How Many Times

…can I start the same novel?

Tonight makes four. Maybe it’s the magic bullet. One more and I’ve got a full chamber*, hey-oh!

If nothing else, it’s the first one that is starting in a substantively different place. Maybe I had it all wrong, trying to set the scene and be atmospheric before jumping into the action. That (that is to say, description and physical grounding) has never been my strong suit, so why attempt to lead off that way except that I thought it would make a great artistic pretension? Sometimes you just have to cut your losses and realize – I’m not artist enough to pull that off.

Lily just gotta be Lily, you know?

I don’t know if I’ll be any happier with this start later, but I was at least happy enough with it tonight to bring in the hero’s first point of view section from Chapter 1 (which did not need to change). And I gave myself a clear thesis for what the heroine’s goal and intention is with her actions. I gave up the idea of being able to tell the reader without telling them. Fuck that. I’m not artist enough for that, either. She can say flat-out, “I’m here to ruin his life.” Yup. Go get him, cowgirl. Just, ah, pro tip – make sure you have the right dude, first.

Or don’t. ’Cause if you did, there’d be no story.

339 words later, I have officially written something for the first time in I can’t even conjure how many months, and attempt #4 to (re)write the opening of this fucking novel is underway. Post integration we are up to 1824 of a projected 30K.

Now if only this feeling of empty, broken despair that leaves me barren of all fucks as far as quality is concerned will just stay in place for another (pauses and does math) 17 or so nights….

*my personal piece is a 5-shot revolver. So yeah. Full.


Filed under Ramblings, Writing

2 responses to “How Many Times

  1. You are writing. Anything. Give yourself lots of points. It will keep the Muse on her toes. And one of those starts will charm you, and you’ll keep it.

    • Yes I am writing. 🙂 not sure if the muse has much to do with it, or if he’s still facedown in a gutter somewhere, but the lovely thing about having a bit of a breakdown is that i just stopped CARING whether what i wrote was any good. it was write something potentially shitty, or not write at all for the forseeable future. it broke my give a damn. who knows, maybe it will be the best thing that ever happened to me as a writer. maybe i’ve needed to get over my “i have to be able to think to make it sound good and i have to make it sound good on the first try so if i can’t then i won’t write” thing for years. or maybe it’s simply that the need to write is, in fact, more powerful than despair.

      i am hopeful about this new start. i suppose i could add back in some of the atmosphere later, but it may not need it. at least my “tell the other character, not the reader” insight gave me leave to cut a really interesting (to me, at least) piece of backstory that was going to be in the opening.

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