Thursday, November 29, 2012
Where do you start?
Some time ago, I mentioned in a varied group of people that I am a writer. Some met this news with glee and wanted to know all about what I wrote and where they could find it. Others nodded and said they wanted to write a book but didn't know where to start.
Well, start at the beginning, I suggested to them. I am suggesting that to you as well. But if you truly do not know where the beginning of your story is, then you might do well to check out below the list of authors I have compiled and how they jump-start a story.
John Irving: starts his story with the last line then works backwards until he has the whole story.
Ian McEwan: keeps a rigid schedule with morning for writing and evening for reading. He believes in getting at least 500-800 words in the morning and that reading helps him write.
Elmore Leonard begins with a character. You have to delve into who, what, where, when, but beginning with character is a great place to start.
Diana Gabaldon begins with description. She explained how she started out describing an antique goblet then went to the hand that held it and then the hand that pushed the decanter closer, and before long she had a whole scene.
Karen White often begins with place. Her books are so filled with the essence of place that the setting often is like a special character in her book.
Okay, that's it, Murderers. Get busy. There will be a test.