Can you believe it is the first of September? Where has the year gone? Where are all those extra days I had to write this summer, so making my October 1 deadline would be a breeze? Oye!
Since Crystal blogged about the glory of writing "The end," I thought I would blog about the frustrations of writing "The Beginning." As I understand it, not everyone angsts over the beginning of a story. In fact, some love that fresh page/fresh slate feeling, where the world is clean and new and anything can happen. I do like the idea it is a new book, perhaps a new genre, and the potential is endless. But the actual process of starting a new story usually has the makings of nightmares for me--literally. I spend those early days writing the opening scenes again and again, dreaming about just how awful they are, losing countless hours of sleep, until finally a workable opening begins to take shape.
With my current Aphrodisia WIP, Sweet & Sinful (Aug 08), I spent two weeks and went through thousands of words and no less than seven openings before I finally found one I was willing to have published with my name on it. To whet the whistle (and force me to start my day by thinking about this book the way I must do), here are the opening lines...
She’d finally done it. Turned her porn star dreams into reality. Freshly showered with a fluffy white robe wrapped around her, Courtney Baxter exited the motel suite bathroom and beamed at the naked male ass asleep on the coverless bed.
Of course the good part about all this rewriting is along the way I learn a great deal about my characters. I tend to be a pantser, and often know essentially nothing about my characters when I start a book, which might just be why I struggle with that opening so much. The great thing about this is each new scene usually comes to me as much of a surprise as to the reader. And each new one depends so much on my mood when it is being written. What I believe will be a feel good sex scene may end up being a steamy scene which is interrupted right at the good part by a peeping tom with murder on his mind.
Fortunately I am past the beginning of S&S, and now it is the middle I am trying to not let sag. I do find the middle exhilerating in many ways, as this is the point where I get to toss in some major twist, or new conflict. Heighten the plot and the reader's interest. The middle is my time for fun and to let my warped imagination soar. So for today I will be happy, creative, and hopefully put out a huge word count that is excellent and witty from the first draft.... Mind you, I did say hope!
As for that opening, I have roughly two weeks before I have to write another one. I plan to spend the days between now and then blissfully ignoring that personal nightmare.