Thursday, August 19, 2010

First Pages

I'm working on a book almost ready for copy editing. That means that it's practically in its final form and structurally sound. All except--in this case--the first pages.

The first paragraph is a load-bearing beam for the rest of the novel. It establishes the tone of the book and piques the reader's interest. Usually, I like to give a mini-picture of the main character's current circumstances as I release them in mid-action. But with my current work-in-progress, I haven't hit on the right scene yet.

The funny thing about writing a story is, if you're perplexed, you have to stop and think. Sometimes the thinking goes on for days. Panic can set in when you lose trust in your brain's ability to come up with novel solutions, and you can end up with a nice case of writer's block.

The best thing, I think, is to think and to trust. Take the walk. Wait for the morning. That first paragraph is out there somewhere readying itself for delivery to the mail slot of your mind. Please, please Mr. Postman...


  1. I've found that swimming laps or taking a yoga class can be a catalyst for disentangling writing hitches - anything that jolts my mind into another frame of consciousness. Happy to find your blog.

  2. I'm with you, Megan. Although sometimes I wish there were some amino acid or something you could take and get the solution immediately. (Especially on deadline!) But then, I have a lazy streak...