Wednesday, February 21, 2007

In Desperate Need of a Good Trim

I have that 'ick' feeling about my current WIP. I am just exhausted over trying to rework the beginning. Evidently I can't seem to get to the action fast enough. My recent attempt to try to speed things up, cut to the action quicker, got the same response from my critique partner...'you probably don't need all this'...'I think it might work better if didn't tell all this right at the beginning.

I guess I just like that slow, meandering path some authors take to get to the heart of the story. I'm one of 'those'. As a reader, I don't feel the need to 'know everything' on the first page, and as a writer, I don't feel compelled to tell everything.

Last night, Kimberley Raye was the speaker at our RWA chapter meeting. She spoke on 'Bang-up Beginnings', which was really pertinent for me personally and a great program, all things considered. Basically, in her opinion, the first sentence (or sentences) should set the tone. It should give you a sense of the protagonist, give you some action, and toss in a little emotion too. I felt like saying, 'Is that all?'

She read a few of her favorite first lines, at least one of which, in my opinion, didn't even come close to doing all this, and then she read the beginnings of chapter members brave enough to have theirs read aloud. It was anonymous, so I was brave enough.

I'd written the beginning I submitted yesterday before the meeting in reaction to my critique partner's comments, so I was eager to get an opinion. Her opinion was pretty much this...the first paragraph wasn't really 'bang-up', but it interested her enough to keep reading. She thought the third paragraph should be moved up to the first and I should start there. So basically, my trim-down (which was a trim-down) needs to be trimmed down. My WIP is going to be the size of a picture book once I get through with all this trimming!

I probably should have trimmed this post...

1 comment:

Stacy said...

Revision woes for you too? Why don't you try working on a different part for now? I found I couldn't get the beginning of my novel right until I got the middle and end right. Maybe if you return to it later, you'll see it with fresh eyes.