Monday, June 18, 2012


Hello, gentle readers!  I hope you've all had a wonderful weekend and found yourselves refreshed and ready for the work week when you climbed out of your beds today.
Since it's the beginning of the week, today I want to talk about beginnings.
Where do stories begin? How do they begin? 
A friend recently admitted that she would like to write, but she was hesitant to take the plunge.
"Why?" I asked.
"Because I wouldn't know where to begin the story," she complained.
To me, the answer seemed obvious.  You start the story where it wants you to start it, with a scene or a word or a line of dialogue.
Call me Ishmael.
It was a bright, cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times....
I am an invisible man.
It was a pleasure to burn.
He - for there could be no doubt of his sex, though the fashion of the time did something to disguise it- was in the act of slicing at the head of a Moor which hung from the rafters.
Once upon a time....
To me, beginnings are easy.  Beginnings are the trollops of the writing process, hitching their skirts up around their hips and flashing the goods at you. They invite you in, promising a good time, and I always accept their invitations.
They found John Epcott on the beach, sprawled in the sand.
Faith Morgan pushed her fingers through her lank, brown hair and stared at her reflection, in the mirror.
Tobias thought the girl must have been dead about twelve hours.
At night, the firekeeper's tower could be seen for miles.
"Dorothy Gale was a fucking cunt."
The old woman made her way through the growing darkness, a bunch of faded flowers in one hand, a stout walking stick gripped in the other.
If you want to write, just start at the beginning even if it's the end of your story.  Write that first line, see what will hang from it. Even better, take that first step on a trip and see where the path leads you.  Even if you hit a rough patch, the act of getting there will probably be improving.  It will help you establish your own voice, your own style, your own sense of self as a writer.
Just start at the beginning and see where the story takes you.

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