Posts Tagged ‘Novel beginnings’

Starting a novel: Granite or fun house?

Today’s post: the mental state of being at the front-end of the novel. I love the start of novels. It may be the only time I can say I am unabashedly happy as a writer. Other times I may be confidant, poised, satisfied, or happily resigned. But there is only one sequence when I am in love: At the beginning.

Other authors do not love beginnings. Mary Higgins Clark has said:

“The first four months of writing a book, my mental image is scratching with my hands through granite.”

In contrast to this–quite common, I believe–writing experience is mine:

Springtime at Giverny - Monet

Springtime at Giverny – Monet

“The first hundred pages or so, my mental attitude is that of being lost in a fun house–no, not lost, more staggering from one wonder to another”

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On incurably loving the beginnings of novels

I’m on page 147 of my new novel in progress. Those of you who’ve been following my posts may wonder why I’ve added so few pages to my previous number.

Water Lily Pond Water Irises - Monet

Water Lily Pond Water Irises – Monet

Well. The short, blithely cheerful answer is: I’ve had to recast, rewrite. It wasn’t quite working. Now I believe it is, thank goodness. But nevertheless I’m only on page 147.

Not that I mind being in the first half of the WIP. Not at all. I rather wish I had seen the issues ahead of time and not had to change the structure–but oh, it’s been a lovely time of re-connecting with my story, of finding it’s true roots. Incurably, I love the beginnings of novels. And this is the subject of today’s post: the mental state of being at the front-end of the novel.

Other authors do not love the beginning. Mary Higgins Clark has said:

“The first four months of writing a book, my mental image is scratching with my hands through granite.” Read More…