Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Novel Report: In Search of the Perfect Opening Line

I am thrilled to participate in this summer’s Magical Words workshop at ConGregate in Winston Salem, where the leading authors will critique the first 2500 words of my novel. They want to receive the intro by mid-April, though, so I want to have it in good shape for them by then!

So, I *swear* I am not actively avoiding writing the ending. I am, however, pressing pause and returning to the beginning. Or rather, the third major scene, which it took me over a year to admit is really the beginning. I was so firmly convinced that I had to start at the beginning, or even before the beginning of my story. But all that can be woven in later, and I believe the playful action scene introducing my 3 main characters and their abilities is what will grab you and pull you in.

And I already see plenty of changes based on what has come after – inconsistencies in the storyline I need to clean up. And character. My main characters were a couple years younger when I started this tale, but I realized I needed them to be on the verge of adulthood, and 17 year olds are a little different than 15 year olds!

One of the continuing debates I have with folks kind enough to read and comment is that my characters are too *nice*. For starters, they are a couple hundred years in the future. They are on a different planet, not saturated with today’s social media, and basically living as Little House on the Prairie pioneers. Who has time for snark? Daughter tells me there is *always* time for snark. *wry grin*

I do intend their voices to be a little more assured, but one of the central conflicts centers around the teens and their parents, so that needs to develop over the story. And frankly, I’d like to think that people can be a little nicer to each other, a little kinder in daily life, without so much of the snipe and snark – although I’m as quick to engage or laugh at it as the next person. And it’s my story.

Dogs in House
Houdini, Brindle

Piano Guys, “Let It Go”, from Frozen

Time writing
~1 hour (including the opening line itself)

March word count

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