Let's end the week on beginnings. We started out by talking about them, but I had another thought that I wanted to add to that discussion. Along with not doing a serious critique of the first chapter until you've reached the end of your novel, so too must you be ready to trash said beginning. And not just in a novel, in shorts as well.
The only reason I bring this up is because I for one, and a few others that I know as well, tend to stress about beginnings. We can't get started until we fully understand where the story is going, who our character is, who they will become and so forth. The trouble is, you've got to get something onto the page before all of that is going to spring from the eternal fountain of brilliance that is your head.
Honestly though, this might be one of those discovery writer sorts of things. Outliners might not have this problem (cue for the Outliners to chime in in the comments section). I'm terrible at it myself so I can't really say. But what I have tried with outlining would still tell me that I'd likely still need to rework my beginning after I got to the end.
I've found that I do that with posts for the blog. In fact, that's how the thought occurred to me. I sat down one night to write a post and found myself agonizing over the words for the opening. Then I stopped and thought about it. “David, you're just going to rewrite the beginning of this post when you get to the end anyways because that's what you always do. You just need to start. The beginning will come later.”
Keeping this idea in mind with regards to beginnings will help in two ways. First, and most obvious, letting you get started without having to worry about coming up with the perfect beginning. Second, it keeps you open to the possibility of trashing it later on during a revision.
Sometimes suggesting that a beginning isn't working and needs to be scrapped is hard to hear. But like I said in Tuesday's post, that beginning is what gets your foot in the door with an agent, publisher, and reader. So much rides on that opening that it doesn't pay to be stubborn about the beginning.
And that, my friends, is it for this week. Sorry about there not being any pictures today, but its been a long week and there's a long weekend ahead. But keep your heads up, I sense that things are turning around for everyone. Remember the friend whose relative was in the hospital? Well the relative is doing much better and the dreaded swine flu is leaving the friend's body