Oh, Book…

Dear Sailor’s Daughters or whatever I end up calling you,

Where do you begin? I mean, seriously. This is only my fourth time writing you. ;-\

I know where you begin chronologically, but where does the story begin? And why is this oaf named Taylor taking over my story into some weird runaway slave/blackmail story? I mean, I’m glad this inciting stuff has a purpose now, but I don’t want it to be all about him. He’s not the main character here! He’s not even the main antagonist!

What the hell is going on in this book?! One second, we’re talking about an employee leaving and the next we’re talking about a sugarcane harvest and oh, dear God, why are we sucking so much at description, book?

Right now, Miles and his wife, Adele, are talking over their options after Taylor has blackmailed them via letter and the point of the novel comes out from this whole mess of a beginning because it’s about family. Soon, Taylor will start making more unpleasant insinuations and then Adele dies, which will be very sad, but will get the story moving along.

Book, do you mind not feeling like I’m pulling teeth while I’m writing down this beginning? I know it’s new words and that’s why they sound slapped down instead of crafted and yes, they are a bit boring right now, but hang in there, novel. Think of Alexandra up in the rigging of the ship. Think of a less confused Miles. Think of Mrs. Braddock. Think of making Lady Banston just that little bit of a haughty aristocrat. Think of more Pearl in your future!

In the meantime, let’s figure out these beginning bits, okay? We can do it. We can do this without too many info dumps, right, book?

Right? Right.

11 thoughts on “Oh, Book…

  1. Ah yes, the best kind of beginning…the rewritten one. I hope I don't end up having to rewrite mine. I read over it last night and I still like it, but it's only been a week, you know. Of course, I have a few info dumps…lol! Tiny info dumps!It's funny, I hear people talking about side characters trying to take over the story. This happened to me once that I can remember. I actually ran with it until I realized I liked him more than everyone else. :(I've read a few places that the beginning of the story is right before everything goes to pot, where you establish a sense of what's normal for the MC before things change. Like seeing a day in the life of Iron Man before he's kidnapped and makes that awesome flying suit out of scrap metal! Or whatever. :)Sometimes I ask my characters where the story starts. Sometimes they know…not always, unfortunately but sometimes.


  2. Watch, I'll get this draft down and I'll end up going back to the beginning during editing and changing the start again anyway. I am where things go to hell for Miles–or start to–so I guess this really is where the story begins, then.


  3. Oh, book, indeed! I have done the following three times now: I write the first five chapters of my book, decide I hate the first chapter, delete it entirely and then rework what used to be \”Chapter 2\” as a new and improved \”Chapter 1\” Books can just be so \”uhgg\” like that!!


  4. I hit 10K in this draft–all new words–didn't like the chapter breaks, decided to just write it and worry about chapters later and then finally decided that I hated almost everything, but especially the beginning. Started a new doc last night and wrote a new beginning. For now, I'm okay with it.


  5. Beginnings. Ugh, ugh and double ugh. I've finally got mine where I wanted it but, man, did it ever take a long time. Good luck with yours. You'll whip it into shape I'm sure.


  6. Hi Rei :)That's so funny to read about, but I know that it can get frustrating. I actually re-write my beginning pages like 10 times before I settled on one I was okay with. Even after I picked one I still went back and played with it a few times. I've now added a prologue and I still don't know if my first chapter is good enough :((That's interesting about a side character taking over. Maybe you're being judged to start the beginning through his POV? Have you tried that? You might like it.


  7. Hey Linnea–I'm feeling better after my little beginning rewrite. I'm a chronological writer, unfortunately, so I need the start to be in reasonable shape before I move further in. At least this time, I know exactly where this baby's going. Hi Karla! Usually, it's said that beginning writers should really start the story at around chapter three, that everything before that is backstory. This isn't my first time writing this story, but who knows, I may well end up doing that. As for the antagonist, he's a thoroughly unlikeable dude and I already have five POVs in this story, so I'm containing him. I'm only worried about how I'll tie him in to later parts of the novel, actually.


  8. I have a terrible habit of either giving away the entire plot at the start (when I have one lol) or of holding back too much. I hit a flow toward the middle, then sag, then get lazy toward the end.


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