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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Another Opening

Once upon a time, I used to love starting stories. The beginning used to be my favorite part of writing. That's changed and I'm not sure when it happened or how. My theory is that it's a combination of knowing I need to get the beginning right to support the rest of the story (kind of like the foundation of a house) and the fact that I know how easy it is to mess it up. And maybe a bit of over thinking, too.

I started a new proposal several weeks ago and I'm still struggling through the first chapter. It's frustrating. Um, and I confess I'm not helping myself either by writing other things that I didn't promise to have ready for my agent. Hopping between stories always messes me up and I'm writing a couple pages of this and few pages of that. I vowed yesterday to stop that.

It went a little better yesterday during lunch and then Monday night, I went back through it and fleshed it out. The scene takes place at Venice Beach, and thanks to Google, I was able to walk along the promenade three times (thanks, Mike, for the suggestion!). I gave my hero things to see, smell, touch and I think that helped.

But this morning I realized that I still don't have the flavor of the beach down. I don't have the people and the crowds and so today I'll go back in and layer more on top of what I have. With a little luck, this scene will turn out okay and I'll be able to move forward.

It's a little depressing, though, to remember how much fun I used to have writing the opening of a book and how different things are now. I wonder if there's anyway to recapture that joy?