11.10.2010

WriMo Wednesday: Beginning at the Beginning

I have a confession to make: the first 800 words of my NaNoWriMo project are a prologue. I don't even know if it's a good prologue or a necessary prologue, but there it is. My muse decided You must start here, so here I have started. It also took me an entire week + a few days for me to finally get it all down, and last night, I finally started Chapter 1.

The point of all this is that beginnings are hard. I sucked at writing intros for English essays and college papers. Trust. I was hard-pressed to write the rest of my paper if I didn't have an intro down first. It's why I often had really crappy intros, which I had to go back and revise later, but they needed to be there to direct the rest of my paper. You always hear about the importance of the thesis sentence. Well, it's true.

Strangely enough though, when it comes to writing fiction, I tend to have no trouble with the beginning. It's everything else that gets me. Of course, that isn't to say my beginnings are any good or that they're the right beginning, but they put me in a place to be able to write the rest. For me, my beginnings must set the stage for me and the reader; the tone has to feel right to me, and there has to be a hook for the reader. It's kind of a lot of pressure if you think about it too much. That's why it's the hardest for me to turn off my internal editor when I start. (Yes, that's probably the reason it took me a week to write 800-some words. That and being really distracted by watching True Blood. I finished Season 1!)

But now I'm on Chapter 1, and the pressure is slightly off. The prologue was all SRS BSNS, but now I'm into the fun, ridiculous stuff. Hopefully, the ball will get rolling.

Here's how it starts:

Casey knew it was going to be a bad day when she woke up to an angel leaning over her bed. She reacted by throwing her alarm clock at his face.

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Endings are hard too (I also hated writing conclusions), but I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

Do you find it hard to start too? How do you know if you're beginning at the right beginning? Who else is very, very behind in NaNo wordage? Do you think we still have a chance?!

5 comments:

Emy Shin said...

I know exactly what you mean -- the beginning shapes the characters and sets the tone and conflict for the rest of the book, so even if it isn't the best beginning, it needs to be a tolerable one before I can write on.

And your beginning sentences ROCK. I'd read it in a heartbeat. :D

Oh, I'm also terribly behind, but we can definitely catch up, we can!

Lydia Kang said...

I love your beginning sentences!
The first chapter kills me. It so hard to do right! I've written a few good first chapters but they end up not being right for the story later. Grrr.

Melissa said...

YOUR BEGINNING WAS WORTH A WEEK. That needed caps for emphasis. Your beginning rocks and beginnings are crazy important - I'm the same way with essays and papers.

Beginning are hard. Harder than endings. Trust me, I just wrote the ending to my book. It was easy. Beginning was the hard part.

Jen Daiker said...

Prologue or not you're writing and sometimes to get things on paper they don't always make sense. I can't write a novel unless I have a beginning, meaning that it can take weeks to month before I write a thing, but when I start I don't stop.

Krispy said...

Emy- Yeah, glad I'm not the only picky one who gets stuck on beginnings. Yay! I'm glad you like the way my chapter 1 starts! :D Go us! We can do it!!!

Lydia- Thanks! Glad the sentences are amusing to people other than me. Haha.

Melissa- LOL. That's very affirming! I don't know if it's worth a week, but thanks for thinking so! :D Congrats again on finishing NaNo so quick! Hopefully I'll get there too.

Jen- It's true! The start needs to at least kind of work to get the ball rolling.