I have spent the last month re-writing my opening. Openings are the most difficult part of the novel or short story for me to write.
When an inspirations hits me, and an idea begins to form and clarify in my head, it’s as though I’m watching something under water. Before clarity, the words come, and as I write the tale begins to rise to the surface.
The result is that the stories I have written always begin with pretty prose – not a question, idea, situation, or setting, but normally just a person, some feelings, and some words. For a reader, this makes for some pretty boring beginnings.
So, I’ve had to create situations, let the reader get to know the MC through actions rather than introspect (at least in my current wip). At times this comes easy, at others I go through situation after situation, sometimes writing the opening over and over until I find the right one. This time I was pretty lucky, but I also got smarter 🙂 I didn’t let myself re-write the opening until I found it. And find it I did!
Now that I have my opening scenes (because the whole first 50 pages changed along with the very first ones), I’ve been reading it, and re-reading it, and slowly adding on, until I come to the point where I’ll merge into the rest of the draft.
I ask myself questions with each and every scene. Some of them are:
What’s the purpose of the scene?
What’s the motivation (driving force) here?
Does my mc attain her want too quickly?
What do I want to reveal? And is it done through action rather than telling?
Are my characters consistent?
How about you: how do you handle your beginnings?