Sunday, April 15, 2012

#1: First Lines

Step One in starting your novel:

Stop for a moment and congratulate yourself. You have what many don't: the courage to write. Its a difficult profession, one where only a few attain the recognition we all seek. But its also a beautiful profession. If you're like me, writing is more than just a hobby or something to do. It is a lifestyle and it can easily consume every part of your life.

So write down on a piece of paper or  post it note your vows: I will not give up, I will always be growing, I will always believe that I have something to say.

Now put this on your mirror or your laptop or somewhere that you will see it often. It will help when you are tempted to watch another hour of TV or go on facebook one last time.

Now take another blank piece of paper and write your first line.

I believe that starting with a first line propels you into the kind of story you want to write. You may know what the plot is, what the ending is, but don't write that down yet. Just your first line.

Let your character speak. Not you or your mother or your sister. Your character.

Make this first line shocking even to you. Let it surprise you that someone could think that. Let it shock you that you wrote it.

After this first line or first paragraph you can now begin planning.

And remember: Say something that embarrasses, shocks, scares, offends.

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