Here’s a perfect quote from WordPress: “Sometimes when I think how good my book can be, I can hardly breathe.” – Truman Capote
Yes. That’s it exactly. And then you start hyperventilating when you realize how far you still have to go.
So I’m writing today’s post in bits and pieces , since I’m traveling and have time to think and write. What a luxury!
If you’re a writer reading this, check out Darcy Pattison’s website. She writes a writing blog and seems to post nearly daily. Today’s newsletter had links to two good articles. The first one is Just Write It: Stop Second Guessing Until You Revise. I like the idea of placeholders. I’ve done it, you’ve probably done it: just get a sentence down because while it might not fit where it is, it might fit somewhere else or will lead to another, better thought. Kinda of what I was saying last night, although I was talking about scenes, not sentences. Same goes though: even if you’re in the middle of writing the scene thinking, I’ll never use it, write it anyway. Because you may, in completely unexpected ways.
The other article is Opening Lines – 12 Ways to Start a Novel. I’m not saying this is the bible. Start your novel the way you, your agent, and your editor thinks it’s the strongest. Having said that, this article has some interesting thinking points and really it’s just fun and interesting to see some of the greatest first lines. Some of my favorites:
“It was a pleasure to burn.” – Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
“The moment one learns English, complications set in.” – Felipe Alfau, Chromos
“Dr. Weiss, at forty, knew that her life had been ruined by literature.” – Anita Brookner, The Debut
“A story has no beginning or end; arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead.” – Graham Greene, The End of the Affair (I’ll be using this one again.)
“I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.” – Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle
“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.” – J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
Well, you get the idea. And that’s only looking at the first half of the list. I could be here all day. What’s your favorite opening line, either from this list or not?
Today’s writing count to come later this evening.
OK, today’s word count: 163. 163 more words in my novel than I had this morning. Suh-weet.