NOT-SO-OFFICIAL NANO (NOVEMBER 2015):
BLOG UPDATE #2
As I write this I finished the first sentence, not quite done working on the first chapter (prologue actually!) and with a plan to finish the first draft by the end of this year — I can only hope, and WRITE; write lots!
So what does this not-so-official NaNo update post/blog cover, other than it being another slightly coherent post from my local write-in?
You looked at the title, didn’t you? Yes, it’s (partially) about the pitfalls of the first sentence, first chapter and, more generally, the first draft.
As a disclaimer, I won’t be covering everything that can be covered (and has already been covered) in this post. WAY too lazy and uninspired for that.
Now let me start with what I believe is a universal truth: most firsts are pretty emotional…either negative emotional or positive, or maybe even some where in between.
Sums up how I feel looking at a blank Word document.
For instance, I know some first sentences are amazing the moment I close it off with a period. It’s that “AHA” light bulb moment where everything falls perfectly into place. And then sometimes the following sentence gives me a hard time.
If you’re anything like me (personality-wise) you both dread and welcome firsts, be they the first sentence, first page, first time riding a roller coaster or eating, *makes a face*, dango for the first –and last–time.
Honestly. I get this rush! I’m scared and excited and nervous and totally jumping up and down like a kid in a candy store with unlimited access to EVERYTHING. It’s like the first day of November, knowing everyone’s kicking off with a goal to hit 50K and end up with a semblance of a “full-length” novel.
Does this sound like you?
Well let me give you a personalized tip — personalized because I take my own medicine, folks (preach it, teach it bby): embrace that first, and hold it down, suffocate it and then move on.
Seriously though, answer this question: What do you lose if you DON’T write a first sentence, a first page, if you don’t continue from page to page for that matter and hit THE END?
You say ‘my precious time’, I say ‘go away and stop bugging people about your pipe dream to write a novel one day’. If you’re seriously committed to at least seeing a first draft through then pull up a chair for another…err, minute or so (I’m on borrowed time as the write-in comes to a close).
So you want to write a novel? Want to get past several first to the last sentence of your masterpiece…well for starters 1) set a smaller word count, be that daily or not. If you keep it small, you’re more likely to reach your word goal AND that might give you a boost to write a bit more…and then just a bit more… You get it, right? See the simple logic, the 2 + 2 = 4 math.
Secondly, you’re going to have to set aside any assumptions of HOW your work should look like because it MIGHT not look like that and you can just get over yourself right now. What is up in your head won’t necessarily translate to the page and that’s because your head — unless you’re some kind of savant — doesn’t hold a novel-ready book. It just doesn’t. Cool?
And finally — I love finally — write for you. I mean even if you’re planning to actually send this WIP off to an agent/editor some day, you still have to write the story of your heart THEN tailor it to the story that can sell as well (without losing the heart).
I have to sign off this post now, but I hope this has helped in giving you an extra pep in your writing journey.
Now because I’m in the mood, I’ll share the 1st sentence of my current work:
“Her thighs still pulsed from where he’d violently grabbed and pried them apart.”
I’m not even sure if that is a “powerful/good enough” first, but it’s my first and I don’t care what anyone else thinks. (Unless it’s a future editor.) Otherwise, nah.