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Once Upon A Time…

7 August, 2013

Last week i finished the second full draft of my WIP, or what I am now going to start referring to as my First Novel. My plan for that now is to let it rest for a couple of months before i read it as objectively and distantly as i can, and spot all the hideous continuity errors and crass bits of forced plot development which need correcting. Then a (hopefully) quick(ish) third draft before i then get into the process of hawking it round agents and publishers.

In the meantime though, preliminary work has begun on my next novel, my glorious follow-up. I have an overview of the main plot arc, a vague idea of themes and motives, an idea for the conflict and resolution that bring the thing to a close, and the basis of the first handful of chapters. I don’t have a full picture of my central character yet, but that will come as i start to feel my way in and improv a few scenes with him. So, in short, I am ready to put finger to keyboard and start Writing It.

Except that starting is proving tricky. I know roughly what the first chapter involves, but what about the first SCENE in that first chapter? What exactly happens? Where and when do i raise the curtain on this man’s story? And most dauntingly, what about the first sentence? I know that whatever i write now won’t be the opener by the time it’s finished, but i can’t just put any old thing and worry about it later, i have to write a First Line worthy of the name. “Call me Ishmail” and “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times” have both been taken, so they’re out.

Hmmmm… Once Upon A Time there lived a man called Carrington Sloane. These are his adventures.

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From → Blogging, Writing

12 Comments
  1. You will put pen to paper/fingers to keyboard and the perfect first line will come to you as long as you don’t put too much pressure on yourself…let it float softly in the back of your mind like a quiet soundtrack and what you’re searching for will make itself known to you, it’s there right now, it just needs to reveal itself to you. (said the newbie to the Real Deal:-) )
    Seriously though, you will find that perfect opening line and I will happily purchase the exact copy that puts you on top of the bestseller list plus also, ★★★★★ the 5 star rating you deserve 😀

  2. Figuring all this stuff out…..it’s the fun part. Carry your notebook or your i-notebook, because much of the time, these wonderful things come at inopportune times or when one is driving down a routine road;)

    • Yes it’s fun in a hard work way, bit like going to the gym . It’s tough going at times but it’s worth the effort.
      I carry a notepad, it’s best to be prepared!

  3. I have just done my 6th draft of my WIP and ended up completely changing the beginning so don’t stress too much over it 🙂 I’m not much of a planner so for me the stress is all the revisions and editing. Good luck in your writing! 🙂

    • Sorry, i just found this in my spam folder – not sure how it ended up there!
      Anyway, thanks for your encouragement and reassurance. I know whatever i write now will probably not survive but the perfectionist in me wants to get it right first time 🙂
      PS 6th draft – that’s commitment!

      • hmm this keeps happening to me 😦 why does wordpress think i’m spam 😦 i’m determined to finish it to a high standard 🙂 but I am thinking that once i’ve sent it to a few people to read and comment on, then I will call it finished or I might end up never finishing.

      • Found you filed away under spam again, don’t know why 😦
        I think writing is the same as music or painting or any other form of art, it is hard to know when it is “finished”. Maybe you’re right, we just have to say “this draft is the last one” and then move on.

      • yeah i’m thinking that if mine isn’t done by end of year then enough is enough and it can go out with warts and all hehe

      • haha i’m sure it has very few warts 🙂

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