Friday, May 19, 2006

New Beginnings

A friend and I have been discussing beginnings and when to leave them alone. I've always been of the theory that as far as my writing is concerned, I need about forty pages to get warmed up, then the real story starts. In an attempt to cut down on those pages that end up trashed, I'm forcing myself to start where the story begins, right off the bat. I'm not sure it's working for me. A hundred pages into a book, and my mind wanders back to page 1, and I feel this almost uncontrollable need to start again. I've decided this urge is hitting me because I didn't get warmed up doing those forty pages, and something inside of me misses knowing that part of the story that no one else will ever read but moi. Sigh. Writing habits are hard to break, especially when they're longstanding. On another note, my new website will be online any day now, and I can't wait for ya'll to check it out. Along with a beautiful new format, it will have a smattering of pictures from races we've attended. Nascar, of course. I had to fight the urge to post hundreds of them, just for my own amusement. New beginnings in many ways - web sites and starting a new book - are wonderful. I'll let you know this fall how it feels when my racin' child goes off to college and our house is down to the two of us for the first time in many years. That'll be a new beginning, for sure!


Anonymous said...

Tracy, I just spent almost THREE MONTHS re-writing and RE-writing a beginning for my novel. I started right in with the action, and yet my editor wanted to know "what happened before" the story actually starts. I pitched a fit--"Who CARES what happened, dammit???"--but I'm happy with it now. Thank God. Otherwise I might be dangling one-handed from a bridge.

I read Wishful Sinful last year--loved it!


Tracy said...

Jen, I think that's the normal urge, to want to know what happens before the story begins, but I agree with you - who cares?? If the story is complete, then that should be enough. I'm not a big fan of backstory, but sometimes you just have to go there. I think the key is to keep it short and make sure it's not going to cut into the action. Then you can get around the 'what happened first?' issue.

I'm so glad you liked Wishful Sinful.