I'm not consistent with updates, but I'm 80% done and this is approximately where I stopped the last time I attempted Nano. Although I will say that I have a stronger story and I have spent time at the end of the process, plotting out the things. And it seems a bit backwards to plot when a significant chunk of the draft has been written. But bear with me.
I think that I when I started I had a vague thought about how things were going to go, and instead of getting bogged down in the details I started writing. And it wasn't very good, still isn't very good but I actually know who the characters are now. And I've changed things, of course things are going to change, that is the reality writing and first drafts. But if the strongest stories are the ones that are character driven, I think finding the character and then the story is the way that makes sense to me.
I've also stopped thinking about the story in the linear way that it will probably function in. And today was writing the moment before the finale. And it was wildly cathartic.
The whole writing experience this month (now almost done) is that late at night is my best time for writing. It feels like that when the sun is down, I am done with doing things and now I can think clearly.
I'm just about to head off to bed, and the cat of the house has kept me imprisoned a little longer than anticipated by being the cutest lap cat.
Here are a few things you should avoid in your first chapter!
• Slow opening. This gets the reader nowhere and won’t want to encourage them to keep reading.
• Cliché opening. Please don’t have your main character (MC) stand in front of a mirror and describe themselves from head to toe…
• Info-dumping. Reading every detail about the world you’ve created or even about a character isn’t exciting. Don’t toss readers every bit of information. Instead, sprinkle it in.
• No clear POV character. Don’t confuse readers by not establishing the narrator/who they’re reading from.
At Earley Editing, we offer a First Chapter Critique service and this list consists of many of the openings we initially read. It’s one of our favorite services, though, because we get to help writers improve their first chapters for agents and those query trenches!
There are ghosts that tread these fields. They remember a time when they could dance with the grasses among birdsong and starlight. Now they twirl dust skirts to the sounds of lonely wind and roaring engines.
Soon these field will be green with corn again, for a season. Tall enough to lose yourself in. Tall enough to hide who knows what.
Corn once meant home, and hot meals, and comfort here. It was not meant to feed machines or dominate the horizon.
What did this place look like when corn meant home? It has been home to more generations of farmers than of consumers, of product buyers. For a thousand years people have grown and reaped corn, laughing over hot bowls of its soup and despairing at failed crops. And there are crops even older than corn that still grow here. But now the people only know these most ancient companions as weeds and food fit for squirrels.
This land has known many many more generations of hunters than both consumers and farmers combined. The hunters knew the other shapers that shared these fields and woods then. You see their bones in the hillsides and the echoes of their hunger in the ways plants still grow here. The trees still make thorns fit to repel mammoths, and fruits to entice the long lost giants. What might people learn from living in the footsteps of such long lost relatives? Can we still learn from them? These giant ghosts the land still remembers. You can hear it whisper their stories when you listen.
We almost lost all the giants that show us how a prairie can be home, but the buffalo are beginning to return. People care enough to help them. Can we be humble enough to let them care for us again?
Does the land feel more like home when you plant seeds, or when you trust it to provide what forage and prey is needed? It does not feel homely when it has been dominated beyond recognition. It no longer provides all you need, and the seeds do not become food. The ghosts dance in the dusts of dry fields, their stories of how to make a home here quieter every year.
I dream of a land where cornfields mean home. Summer skies will be lit with stars and summer fields mirroring the skies, lit by fireflies. We will listen to stories almost lost, and find our way to share the land with its ghosts. And far far in the future, we will join them to dance in grasses and wildflowers
FND: Functional Neurological Disorder or as it is known to a few within the medical profession and those suffering. Is as it says on the title a functional issue. An Issue with the brain where message or electrical impulses do not go to the required section of the brain. This mainly happens during times of stress.
Yesterday was one hell of a stressful day where my body refused to work right.…
Before the first draft: I will craft a masterpiece that will be praised for generations to come!
1st draft: *Barely writes full sentences. Spells ‘the’ wrong at least 600 times.*
1st edit: My characters are becoming living creatures of magic. Emotions are pouring forth through the page like the Pirene fountain. My words are taking immortal form like -- oh crap, major plot hole. I need to fix the last 150 pages.
Sending it to my editor: Why do I even pay for this? There's obviously no flaws in my manuscript.
Getting it back from the editor: HOW DARE MY EDITOR WRITE SO MANY CORRECTIONS ON SUCH A PERF-- Oh wait... no... they have a point.
2nd edit: ...I can't stand this thing anymore. WHY DID I EVER BEGIN THIS?
Final proofread: Seriously... who the f invented commas???
Sent to the publisher: FLAWLESS. MY LEGACY HAS BEEN BORN.
Published, on shelves for purchase: *Finds 50 errors*
Getting ready to start my next book: I WILL CRAFT A MASTERPIECE THAT WILL BE PRAI--
Amongst us and in heads of state there has been a secret race of mankind that is capable of taking the form of specific breeds of canines, felines, and avians. They have been second-class people who have tolerated living in the shadows alongside creatures that were dead and lived off the blood of humans or animals.
They, the Inxieriea united by what they're capable of tolerating one another most times agreeing to an age-old belief that it's better we humans believed their existence remained in the realm of fiction, movies, myth, and folklore. Until recently when the heretic Pharaoh awoke and decimated his family tree threatening the lives of all the animals - the shifters within shocked the Inxieriea community.
Their secret is at risk as we, The Outsiders begin to look into the shadows around us. Do the Inxieriea come together to combat Akhenaten, one of the Firsts or do they trust his grandchild who's had her own sort of trouble within the community? Can the Shifters trust the vampires to remain aligned with them to remain in the shadows or is this leading up to one grand exposure of all of them in the growing digital age that they can't convince the Outsiders it's nothing more than smoke and mirrors.
The two walked across the lot overgrown with weeds and grass, the gray sky groaning overhead. Kimzey peered at the rusty door that would lead her into the warehouse. Somehow, it felt like a door to another world. A much darker, more sinister world, where the truth wasn’t too sure of itself and bad things waited in the shadows. The world she was living in wasn’t much different, she thought.
Rustin opened the door, and Kimzey stepped through. To her surprise, nothing changed when the shadow of the warehouse’s ceiling fell over her. The hammering in her heart felt the same as it did in the sun. The fear creeping down her neck survived just fine in the shadows. The only thing that changed was the temperature, the slightest of drops that ran a shiver down Kimzey’s back.