Posts Tagged ‘starting a novel’

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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The next fiction dream

Dear readers and friends,

My blog is changing. I’ll be sharing more personal perspectives on the writing life rather than teaching fiction. I find that I need to commit more time to my writing, and some things, alas, must go.  It’s exciting to have a new book coming out, and of course, the next one’s under way. They’ll now get more of my attention.  I hope you’ll still drop by and catch some of my musings on the writing life and, soon, some insights into my latest book.  With many thanks–Kay


As I write this, I’m embarking on a new novel. As usual with any new book I work on, I don’t talk about my concept. Talking about the book too soon seems to cool the fire I need to get started on the venture–to believe the story is possible, to commit my energy to the next fictive dream.

But I still want to talk about my writing experience. The wins, losses, hopes, frustrations, and those occasional spectacular gifts from the writing gods.

Today my observations on this insane process of novel writing relates to how incredibly high story hopes climb at the beginning. Read More…