Thursday, March 24, 2011

Great Beginnings, Solid Middles and Super Endings

Okay so I'm batting 0 for 3.

I have a so-so beginning.  I thought it was great.  (Don't you always?) but after reading it countless times I'm convinced I can do better, and if I think that, of course an editor will too, won't they?  Of course they will!  So I need a better beginning.

The Girlfriend's Book Club is doing a very interesting set of posts at the moment on beginnings with a nice one about six must-have elements for a successful beginning.  I think I have them all.  But who knows about the voice one - I think I have a voice but is it like when you're tone deaf and think you're the next Celine Dion and you can't tell that you're not because you' guessed it....tone deaf?

Okay so I need to tweak the beginning three chapters.

A Solid Middle.  No can do.  I'm sagging here like one of those Biggest Losers after the weight loss when you look at them and think, yep with clothes on you look pretty good, much better than before.  But you KNOW that hidden underneath the clothes is all that floppy skin, previously stretched taut by unwanted, unhealthy fat but at least it padded out the skin.  Now the fat is gone the skin just hangs there and the only thing that's going to move it is a scalpel.  After highlighting all the 'fat' that padded out the middle of my ms and losing it, I'm left with sad, floppy skin.  I know what I have to do - attack it with a scalpel and then pilates the heck out of it so it's all toned and rippling muscle.  You know the kind that you just want to run your fingers down - the kind when you're reading the middle of someone else's book and you don't even realise you're in the middle until you almost at the end and then your Writer's Brain kicks in and goes: "Hey!  We missed the middle!"  That kind.

Tweak the beginning
Tighten up the middle

A Super Ending.  Hmmmmm.  I'm sure I'll be able to nail this one.  You know, when I actually do it.  Write the ending that is.  Yep, you heard right.  I haven't written it yet.  It's not that I don't know how it ends.  I do.  I just can't bear the thought of it 'ending'.  I think that's the worst bit of a good book.  Not knowing what comes next.  All the How To Guides categorically state there's nothing worse than including mundane details of a character's life but you know in a good book I'd happily read 421 pages of washing up and ironing and cleaning and inane chatter with the neighbours if it meant the book didn't finish and my connection to those wonderful characters wasn't at an end.

Tweak the beginning
Tighten up the middle
Write a super ending.

And it all needs to be done in 7 days.  Which instantly brings to mind (well mine anyway) Genesis - the biggest creation story EVAH!  So over the next seven days I hope to bring you my version (without offending too many people I hope!).  Fingers crossed I can do it.  While you're waiting, watch Ricky Gervais talk about Genesis:

Excuse the language - but he is a funny bloke!

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