My first week of my 100 words a day challenge has thus far been a success! I’m so pleased with myself!
I’ve done quite a bit of work on this manuscript, although it doesn’t seem like it at the moment because I’ve rewritten the opening scene a few times to try and get it right. After writing the opening scene as I’d originally imagined it, I realised that it doesn’t really fit the tone of the rest of the novel very well. I didn’t get rid of it though – I just started again. The original scene would probably work better for a movie, especially as I’ve imagined it play out that way in my head, but as an opening to a novel it just took too long to get to the hook.
I attended a few writing classes when I lived in Brisbane and one of the best lessons I learned was that you shouldn’t bury your opening sequence under a mountain of descriptions and exposition, you need to grab the reader straight up. We were given two examples of opening sequences, one was from ‘The Hobbit’ and the other from a children’s book, the name of which escapes me. In The Hobbit, it took four pages to get past the flowery prose and to the point. In the other book, the opening sentence was “When Billy woke up, he discovered he was a girl”. Exactly to the point. I confess, I’m guilty of picking up books that look interesting in a bookstore, reading the first page or two, and putting them back if they didn’t grab me. So why should my manuscript be any different?
My story now leads directly into the first problem my protagonist faces.
And now: I’m off to do my work for the Sydney Writer’s Centre. I’ve finally worked out what to write for the first assignment, so I want to get through the readings and get writing. Oh, I also have a post I want to write about storytelling through tattoos, a subject I find personally fascinating. I’ll put that on the to do list as well.