I know. It’s been like a week. I’m sorry. I fell off the band wagon and have about 4 days worth of content to get caught up on. And… I’m sorry. And I love you guys. All five of my subs. I love you, I promise.
I’m not gonna lie, I had a weird depressive down swing. I don’t know if I actually have clinical depression, but I wouldn’t be surprised. That rant and story will have to come another day. I’m going to chalk it up to many things, more stuff I won’t get into now. But I did have one.
So I fell off the band wagon HARD, rolled into the ditch, and had to lie there crying about it for a while. But, I’m back now, and going to work crazy hard (emphasis on the crazy) to get back on track. But if we never catch up, we are not going to beat ourselves up about it, because if we do that, then we will feel more and more stressed and then quit. And we cannot have that. We have also been using the royal we all this time and we don’t care because REASONS.
The funny thing is, I took copious notes on this several days ago, but my son decided that writing was never going to happen while he was awake. That’s the first push-off the bandwagon I had. But I can’t blame him entirely.
Beginnings are still really hard, and I like that they say don’t write the first pages first. I often write the end before I write the beginning. The end often gets changed by the time I get to the end, but that’s fine. It’s a good ride to get there.
Mary gives us a good example of how the opening pages feel, like we are in a dark room and we are only shining around a flashlight to figure out our tone and our promises to be made.
Howard also talks about taking the paragraph and flipping the paragraph upside down. The last line needs to be first, often times. It’s an interesting problem that I hadn’t ever though about, and I may do this more often.
I also really like the idea that you should stress the first page and not necessarily the first lines. Specifically what’s important to the character, what they want.
This keeps getting stressed and I feel like I should stress it, too. Everyone wants something, and that’s what we focus on.
I want to write, more so, I want to write for people. So everything I do aims toward that goal. But I’m more complex than that. I also want my son to be happy and my husband, so I do everything in my power to make that happen. Even forgoing what I want to do (sit at my computer and write all day) to do things for them. Play with my son, cuddle my husband, or cook dinner for them that they enjoy. All things that makes them feel loved and happy and full fills what I am striving to do.
Write your first thirteen lines, and see how much you can fit into that space—character attitude, point-of-view, mood, genre, conflict, setting, and more.
The reason they give this prompt is because standard manuscript format means that the first page will only be thirteen lines. My Scrivener application will compile manuscripts like this, so I can easily see how the first page of my manuscript will look.
So, what does the first thirteen lines look like in my book?
"Normally, I never question your orders. I kill when you tell me and when you are paying me. But this time it's too risky. Convince me." "Ha! You're speaking like one of my clerks. You're sitting in my office, drinking my bourbon, asking me to justify my actions for the betterment of this world to you?" "I'm drinking a fine drink offered to me, along with a comfortable chair, asking you to justify my actions to me.""Are you getting soft?" Silence. "I'll take that as no. We're shaping the course of events,"
So, what does this tell us about the book we are about to read?
- This is very spy like.
- There is conflict going on before we even get off the ground.
- The author isn’t going to tell us everything up front.
I’d say that hits all the marks it’s supposed to.