Since this is the beginning of my blog and my writing career, I believe blogging about writing the beginning of the trilogy is appropriate.
One of my undergrad teachers told my class, “Beginnings and endings are the hardest parts of a book to write.” I agreed with him on endings (that’ll be a blog for another day), but beginnings? What was so hard about that? Just jump into the action and avoid starting with your main character waking up. Oh, how naive and novice I was…
It took me about seven years to peg page one of Anticipation. Seven years. I scrapped over fifty pages, one character, several scenes of back-and-forth between Aerigo and Daio I was rather fond of, and a prologue of another ten pages that used to be chapter 13–or was it 12? I don’t remember anymore, other than it was right between the cruise ship and Sconda.
The prologue didn’t appear until last year and didn’t get removed until this year. So, technically you could say it took me nine years to get page one right. Long story short: adding the prologue was a mistake my thesis mentors and I made. I had a gut feeling ever since we did that, but I didn’t trust my gut until the literary agent I met this past August agreed with me that it indeed “sucks.” It more confuses reader than grounds them, and makes you wait ten agonizing pages to meet the main character of the story. Not good. On top of that, no one reads prologues these days. Heck, even I skipped them when I was a teenager.
After all that hacking, chopping, chiseling, and learning, page one finally began to take shape.
Now, the first sentence of any book I write is fashioned after a very happenstance moment in my childhood. My dad likes Stephen King books. He had a bunch tucked away on some shelves in the basement. One day I went down there and started reading one. The first line went something like this: “Holy hell! What was that?” And then the character turns around his car to get a second, better look.
Just the way it sucked me in and got me moving right along with the characters so instantaneously, so effortlessly… there couldn’t be a better way to start a book. I love the feeling of being dropped in the middle of action and wanting to know/get what the character wanted. Hopefully I’ve achieved that with Roxie.
A draft of chapter 24 of book two, currently titled Hesitation, is done. Six chapters to go before massive edits and rewrites begin.