ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

Saturday, 31 October 2009

The First Chapter


Well it is scary watching that NaNoWriMo widget counting down and the day has nearly arrived. It's now Saturday 31st October 8.33 am. I've written my synopsis and am thinking about the first chapter. I thought I'd use my blog to write what I'm up to, a bit of an online diary thingy, as it's pretty much just between me and me and my little Foxy Lady up there (I love images as you might have noticed) watching what I write so intently and wisely and licking my tears of frustration away, so Denise, let's get this first chapter underway.

As I'm going with the Romance genre and am hoping to have a sweet little Harlequin book done by the end of November, I checked out a few 'how to write a romance 'books as you do. One of my foibles is I just keep checkin' out 'how tos' and never get around to the doing. I'm under no illusions that it's going to be easy to actually keep doing...
I found 'An Introduction to Romance Writing' by Sherry Anne Jacobs very helpful. She has some good stuff on the first chapter. What does she say? Well, I'm not too sure about plagarism in this case so Sherry and me are sharing stuff here. And, remember, I'm just talking to myself and Foxy. These are the bits I'll be paying attention to:

  • the first chapter is the most important part of the book (we all know if we aren't rivited from the start and life is too short to read a bad book, we toss it and reach for the next one)


  • get the hero and heroine out there so the reader can start caring about them. I'm in love with mine already, just gotta get other people to feel the same...


  • hint at the basic plot of your novel, show don't tell of course


  • set your tone (you can hardly help doing this) gotta have your own voice coming thru...


  • show physical setting for your story. I like Elizabeth Adler's style here. The setting becomes a character. I have some dreamy settings on the go...


  • get crackin' with that sparkling dialogue, hmmm, that can be tricky. Need help there! There'll be a lot of mumbling to myself and Foxy...


  • get some conflict happenin' with that hero/heroine or what's the point? Don't we all just love a good to-do...


  • trot out some subordinate characters (I'd hate to be one of those, wouldn't you?) But no man (or woman) is an island after all, although I could think of some exceptions...


  • there is a need for 2 'hooks' - one at the beginning, preferably in the first paragraph, and the other at the end (and this is not a fishing trip, but I'll certainly be fishing for hooks! That's terrible! I do hope I improve soon...there's always hope!)

Well, if I can do all that, I'll have a crackin' good first chapter happening. I could even be dangerous. Wonder what the other NaNoWriMo 150,000 adults and 35,ooo kids are doin' today?

A footnote about post dates. Blogger has my dates mixed up and I can't fix the problem. I am sick of doing the post options thing, so I'll write the real date somewhere...If anyone reads this and knows how to fix it, I'd be grateful. Blogger help just points out the Post Options option...



No comments:

Post a Comment

I love hearing from you! Hit me with your wisdom!