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Friday, October 23, 2009

My Writing Process: Act 3

Still don't remember what I was going to "PS" about...that's really bugging me...

How Sara Writes: A Play in Multiple Acts

ACT THREE: Firstly, a Draft

Our protagonist, Sara, rushes in from stage right as the lights come up. In her arms is a banged-up PC laptop, heavy and large, with a pink butterfly sticker on the lid. She sits at Big Red Desk, still center-stage, and jerks open PC.
Sara: The first line came to me! Oh, it gives me chills.


"It was a dim and tempestuous evening..."

Sara pauses. She leans back, stares at the ceiling, stares at the stage, and slumps farther back against the chair. Somewhere off stage, a clock ticks away a few seconds.
Sara: *leaning forward with renewed vigor* No, no, no. That's no good at all. Try:

"It was the grandest of moments, it was the most horrific of moments..."

Sara: *beating on the BACKSPACE key* No, no, no, NO! Gah! What are you doing to me, story? I have you all outlined, see? *holds up stupidly large piece of scribbled-on hardback paper* See? This is how you peak, and how you end, and how everyone lives happy forever after. It's all planned out! All you have to do is BEGIN!

Sara stares at PC, waiting for the first line to materialize by sheer willpower.
Sara: I bet a Mac would give me the first line.

Beginnings SUCK. Suck, suck, SUCK. No matter how overly excited I am for the middle or end of my stories, my beginnings continue to be a source of much hair-pulling and WHYAMIAWRITER-moaning. Once I get past the 20,000 word mark, I'm good (usually). But getting there is not pretty. At all. The first draft's beginning leaves a trail of tears, blood, ink, and cuss words in its wake. And this go-around with Rechanneled has left me moaning and cussing at my PC while Pippa sits beside me, her head cocked, wondering why her human is so insane.

Don't worry, Pippa. There are people much crazier than me.

That's not comforting, is it?

Oh! I remembered what the PS was supposed to be about!

PS: Kat is having a Halloween Contest over at her blog, Words etc. She's giving away one copy of one of the 5 books caught in the price-war between Walmart, Sears, and Amazon. Yeah. Thought that'd peak your interest. Especially since one of the books you can choose is Michael Crichton's Pirate Latitudes. Pirates. Michael Crichton. Awesome.


Sherrie Petersen said...

I've been having the opposite problem. I'll think of these great opening lines or paragraphs, but then I have to figure out how to turn them into an entire book.

Kate said...

I'm sure it'll come to you in due course!

Karilynnlove said...

I have the opposite problem too! I can write a killer first line/paragraph/chapter but it all goes downhill from there!
Good luck with your openings!

Hayley Lovell said...

You know everytime I see anything slightly related to pirates anymore I always think of you. It's like that game were you see something and have to say the first thing that pops into your head, well whenever I see anything even closely related to pirates, I think of you. Good luck with your openings Sara, though they eventually become briliant.

Mariah Irvin said...

Ooh Michael Crichton. I must go to her site immediately!

I also suck at beginnings, and feel like my writing gets stronger as the word count gets higher. Right now my WiP feels unbalanced for this reason.

Natalie Whipple said...

Your opening was great! What are you talking about?

Okay, well, Stream Pirate's was a little wonky...but you fixed it up right nice!

Anonymous said...

I hate beginnings too. I can never make them catchy enough.

Sara Raasch said...

Solvang -- Maybe if we conjoin our brains, we'll get a fully-formed novel!

Kate -- Thanks :)

Karilynnlove -- I wish I could come up with a killer opening...most of my openings make me cringe

Hayley -- Haha, glad I come in to your mind with pirates! I don't mind sharing a thought with swashbucklers :)

Mariah -- I'm struggling with my WIP too; I have to get to the middle hump before it gets better. I'm almost there. So close, yet so far.

Natalie -- I think the beginning for Rechanneled was the best I've ever done; it was almost too easy. Makes me nervous.

Dara -- There's so much pressure on beginnings -- to be catchy and attention-grabbing and on and on. Poor beginnings; they didn't ask for all that pressure.