want to get into your head (as I often get into mine), but once someone agrees your premise doesn’t bore them, make them want to throw up or confuse them, most agents, editors and Amazon customers make a decision on your book like this.
Hmmm. First line is great. I wanna read on. Hmmm. First paragraph has me hooked, I’m going to put down my fat-free bagel to read the page. Hmmm. That wasn’t too shabby, what the hell is going to happen? *turns the page* *forgets about bagel*
To help me write, I relied, therefore, on a few of my favourite givers of advice.
Slater said, “Never bore. Never confuse. And always start off with a killer line.”
Scott-Bell said, “Begin your novel with a disturbance to the Lead’s ordinary world. No happy people in happy land. Have your characters in action. Avoid too much description and exposition.”
(He actually says a LOT more but this blog would be 20 pages long if I wrote it all down.)
And this from Clare Langley-Hawthorn: “The openings should establish mood, theme, threat, dissonance, character and world.”
So you see why this is hard. So you see why we can get into our heads as writers and never actually get a word written. So much to do. So little space. I mean, seriously, get that all done in a few sentences?
So with that in mind, with my outline printed out beside me, with my cup of coffee steaming into the air, I began to write.
The group will take a look at on the 28th. They will tell me if it works for them.
But more me, it was a good start to what I hope will be a great novel!
So how do you start a novel? What goes into your first pages? What worries do you have?
New Facebook page set up: 1. Justjoebc. Please like it. Please tell your friends to like it. Please get your cats to like it.
Pages Written on New Novel: 7. The novel has BEGUN!
Queries Out this Week: 0 (only so much time) Just no time. Blogs. Moving. Writing
Rejections for the Last Week: 5 (I gotta assume at this point the 5 still out there have gone from possibles to no way. It still bugs me agents can’t even send a reply, though.)
Queries Still Out There: 0
Hope Meter: 80/100. If it’s not at 80, how do you even start to write a novel